NASA Astronomy Image of the Day for March 7, 2023: The star Large Magellanic Cloud

Most galaxies exist in groups or clusters with dozens or hundreds of members, and these cluster galaxies are all in constant motion, pulled and twisted by their neighbor’s gravity. One such galaxy cluster is the Hydra cluster of galaxies, one of the three major galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way. One such galaxy is the Large Magellanic Cloud, the largest satellite galaxy in our own Milky Way Galaxy.

NASA’s Astronomy Image of the Day is a stunning image of the giant Magellanic the cloudwhich is located about 180,000 light-years away towards the Dorado constellation. According to NASA, the Large Magellanic Cloud spans about 15,000 light years. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is also the brightest and closest supernova observed in recent times. Amazingly, the Large Magellanic Cloud can be seen with the naked eye in the Earth’s southern hemisphere.

This photo was taken by Yuri Belitsky. WHO is an astronomer and night sky photographer associated with the TWAN initiative. Spending most of his time under the starry sky, Yuri captured mesmerizing night scenes and images of the universe. The World at Night (TWAN) is an international effort to present stunning night photos and time-lapse videos of the world’s historic landmarks against celestial attractions.

NASA image description

Is it a spiral galaxy? No, actually, it’s the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), the largest satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way Galaxy. The LMC is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy due to its generally chaotic appearance. In this deep and wide exposure, however, the full extent of the LMC is visible. Surprisingly, over long exposures, the LMC begins to resemble a barred spiral galaxy.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is only 180,000 light-years away toward the constellation of the Dolphinfish (Dorado). Spanning about 15,000 light-years, the LMC was the site of SN1987A, the brightest and closest supernova in the modern era. Along with the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), the LMC can be seen with the unaided eye in Earth’s southern hemisphere.

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