CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Small Magellanic Cloud. True-colour optical image of the Small Magellanic Cloud in the constellation Tucana. This is a small irregular satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way which lies around 195,000 light years from Earth. It contains several large star clusters and powerful nebulae, huge clouds of gas and dust which are thought to be the birthplace of stars. This small galaxy has extensions reaching out to its companion, the Large Magellanic Cloud (not seen), thought to be caused by gravitational attraction. This image was produced by digitally combining photographs taken by the UK Schmidt Telescope in blue and red light.
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