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SMC (The Small Magellenic Cloud) PGC 3085

The Small Magellenic Cloud (the SMC) is a dwarf galaxy that orbits our own Milky Way Galaxy.   It is not shaped in the classic whorls or spirals of more famous galaxies, because its shape (known as irregular) has long ago been distorted by constant gravitational interaction with our galaxy.  Slowly its stars are being captured into the Milky Way.

The SMC is visible even under average suburban lighting, but it is most impressive when viewed with the naked eye or in binoculars from a dark site.  To the naked eye, especially in suburbia, the SMC often looks like a high dim cloud (i.e. a real one). 

Two interesting features are the prominent blue-green blobs which are the emission nebulae (NGC346) and (NGC371).  These nebulae (and the galaxy itself) emit strongly in the blue end of the spectrum.

A nearby object of interest is the magnificent globular cluster NGC104 (Queen of the Globs) in the image below.

Big Brother to the SMC is the LMC (the Large Magellenic Cloud)

Above: The Small Magellenic Cloud (The SMC)


The SMC (left) and nearby NGC104 (right)

SMC & NGC104


Below: Nebulas NGC 346 (higher) and NGC 371 (lower)
SMC14x3mins1600ISO20Aug06RAWAllDarkedAutoGamma4Web600b.jpg (113329 bytes)


Click here for other images of the SMC:

SMC 50mm lens widefield (close-up crop) Sep2007

SMC 50mm lens widefield (full image) Sep2007

NGC346 (O-III narrowband - RGB Poster Comparison)


NGC346 & NGC 371 23Sep07 (Oxygen-III narrowband)

SMC Closeup of NGC 346 & NGC 371  20Aug06

Widefield SMC & LMC




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