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Large Magellanic Cloud

LMC, Nubecula Major

Proper NamesLarge Magellanic Cloud, LMC, Nubecula Major
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberNone
ConstellationsDorado and Mensa
Right AscensionCentred on 5h 23m 50s
DeclinationCentred on -68° 47' 36"
Distancec.158,200 light years
c.48,500 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +0.6
Absolute: -17.8
Mean DiameterApparent: 16.3°
Actual: c.14,000 light years
Hubble TypeSBm Barred Spiral (Magellanic)
Optimum VisibilityDecember / January (usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesThe Large Magellanic Cloud appears to have originated as a dwarf barred spiral galaxy, but the gravitational effects of the nearby Milky Way Galaxy and the Small Magellanic Cloud have twisted it into an irregular form. Its galactic bar is still clearly detectable, giving rise to a shape classified as a 'Magellanic spiral'.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is an 'attendant' galaxy to our own. It lies in the southern skies, astride the border between Dorado and Mensa, and contains the gigantic Tarantula Nebula.

Map of the Large Magellanic Cloud

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