Astronomy Picture of the Day

The LMC Galaxy in Glowing Gas

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The LMC Galaxy in Glowing Gas

What goes on inside of a galaxy?

To help find out, astronomers from the
Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey
team imaged our neighboring
LMC galaxy
in spectacular detail and highlighted very specific colors of
light emitted by glowing gas.

The above mosaic of over 1,500 images of the
Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is the result -- clicking on the image will bring up an
image with much greater detail.

The colors highlighted on the mosaic are light emitted by
hydrogen (red),
oxygen (green), and
sulfur (yellow), while light from individual stars has been subtracted.

The mosaic shows what a busy and violent place the inside of the LMC really is.

Visible in the above image are many small
planetary nebulas
pushed out by low mass stars, large
emission nebula of
ambient interstellar gas
set aglow by massive stars, and huge gaseous
supernova remnants cast off by massive stars

The extended connected filaments are mostly connected supernova remnants.

The LMC,
a familiar sight to an unaided eye in the
southern hemisphere,
spans about 15,000 light years and lies only about 180,000
light years distant.

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