Astronomy Picture of the Day
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early morning skyscape
recorded near Winton, Queensland, Australia,
looks toward the southeast.
Low clouds are seen in silhouette against the first hints
of sunlight, while two famous cosmic clouds, the
, also hover in the brightening sky.
Magellanic Cloud (SMC, upper right), and the
Magellanic Cloud (LMC) are prominent
wonders of the southern sky, named for the 16th century
They are small, irregular galaxies in their own right,
our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy.
The SMC is about 210,000 light-years and the LMC about
180,000 light-years away.
At lower left,
(Alpha Carinae), denizen of the Milky Way,
is a mere 310 light-years distant.
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