Astronomy Picture of the Day



Magellanic Morning

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#91567 by @ 10.08.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Magellanic Morning


Explanation:

This
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
Clouds
of Magellan
, also hover in the brightening sky.

The Small
Magellanic Cloud (SMC, upper right), and the
Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) are prominent
wonders of the southern sky, named for the 16th century
Portuguese explorer
Ferdinand
Magellan
.

They are small, irregular galaxies in their own right,
satellites of
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,
bright
star Canopus
(Alpha Carinae), denizen of the Milky Way,
is a mere 310 light-years distant.




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