Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2001 August 4
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Neighboring Galaxy: The Large Magellanic Cloud
Credit & Copyright: AURA/NOAO/NSF

Explanation: The brightest galaxy visible from our own Milky Way Galaxy is the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Visible predominantly from Earth's Southern Hemisphere, the LMC is the second closest galaxy, neighbor to the Small Magellanic Cloud, and one of eleven known dwarf galaxies that orbit our Milky Way Galaxy. The LMC is an irregular galaxy composed of a bar of older red stars, clouds of younger blue stars, and a bright red star forming region visible near the top of the above image called the Tarantula Nebula. The brightest supernova of modern times, SN1987A, occurred in the LMC.

Tomorrow's picture: Stellar Cocoon

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.