NASA Releases Amazing High Resolution Images of Magellanic Clouds

The image above shows our two nearest neighboring galaxies: the Small and the Large Magellanic Cloud. As you can see, although they are quite visible, they both appear a little faint in the photograph, almost like a pair of bright blurs amid thousands of other stars.

However, NASA has released new high-resolution images of Magellanic Clouds - which you can check out at the end of this story - produced from surveys conducted through the Swift space satellite. The two figures were created from a mosaic of thousands of ultraviolet photographs, captured at wavelengths ranging from 1, 600 to 3, 300 angstroms, which are mostly blocked by the earth's atmosphere.


The figure showing the Great Magellanic Cloud has 160 megapixels, and was produced from 2, 200 images captured through satellite instruments. The figure that shows the Small Magellanic Cloud is 57 megapixels in size, and was created through 656 different photographs. Despite the greatness of the images, both galaxies are relatively small when comparing their sizes to the Milky Way.

The Great Magellanic Cloud, which is 14, 000 light years across, is 163, 000 light years away from Earth, and is about 1 percent of the Milky Way's mass. The Little Magellanic Cloud is 200, 000 light years from us, half the size of its “big sister, ” and two-thirds of its mass. The two galaxies orbit around each other, and orbit around the Milky Way as well. Check out the images:

Small Magellanic Cloud

Image Source: Reproduction / NASA

Large Magellanic Cloud

Image Source: Reproduction / NASA