VISTA’s view of the Small Magellanic Cloud

The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) galaxy is a striking feature of the southern sky even to the unaided eye. But visible-light telescopes cannot get a really clear view of what is in the galaxy because of obscuring clouds of interstellar dust. VISTA’s infrared capabilities have now allowed astronomers to see the myriad of stars in this neighbouring galaxy much more clearly than ever before. The result is this record-breaking image — the biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud — with the whole frame filled with millions of stars.

As well as the SMC itself this very wide-field image reveals many background galaxies and several star clusters, including the very bright 47 Tucanae globular cluster at the right of the picture.

Credit:

ESO/VISTA VMC

About the Image

Id:eso1714a
Type:Observation
Release date:3 May 2017, 12:00
Related releases:eso1714
Size:43223 x 38236 px

About the Object

Name:Small Magellanic Cloud, SMC
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Irregular
Local Universe : Galaxy : Size : Dwarf
Distance:200000 light years
Constellation:Tucana
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Screensize JPEG
524.2 KB

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Wallpapers

1024x768
402.5 KB
1280x1024
683.1 KB
1600x1200
1.0 MB
1920x1200
1.3 MB
2048x1536
1.8 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):0 55 3.16
Position (Dec):-72° 57' 50.57"
Field of view:354.37 x 313.48 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 1.2° left of vertical

 

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