APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

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APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Sep 07, 2023 4:08 am

Image The Large Cloud of Magellan

Explanation: The 16th century Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan and his crew had plenty of time to study the southern sky during the first circumnavigation of planet Earth. As a result, two fuzzy cloud-like objects easily visible to southern hemisphere skygazers are known as the Clouds of Magellan, now understood to be satellite galaxies of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. About 160,000 light-years distant in the constellation Dorado, the Large Magellanic Cloud is seen in this sharp galaxy portrait. Spanning about 15,000 light-years or so, it is the most massive of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies and is the home of the closest supernova in modern times, SN 1987A. The prominent patch above center is 30 Doradus, also known as the magnificent Tarantula Nebula, a giant star-forming region about 1,000 light-years across.

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Re: APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

Post by Ann » Thu Sep 07, 2023 6:02 am

The Large Cloud of Magellan.
Image Credit & Copyright: Chris Willocks

Yes, I like it! This APOD is a nice portrait of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The picture is somewhat heavy on the blue channel, I think - or at least there are certainly other LMC images out there that are a lot more yellow. Check out this one if you don't believe me!

Anyway. Today's APOD, being "so blue", really brings out the fact that the Large Magellanic Cloud is the galaxy of the Local Group that is most dominated by young stars and star formation. Because the LMC is not just "a large star cloud" (actually a galaxy), but there are large bright blue clouds of hot young stars in this galaxy, too.

But the APOD doesn't show us all the important stellar associations and large nebulas in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

LMC with Tarantula and N11 Compex Eckhard Slawik.png
The LMC by Eckhard Slawik. Note the N11 nebula complex at top right
and the large blue "arc" of stars above the Tarantula Nebula.

Let's take a look at the N11 and NGC 1760 complex that can't be seen in today's APOD:

This is actually an APOD, and a very old one, too - from 2004! So the picture is not "up to date", but I've always liked it. And look what the APOD Robot wrote about the picture:
APOD Robot wrote:

How did this unusually large nebula form? One of the largest nebulas yet detected is actually a complex ring of emission nebulas connected by glowing filaments. The unusual network, known as N11, spans over 1000 light years and is a prominent structure of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the largest satellite galaxy of our Milky Way Galaxy. In the center of the above image is open star cluster LH9, also known as NGC 1760, composed of about 50 bright blue stars that emit radiation that has eroded a hole in their surroundings. A leading hypothesis for the formation of N11 is shells of successive generations of stars being formed further out from the center.

I love the "Coffee Bean nebula" in this APOD! It is the small yellow-green nebula at right. No, not the intensely green object to the right of it, but the vaguely coffee bean-shaped yellow-green nebula left of the neon-green splotch.

There was a recent Hubble closeup of one of the pink nebulas of the N11 complex, NGC 1763. Note the winding slightly dragon-shaped dust lane, which provides fresh gas and dust for more star formation!

A fascinating object in the Large Magellanic Cloud is the young super star cluster NGC 1850. In the APOD it is seen at about 5 o'clock, in the lower part of the long bar that is the "body" of the LMC. In the APOD, it looks like this:

NGC 1850 and friends Chris Willocks.png

Close up, NGC 1850 looks like this:

NGC 1850 has been described as a young globular cluster, but should probably be described as a super star cluster. It is situated in the bar of the LMC, where little star formation is taking place, which in itself strongly suggests that this cluster can't be newborn. And it isn't, either, because we can see at a glance that it contains large numbers of evolved red giant stars. Still, the cluster is quite young. According to NASA, the age of NGC 1850 is 50 million years, except the small "second cluster" seen to the right of the main cluster. The small cluster is only 4 million years old.

There are many treasures indeed in the Large Magellanic Cloud - and I haven't even talked about the Tarantula Nebula! But Starship Asterisk* has talked about the Tarantula Nebula so many times before, so I'll give it a miss this time! :D

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Re: APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

Post by Roy » Thu Sep 07, 2023 10:28 am

Very interesting tour. Do you happen to have images (I have a vague memory of this) of the connection of the LMC to the SMC?

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Re: APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

Post by johnnydeep » Thu Sep 07, 2023 3:13 pm

"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}


Juan Sebastián Elcano was the one who completed the the first Voyage Round the World.

Post by Guest » Thu Sep 07, 2023 3:30 pm

Ferdinand Magellan didn't travel around the world as he died Philippines. Indeed, he never intended to travel around the world. His mission was to travel from Spain to the Philippines bordering South America, across Pacific Ocean, and return the same way back. Ferdinand Magellan never began a trip around the world and never commanded a trip around the world as his orders were to return the same way back.

Juan Sebastián Elcano was enrolled as captain crew. After Ferdinand died in Philippines, Juan Sebastián Elcano decided to return to Spain going West, bordering India, bordering South Africa and then to Spain, completing the the first Voyage Round the World. Therefore Juan Sebastián Elcano was the one who had the idea of going around the world, not Ferdinand Magellan.

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Re: APOD: The Large Cloud of Magellan (2023 Sep 07)

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Sep 07, 2023 3:31 pm

It is amazing what these little galaxies contain; like the Tarantula
nebula! 8-)
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