Large Magellanic Cloud
Large Magellanic Cloud
Companion Galaxy to Milky Way

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Large Magellanic Cloud with Tarantula Nebula: The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an irregular dwarf galaxy, orbiting our Milky Way. At 160,000 light years from us, it is thought (at the time this is being written) to be the third closest galaxy to us (for perspective, our galaxy is about 100,000 light years across). It is about 17,000 light years across. It contains approximately 1/10 the mass of the Milky Way. The large reddish knot toward the upper left of the picture is the Tarantula Nebula, an immense (1,000 light years across) star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The LMC is classified as an irregular galaxy, but it is known to have a well-defined bar at its center (similar to the Milky Way), leading scientists to theorize that the LMC was a spiral galaxy distorted by the gravitational forces of the Milky Way.


Technical Information:

LRGB: 300:100:100:100; L consisted of twenty 15-minute unbinned images; R, G and B consisted of ten 10-minute binned images each.

Equipment: Takahashi FSQ106, SBIG STL11000 (with Astrodon filters), on a Bisque Paramount ME German Equatorial Mount.

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: CCDSoft v5, working in concert with TheSky v6.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks and dawn flats), aligned, sigma reject performed, and combined in CCDStack. Color combine in Photoshop. Finish work (curves and levels, increasing saturation) was done in Photoshop CS2.

Location: Data acquired remotely from Fair Dinkum Skies, in Pingelly, Western Australia.

Date: Images taken on the nights of December 8 and 9, 2007.

CCD Chip temperature: -10C

Seeing: Good.

Transparency: Good.

Moon Phase: Minimal or no moon throughout.

Copyright 2007 Mark de Regt

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