ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AATB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AATB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a companion galaxy of our own Milky Way. The LMC lies about 160,000 light years from Earth and is about 35,000 light years wide. It is one third as massive as our galaxy. Many pink nebulae can be seen. The most conspicuous is the Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070), also known as 30 Doradus, at far left. The Tarantula and other nebulae are clouds of hydrogen gas lit up by hot young stars within them. The image was made from photographs taken with the 1.2m UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia.
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