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Large Magellanic Cloud, optical image

Large Magellanic Cloud, optical image

R840/0072

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Credit

ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Large Magellanic Cloud, optical image. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a dwarf galaxy that is also an irregular satellite galaxy of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Several pink nebulae can be seen in this galaxy. These are starbirth regions of gas and dust which glow due to ionisation of hydrogen gas by hot young stars embedded in them. The brightest patch is the Tarantula nebula (NGC 2070, upper right), one of the largest and most powerful nebulae known. The LMC is around 160 thousand light years from Earth and about 50 thousand light years wide.

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