MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the Milky Way's so-called Magellanic Stream. This is a stream of fast-moving gas clouds orbiting our galaxy, associated with the two small galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds. As these galaxies orbit the Milky Way, tidal forces pull stars and gas from them, forming the ribbon shaped stream. The stream stretches across 180 degrees of sky, corresponding to a length of about 180,000 light-years.
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