Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
Abr-e Bozorg-e Magellan (#)
Fr.: Grand Nuage de Magellan
The larger of the two Magellanic Cloud galaxies visible in the southern hemisphere at about 22 degrees from the South Celestial Pole. It is approximately on the border between the constellations → Dorado and → Mensa in a region of faint stars. The center of the LMC is approximately RA: 5h 23m 35s, dec: -69° 45' 22''. The LMC shines with a total → apparent visual magnitude of approximately zero. It spans an area of the sky about 9 by 11 degrees, corresponding to about 30,000 → light-years across in the longest dimension, for a distance of some 162,000 light-years. It has a visible mass of about one-tenth that of our own Galaxy (1010 Msun). The LMC and its twin, the → Small Magellanic Cloud, are two of our most prominent Galactic neighbors. The LMC is classified as a disrupted → barred spiral galaxy of type SBm, the prototype of a class of → Magellanic spirals. The galaxy is characterized by a prominent offset → stellar bar located near its center with the dominant → spiral arm to the north with two "embryonic" arms situated to the south. The → metallicity in the LMC is known to be lower than in the solar neighborhood by a factor 2 or more. Based on 20 → eclipsing binary systems, the distance to the LMC is measured to one percent precision to be 49.59±0.09 (statistical) ±0.54 (systematic) kpc (Pietrzynski et al., 2019, Nature 567, 200).
→ large; → Magellanic; → cloud.
Fr.: Nuage de Magellan
Two irregular satellite galaxies of our own Galaxy which are visible from the Southern Hemisphere as misty patches in the night sky. → Large Magellanic Cloud; → Small Magellanic Cloud.
→ Magellanic; → cloud.
Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)
Abr-e Kucak-e Magellan (#)
Fr.: Petit Nuage de Magellan
An irregular galaxy, the smaller of the two → Magellanic Clouds that are satellites of our own Galaxy, lying in the southern constellation → Tucana about 20 degrees from the → south celestial pole. The SMC covers an area roughly 3 by 5 degrees in dimension and has an overall → visual magnitude about +2.7. The SMC is about 10,000 → light-years in diameter and some 210,000 light-years (61 → kpc) away. It has a visible mass of about 1/50-th that of our Galaxy and 1/10-th of that of the → Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Its → heavy element content is about a factor 5 smaller than that of the Galaxy. The SMC is the third-nearest external galaxy after the → Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy and the LMC.
→ small; → Magellanic; → cloud.