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Encyclopedia > Large Magellanic Cloud
Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud The Large Magellanic Cloud CREDIT: C-141 KAO Imagery: Supernova 1987A (April 1987 - New Zealand Deployment) Large Magellanic Cloud; Photographer: C-141 Imagery; Date: Jun 23, 1987. ...

Observation data: J2000 epoch
Constellation: Mensa/Dorado
Right ascension: 05h 23m 34.5s[1]
Declination: -69° 45′ 22″[1]
Redshift: 278 ± 3 km/s[1]
Distance: 157 kly (48.5kpc)[2]
Type: SB(s)m[1]
Apparent dimensions (V): 10°.75 × 9°.17[1]
Apparent magnitude (V): 0.9[1]
Notable features:
Other designations
LMC, ESO 56- G 115, PGC 17223[1]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a nearby satellite galaxy of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. At a distance of slightly less than 50 kiloparsecs (≈160,000 light-years), the LMC is second closest galaxy to the Milky Way, with only the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal (~ 16 kiloparsecs) lying closer to the center of the Milky Way. It has a mass equivalent to approximately 10 billion times the mass of our Sun (1010 solar masses), making it roughly 1/10 as massive as the MW. The LMC is the fourth largest galaxy in the local group, with the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and Triangulum Galaxy (M33) also having more mass. The J2000. ... In astronomy, an epoch is a moment in time for which celestial coordinates or orbital elements are specified. ... This article is about the star grouping. ... Mensa (Latin for Table) is a southern constellation which was first introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille under the name Mons Mensae (Latin for table mountain). ... This article is about a constellation in the sky. ... Equatorial Coordinates Right ascension (abbrev. ... In astronomy, declination (abbrev. ... Redshift of spectral lines in the optical spectrum of a supercluster of distant galaxies (right), as compared with that of the Sun (left). ... A kilometer (Commonwealth spelling: kilometre), symbol: km is a unit of length in the metric system equal to 1,000 metres (from the Greek words χίλια (khilia) = thousand and μέτρο (metro) = count/measure). ... This article is about the unit of time. ... To help compare distances at different orders of magnitude this page lists lengths from 11,000 light years and 110,000 light years (1020 m and 1021 m). ... A light-year, symbol ly, is the distance light travels in one year: exactly 9. ... A parsec is the distance from the Earth to an astronomical object which has a parallax angle of one arcsecond. ... Astronomers classify galaxies based on their overall shape (elliptical, spiral or barred spiral) and further by the specific properties of the individual galaxy (for example degree of ellipse, number of spirals or definition of bar). ... The angular diameter of an object as seen from a given position is the diameter measured as an angle. ... This article describes the unit of angle. ... The apparent magnitude (m) of a star, planet or other celestial body is a measure of its apparent brightness as seen by an observer on Earth. ... The Principal Galaxies Catalogue (PGC) is an astronomical catalogue that contains all available primary information for each of the known galaxies: morphological type, major and minor axes, magnitude, radial velocity and position angle. ... For other uses, see Galaxy (disambiguation). ... List of galaxies: Abell 1835 IR1916 AM 0644-741 Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224) Andromeda I Andromeda II Andromeda III Aquarius Dwarf Barnards Galaxy (NGC 6822) Black Eye Galaxy (M64/NGC 4826) Bodes Galaxy (M81/NGC 3031) Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy Carina Dwarf Centaurus A Galaxy Draco Dwarf Fornax... For other uses, see Milky Way (disambiguation). ... This article is about the unit of length. ... A light-year, symbol ly, is the distance light travels in one year: exactly 9. ... The Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (SagDEG) is an elliptically looped shaped satellite galaxy of the Milky Way Galaxy. ... A member of the Local Group of galaxies, irregular galaxy Sextans A is 4. ... The Andromeda Galaxy (IPA: , also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224; older texts often called it the Great Andromeda Nebula) is a spiral galaxy approximately 2. ... The Triangulum Galaxy (also known as Messier 33 or NGC 598) is a spiral galaxy about 3. ...


While the LMC is often considered an irregular type galaxy, (the NASA Extragalactic Database lists the Hubble sequence type as Irr/SB(s)m), the LMC contains a very prominent bar in its center, suggesting that it may have previously been a barred spiral galaxy. The LMC's irregular appearance is possibly the result of tidal interactions with both the Milky Way, and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The NASA Extragalactic Database (NED) is a database funded by NASA that collates astronomical information about objects outside the Milky Way. ... Astronomers classify galaxies based on their overall shape (elliptical, spiral or barred spiral) and further by the specific properties of the individual galaxy (for example degree of ellipse, number of spirals or definition of bar). ... The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a dwarf galaxy[1] in orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. ...


It is visible as a faint 'cloud' in the night sky of the southern hemisphere, straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa. southern hemisphere highlighted in yellow (Antarctica not depicted). ... This article is about the star grouping. ... This article is about a constellation in the sky. ... Mensa (Latin for Table) is a southern constellation which was first introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille under the name Mons Mensae (Latin for table mountain). ...

Contents

History

  • The first recorded mention of the Large Magellanic Cloud was by the Persian astronomer Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi in his Book of Fixed Stars around 964AD.[3][4]
  • The next recorded observation was in 1503-4 by Amerigo Vespucci in a letter about his third voyage. In this letter he mentions "three Canopes, two bright and one obscure”; the “bright” refers to the two Magellanic Clouds, and the "obscure" refers to the Coalsack.[5]
  • Fernando de Magellan, on his voyage in 1519, was the first to bring the LMC into common Western knowledge. The galaxy now bears his name.[4]

This article is about the Persian people, an ethnic group found mainly in Iran. ... An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Abd Al-Rahman Al Sufi published his famous Book of Fixed Stars around 964, in Arabic, although the author himself was probably Persian. ... Events Nicephorus II begins campaign to recapture Cilicia. ... Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 - February 22, 1512) was an Italian merchant, explorer and cartographer. ... ... For the Presidential railcar named Ferdinand Magellan, see Ferdinand Magellan Railcar. ... Events March 4 - Hernán Cortés lands in Mexico. ...

Geometry

The LMC was long considered to be a planar galaxy that could be assumed to lie at a single distance from us. However, in 1986, Caldwell and Coulson[6] found that field Cepheid variables in the northeast portion of the LMC lie closer to the Milky Way than Cepheids in the southwest portion. More recently, this inclined geometry for fields stars in the LMC has been confirmed via observations of Cepheids[7], core helium burning red clump stars[8] and the tip of the red giant branch[9]. All three of these papers find an inclination of ~ 35o, where a face on galaxy has an inclination of 0o. Further work on the structure of the LMC using the kinematics of carbon stars showed that the LMC's disk is both thick[10] and flared.[11] Regarding the distribution of star clusters in the LMC, Schommer et al.[12] measured velocities for ~80 clusters and found that the LMC's cluster system has kinematics consistent with the clusters moving in a disk-like distribution. These results were confirmed by Grocholski et al.,[13] who calculated distances to a number of clusters and showed that the LMC's cluster system is in fact distributed in the same plane as the field stars. A Cepheid variable is a member of a particular class of variable stars, notable for a fairly tight correlation between their period of variability and absolute stellar luminosity. ... Star clusters are physically bound systems of stars. ...


Distance

Determining a precise distance to the LMC, as with any other galaxy, is challenging due to the use of standard candles for calculating distances, with the primary problem being that many of the standard candles are not as 'standard' as one would like; in many cases, the age and/or metallicity of the standard candle plays a role in determining the intrinsic luminosity of the object. The distance to the LMC has been calculated using a variety of standard candles, with Cepheid variables being one of the most popular. Cepheids have been shown to have a relationship between their absolute luminosity and the period over which their brightness varies. However, Cepheids appear to suffer from a metallicity effect, where Cepheids of different metallicities have different period-luminosity relations. Unfortunately, the Cepheids in the Milky Way typically used to calibrate the period-luminosity relation are more metal rich than those found in the LMC. Recently, the Cepheid absolute luminosity has been re-calibrated using Cepheid variables in the galaxy NGC 4258 that cover a range of metallicities.[2] Using this improved calibration, they find an absolute distance modulus of (mM)0 = 18.41, or 48 kpc (~157000 lightyears). This distance, which is slightly shorter than the typically assumed distance of 50 kpc, has been confirmed by other authors (see references to the NGC 4258 paper). A standard candle is an astronomical object that has a known luminosity. ... The globular cluster M80. ... A Cepheid variable is a member of a particular class of variable stars, notable for a fairly tight correlation between their period of variability and absolute stellar luminosity. ...


Features

Like many irregular galaxies, the LMC is rich in gas and dust, and it is currently undergoing vigorous star formation activity.[14] It is home to the Tarantula Nebula, the most active star-forming region in the Local Group. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Star formation is the process by which dense parts of molecular clouds collapse into a ball of plasma to form a star. ... The Tarantula Nebula. ...


The LMC is full of a wide range of galactic objects and phenomena that make it aptly known as an "astronomical treasure-house, a great celestial laboratory for the study of the growth and evolution of the stars," as described by Robert Burnham, Jr.[15] Surveys of the galaxy have found roughly 60 globular clusters, 400 planetary nebulae, and 700 open clusters, along with hundreds of thousands of giant and supergiant stars.[16] Supernova 1987a—the nearest supernova in recent years—was also located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Robert Burnham, Jr. ... A globular cluster is a spherical bundle of stars (star cluster) that orbits a galaxy as a satellite. ... NGC 6543, the Cats Eye Nebula A planetary nebula is an astronomical object consisting of a glowing shell of gas formed by certain types of stars at the end of their lives. ... An open cluster is a group of stars (star cluster) that were born at the same time from a molecular cloud, and are still near to each other. ... Giant star is a star that has stopped fusing hydrogen in its core. ... Supergiants are the most massive stars. ... 1987A supernova remnant near the center SN 1987A was a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy. ... For other uses, see Supernova (disambiguation). ...

LH 95 stellar nursery in Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: NASA/ESA
LH 95 stellar nursery in Large Magellanic Cloud. Credit: NASA/ESA

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1196x1280, 2043 KB) Videos of LH95 at ESA/Hubble Image of LH95 at ESA/Hubble LH 95 stellar nurserie in Large Magellanic Cloud source: http://hubblesite. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1196x1280, 2043 KB) Videos of LH95 at ESA/Hubble Image of LH95 at ESA/Hubble LH 95 stellar nurserie in Large Magellanic Cloud source: http://hubblesite. ... This article is about the American space agency. ... This article is about the European Space Agency. ...

View from the LMC

From a viewpoint in the LMC, the Milky Way would be a spectacular sight. The galaxy's total apparent magnitude would be -2.0—over 14 times brighter than the LMC appears to us on Earth—and it would span about 36° across the sky, which is the width of over 70 full moons. Furthermore, because of the LMC's high galactic latitude, an observer there would get an oblique view of the entire galaxy, free from the interference of interstellar dust which makes studying in the Milky Way's plane difficult from Earth.[17] The Small Magellanic Cloud would be about magnitude 0.6, substantially brighter than the LMC appears to us. The apparent magnitude (m) of a star, planet or other celestial body is a measure of its apparent brightness as seen by an observer on Earth. ... This article describes the unit of angle. ... For other uses, see Full Moon. ... The anisotropy of the star density in the night sky makes the galactic coordinate system very useful for coordinating surveys, both those which require high densities of stars (at low galactic latitudes) and those which require a low density of stars (at high galactic latitudes) Many galaxies, including the Milky... Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. ... The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a dwarf galaxy[1] in orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. ...


See also

Galaxies other than the Milky Way are popular settings for creators of science fiction, particularly those working with broad-scale space opera settings. ... The two Magellanic Clouds are irregular dwarf galaxies that may be orbiting our Milky Way galaxy[1], and thus are members of our Local Group of galaxies. ... The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a dwarf galaxy[1] in orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy. ... Beaded ring brightens from 2003 and 2005 SN 1987A was a supernova in the outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Results for Large Magellanic Cloud. Retrieved on 2006-10-29.
  2. ^ a b Macri,L.M., Stanek,K.Z., Bersier,D., Greenhill,L.J., & Reid,M.J. 2006, AJ, 652, 1113, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006ApJ...652.1133M
  3. ^ Observatoire de Paris (Abd-al-Rahman Al Sufi). Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
  4. ^ a b Observatoire de Paris (LMC). Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
  5. ^ Observatoire de Paris (Amerigo Vespucci). Retrieved on 2007-04-19.
  6. ^ Caldwell, J.A.R. & Coulson, I.M., 1986, MNRAS, 218, 223, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1986MNRAS.218..223C
  7. ^ Nikolaev, S., Drake, A. J., Keller, S. C., Cook, K. H., Dalal, N., Griest, K., Welch, D. L., & Kanbur, S. M. 2004, ApJ, 601, 260, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004ApJ...601..260N
  8. ^ Olsen, K. A. G., & Salyk, C. 2002, AJ, 124, 2045, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002AJ....124.2045O
  9. ^ van der Marel, R. P., & Cioni, M.-R. L. 2001, AJ, 122, 1807, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2001AJ....122.1807V
  10. ^ van der Marel, R. P. 2001, AJ, 122, 1827, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2001AJ....122.1827V
  11. ^ Alves, D. R., & Nelson, C. A. 2000, ApJ, 542, 789, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2000ApJ...542..789A
  12. ^ Schommer, R. A., Suntzeff, N. B., Olszewski, E. W., & Harris, H. C. 1992, AJ, 103, 447, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1992AJ....103..447S
  13. ^ Grocholski, A.J., Sarajedini, A., Olsen, K.A.G., Tiede, G.P. & Mancone, C.L., 2007, AJ, 134, 680, http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AJ....134..680G
  14. ^ Thomas T. Arny, Explorations: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd ed., (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000), 479.
  15. ^ Robert Burnham, Jr. Burnham's Celestial Handbook: Volume Two, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1978), 837.
  16. ^ Ibid., 840-848.
  17. ^ Some of the figures in the "View" section were extrapolated from data in the Appendix of Chaisson and McMillan's Astronomy Today (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1993).

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 109th day of the year (110th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Breaking News

Single measurement throws out everything we thought we knew (September 2007)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Large Magellanic Cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (631 words)
It is visible as a faint object in the night sky of the southern hemisphere, straddling the border between the constellations of Dorado and Mensa.
It is named after Ferdinand Magellan, who observed it and the companion Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) in his circumnavigational voyage around the Earth.
The LMC is full of a wide range of galactic objects and phenomena that make it aptly known as an "astronomical treasure-house, a great celestial laboratory for the study of the growth and evolution of the stars," as described by Robert Burnham, Jr.
Large Magellanic Cloud - definition of Large Magellanic Cloud in Encyclopedia (240 words)
The Large Magellanic Cloud (also known as LMC) is a dwarf galaxy that is, in some sense, in orbit around our own Milky Way galaxy.
Some speculate that the LMC was once a barred spiral galaxy that was disrupted by the Milky Way, to become type Irr-I.
It is named after Ferdinand Magellan, who observed it and the companion Small Magellanic Cloud in his circumnavigational voyage around the Earth.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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