Location of Photo:
Siding Spring Observatory, NSW, Australia, imaged remotely from La Jolla, CA USA
Date/Time of photo:
September 24, 2022, 11 pm to 1 am local time.
Takahashi FSQ 106 ED, AstroDon Series 2 Luminance, Red, Green, Blue Filters, Paramount ME mount
When the weather is nasty, locally, it's nice to have old data to process. This is an image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, collected last September using the 106 mm wide-field refractor at the Siding Springs Observatory in NSW, Australia. 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 (LMC) is seen here. 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 in the left center is 30 Doradus, also known as the Tarantula Nebula, a giant star-forming region about 1,000 light-years across.