Alternate Definitions for Large Magellanic Cloud

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Term: Large Magellanic Cloud

The larger of the two Magellanic Cloud galaxies visible in the southern hemisphere at about 22 degrees from the South Celestial Pole. It is approximately on the border between the constellations Dorado and Mensa in a region of faint stars. The center of the LMC is approximately RA: 5h 23m 35s, dec: -69° 45' 22''. The LMC shines with a total apparent visual magnitude of approximately zero. It spans an area of the sky about 9 by 11 degrees, corresponding to about 30,000 light-years across in the longest dimension, for a distance of some 162,000 light-years. It has a visible mass of about one-tenth that of our own Galaxy (10^10 M_sun). The LMC and its twin, the Small Magellanic Cloud, are two of our most prominent Galactic neighbors. The LMC is classified as a disrupted barred spiral galaxy of type SBm, the prototype of a class of Magellanic spirals. The galaxy is characterized by a prominent offset stellar bar located near its center with the dominant spiral arm to the north with two "embryonic" arms situated to the south. The metallicity in the LMC is known to be lower than in the solar neighborhood by a factor 2 or more. Based on 20 eclipsing binary systems, the distance to the LMC is measured to one percent precision to be 49.59±0.09 (statistical) ±0.54 (systematic) kpc.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan