Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Milky Way Rising

The picture shows the Milky Way rising over the hosizon at the European Southern Observatory, located in the Atacama Desert region of Chile.

The two patches of light on the left-hand side of the pictures are the Large Magellanic Cloud
(LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), which are smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. They are only visible from the Southern hemisphere and cannot be seen from Europe or Norh America.

Astronomers believe that the LMC stripped stars from the SMC when the two collided about 300 million years ago. They have detected a thin stream of stars that still connects the two dwarf galaxies.

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