Small Magellanic Cloud

From Academic Kids

The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) —also known as NGC 292— is an irregular galaxy, sometimes classified as a dwarf galaxy, in orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. It contains over 30 billion stars.

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

With a mean declination of approximately −72 degrees, it is best viewed from the Southern 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.

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

Since it has a very low surface brightness, it is best viewed from a dark site away from city lights.

The Magellanic clouds are best visible in the southern hemisphere, although they are visible 5 degrees from the horizon in Hawaii.

Related topics

it:Piccola Nube di Magellano ja:小マゼラン銀河 ru:Малое Магелланово Облако

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