MOUNT STROMLO AND SIDING SPRING OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MOUNT STROMLO AND SIDING SPRING OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Small Magellanic Cloud. Enhanced optical image of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a satellite galaxy of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The SMC lies around 185, 000 light years away, in the constella- tion Tucana. It contains several bright nebulae (yellow), huge clouds of gas and dust. These are starbirth regions, and they glow due to ionisation of their gas by hot young stars embedded in them. At far right is the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. This ball of stars lies around 20, 000 light years from Earth. This image was produced by a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera, which stores images electronically rather than on a film.
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