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Magellanic Clouds — two irregular dwarf galaxies in the Milky Way

  1. Aug 23, 2012 #1
    In a recent article:


    Our galaxy is not particularly special in the universe.

    Its pairing with the Magellanic Clouds — two irregular dwarf galaxies has other similar configurations out there.

    I would like to confirm the existance and location of these irregular dwarf galaxies.

    How close they are and the collision rate.

    Also could we discuss the Magellanic Cloud. How big it is, where it is located.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2012 #2


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    These irregular dwarf galaxies ? which ones ? The Magellanic Clouds ? look on any star map and it will tell you their location in the sky.
    They are not IN the Milky Way as you said in your title. They orbit our Milky Way galaxy
    all that info is readily available .... for example... the Magellanic Clouds are ~ 170,000 light years away from Earth.

    this has to be a well known galaxy with the highest known count of companion galaxies, from wiki.....

    I can make out 1 of the companions through my scope, M32

  4. Aug 23, 2012 #3


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    Wow, nice. I can barely make out Andromeda at all from my front yard with my 8 inch scope. Can't wait till I move out to Tucson in a week or so.

    The magellanic clouds are in the southern part of the celestial sphere and visible from the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth.

    Follow the links in the article for more info.
  5. Aug 23, 2012 #4


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    Ohhh I need a dark sky site for the companion galaxy, I can see Andromeda galaxy easily through the scope from home, but need to trave 30 mins to the nth side of the city to be able to see it naked eye

    Due to the poor health, I havent done any nite time astronomy this winter that we are nearing the end of :( .... not sad about the end of winter, but I did want to give the then new scope a good work out, but didnt happen.
    In the last 8 months its been used to the Venus transit and a partial lunar eclipse

    To Tucson, is that a permanent move ? I did enjoy one nite under the Arizona sky back in 2006 and with a power cut that occurred just as we booked into the motel, we had ~ an hour or so of really dark sky :)

  6. Aug 24, 2012 #5


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    Yep. Moving there from Shreveport/Bossier City Louisiana. Going up 2500 ft or so in altitude, and with like 1/10th the humidity, plus a less crowded area it should be WAY better. Unfortunately the weather was cloudy all last week when I was in Tucson apartment hunting and doing part of my Air Force Reserve duties, so I didn't get to see anything at all.
  7. Sep 13, 2012 #6

    The large Magellanic cloud is 160,000 LY distant
    The small Magellanic cloud is 200,000 LY distant.

    Their respective diameters are:

    14,000 ly for the Large LMC
    7,000 ly for the SMC
  8. Sep 13, 2012 #7
    What constellation and designation(ex. NCG000) are the LMC and SMC respectively?
  9. Sep 13, 2012 #8
    Congrats on the move!
  10. Sep 14, 2012 #9


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    there's a really nice and free planetarium ( starmap) program called Stellarium
    I suggest you download it and start to familarise yourself with the night sky.

    This program will answer all your questions .... its time for you to do some research for yourself :)

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