Small Magellanic Cloud

Alternative definitions (1), class: vernacular (0)
Term: Small Magellanic Cloud

An irregular galaxy, the smaller of the two Magellanic Clouds that are satellites of our own Galaxy, lying in the southern constellation Tucana about 20 degrees from the south celestial pole. The SMC covers an area roughly 3 by 5 degrees in dimension and has an overall visual magnitude about +2.7. The SMC is about 10,000 light-years in diameter and some 210,000 light-years (61 kpc) away. It has a visible mass of about 1/50-th that of our Galaxy and 1/10-th of that of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Its heavy element content is about a factor 5 smaller than that of the Galaxy. The SMC is the third-nearest external galaxy after the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy and the LMC.

Created 2023.04.16
Last Modified 2023.04.16
Contributed by Ryan McGranaghan