Tag Archives: Magellanic Cloud

Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)


The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby galaxy, and a satellite of the Milky Way.

The very first recorded mention of the Large Magellanic Cloud was by the Persian astronomer `Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (later known in Europe as “Azophi”), in his Book of Fixed Stars around 964 AD.

The next recorded observation was in 1503–4 by Amerigo Vespucci in a letter about his third voyage. In this letter he mentions “three Canopes, two bright and one obscure”; “bright” refers to the two Magellanic Clouds, and “obscure” refers to the Coalsack.

Ferdinand Magellan sighted the LMC on his voyage in 1519, and his writings brought the LMC into common Western knowledge. The galaxy now bears his name.

Announced in 2006, measurements with the Hubble Space Telescope suggest the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds may be moving too fast to be orbiting the Milky Way.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 L
Imaging cameras: Canon 5D Mark II DSLR
Software: PixInsight, BinaryRivers BackyardEOS
15 x 5minute exposures
ISO800 f/3.2 135mm
Calibrated with Dark (25) / Flat (30) / Bias (100)

Author: Cory Schmitz
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 22 June 2014

Small Magellanic Cloud


The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a dwarf galaxy. It is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy. It has a diameter of about 7,000 light-years and contains several hundred million stars. It has a total mass of approximately 7 billion times the mass of the Sun.

Some speculate that the SMC was once a barred spiral galaxy that was disrupted by the Milky Way to become somewhat irregular. It contains a central bar structure.

At a distance of about 200,000 light-years, it is one of the Milky Way’s nearest neighbors. It is also one of the most distant objects that can be seen with the naked eye.

With a mean declination of approximately −73 degrees, it can only be viewed from the Southern Hemisphere and the lower latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. It is located in the constellation of Tucana and appears as a hazy, light patch in the night sky about 3 degrees across. It looks like a detached piece of the Milky Way. Since it has a very low surface brightness, it is best viewed from a dark site away from city lights.

It forms a pair with the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which lies a further 20 degrees to the east. The Small Magellanic Cloud is a member of the Local Group.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Takahashi FSQ106 ED
Imaging cameras: NIKON D800
Mounts: Losmandy G11
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Saxon 80mm
Guiding cameras: The Imaging Source DMK41AF02.AS
Software: DeepSkyStacker, PHD guiding, photoshop
Dates: May 18, 2012
Frames: 11×300″
Integration: 0.9 hours

Author: Andrew Lockwood
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
14 June 2014

Three Galaxies over New Zealand 

Image Credit & Copyright: Mike Mackinven

No, radio dishes cannot broadcast galaxies. Although they can detect them, the above image features a photogenic superposition during a dark night in New Zealand about two weeks ago. As pictured above, the central part of our Milky Way Galaxy is seen rising to the east on the image left and arching high overhead. Beneath the Galactic arc and just above the horizon are the two brightest satellite galaxies of our Milky Way, with the Small Magellanic Cloud to the left and the Large Magellanic Cloud on the right. The radio dish is the Warkworth Satellite Station located just north of Auckland.

NASA APOD 11-Jun-14

Satellite Station and Southern Skies 

Image Credit & Copyright: James Garlick

This clear night skyscape captures the colorful glow of aurora australis, the southern lights, just outside the port city of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, planet Earth. As if staring into the dreamlike scene, the Tasmanian Earth Resources Satellite Station poses in the center, illuminated by nearby city lights. Used to receive data from spacebased Earth observing instruments, including NASA’s MODIS and SeaWiFS, the station was decommissioned in 2011 and dismantled only recently, shortly after the picture was taken on April 30. Still shining in southern skies though, the central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy and two bright satellite galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds appear in the frame. The Small Magellanic Cloud shines through the fainter red auroral band.
NASA APOD 31-May-14

Magellanic Clouds

91ba4930da0ec2e0f1054cc770700cce.1824x0_q100_watermark_watermark_opacity-10_watermark_position-4_watermark_text-Copyright Hartmuth Kintzel

The two Magellanic Clouds (or Nubeculae Magellani) are irregular dwarf galaxies visible from the southern hemisphere, which are members of ourLocal Group and may be orbiting our Milky Way galaxy. Because they both show signs of a bar structure, they are often reclassified as Magellanic spiral galaxies.
The Large Magellanic Cloud and its neighbour and relative, the Small Magellanic Cloud, are conspicuous objects in the southern hemisphere, looking like separated pieces of the Milky Way to the naked eye. Roughly 21° apart in the night sky, the true distance between them is roughly 75,000 light-years. Until the discovery of the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy in 1994, they were the closest known galaxies to our own. The LMC lies about 160,000 light years away, while the SMC is around 200,000. The LMC is about twice the diameter of the SMC (14,000 ly and 7,000 ly respectively). For comparison, the Milky Way is about 100,000 ly across.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Canon EF 35mm f/2.0
Imaging cameras: Canon EOS 450D / Digital Rebel XSi / Kiss X2
Mounts: Vixen Atlux
Filters: Baader IR EOS
Dates: July 31, 2011
Locations: Tivoli / Namibia
Frames: 5×240″ ISO800
Integration: 0.3 hours
Darks: ~5

Autor: Hartmuth Kintzel

04 March 2014

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.

The Tarantula Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070) is an H II region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). It was originally thought to be a star, but in 1751 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille recognized its nebular nature.

The Tarantula Nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8. Considering its distance of about 49 kpc (160,000 light years), this is an extremely luminous non-stellar object. Its luminosity is so great that if it were as close to Earth as the Orion Nebula, the Tarantula Nebula would cast shadows. In fact, it is the most active starburst region known in the Local Group of galaxies. It is also one of the largest such region in the Local Group with an estimated diameter of 200 pc. The nebula resides on the leading edge of the LMC, where ram pressure stripping, and the compression of the interstellar medium likely resulting from this, is at a maximum. At its core lies the compact star cluster R136 (approximate diameter 35 light years) that produces most of the energy that makes the nebula visible. The estimated mass of the cluster is 450,000 solar masses, suggesting it will likely become a globular cluster in the future.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Boren-Simon PowerNewt 8
Imaging cameras: QSI 583 wsg
Mounts: Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Boren-Simon PowerNewt 8
Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar
Focal reducers: Borel-Simon Coma Corrector
Software: Maxim DL, photoshop, Registax, CCDStack, Cartes du Ciel
Filters: Astrodon OIII 5nm, Astrodon SII 5nm, Astrodon H-alpha 5nm
Accessories: Sky-Watcher SW Electric Focuser
Resolution: 3326×2504
Dates: Dec. 10, 2013
Locations: Home
Astrodon H-alpha 5nm: 14×180″ -15C bin 1×1
Astrodon OIII 5nm: 14×300″ -15C bin 1×1
Astrodon SII 5nm: 14×420″ -15C bin 1×1
Integration: 3.5 hours
Darks: ~10
Flats: ~10
Bias: ~10

Autor: Jean-Marie Locci

22 December 2013

We select the best works of amateur astrophotographers with details of equipment, shooting processing etc.