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Optical image of the Large Magellanic Cloud

Optical image of the Large Magellanic Cloud

R840/0046

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Credit

LUKE DODD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LUKE DODD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Optical image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The LMC lies at about 160,000 light years from Earth and is about 35,000 light years wide. Its mass is believed to be some 10 billion times the mass of the Sun. Many pink nebulae can be seen. The most conspicuous is the Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070), also known as 30 Doradus, at centre left. The Tarantula and the other nebulae seen here are clouds of hydrogen gas lit up by hot young stars embedded within them.

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