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Large Magellanic Cloud over Atacama desert, Chile

Large Magellanic Cloud over Atacama desert, Chile

C049/3504

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100.0 MB (28.1 MB compressed)

7240 x 4827 pixels

61.2 x 40.9 cm ⏐ 24.1 x 16.1 in (300dpi)

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Credit

MIGUEL CLARO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIGUEL CLARO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and bands of red airglow in the night sky over mountains in the Atacama desert, Chile. The LMC is a satellite galaxy of our galaxy the Milky Way. It is around 163,000 light years away. Airglow is a phenomenon where a planetary atmosphere emits a faint glow when atoms are excited by sunlight. The banding of this glow is caused here by gravity waves in the atmosphere, where weather systems generate large waves as buoyant air masses rise and sink due to the effects of gravity, often as a flow of air meets mountains.

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