FRED ESPENAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRED ESPENAK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Large Magellanic Cloud or LMC (upper left) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC, right) are irregular, dwarf galaxies which are orbiting companions of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The LMC is some 150,000 light years distant, the SMC 180,000. They are named after the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, who first described them during his circumnavigation of the globe in 1519. The photo is a particularly fine example of an amateur astrophotograph, taken through a 50mm lens.
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