Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (also known as LMC) is a dwarf galaxy that is, in some sense, in orbit around our own Milky Way galaxy. It is at a distance of about fifty kiloparsecs (50,000 parsecs, or 160,000 light years). While somewhat irregular in morphology, it does have some traces of spiral structure.

The Large Magellanic Cloud

It is visible as a faint object in the night sky of the southern hemisphere, straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa. It is named after Ferdinand Magellan, who observed it and the companion Small Magellanic Cloud in his circumnavigational voyage around the Earth.

It is home to the Tarantula Nebula, the most active starburst region in the Local Group of galaxies.

See also: Supernova 1987a