157,000 light-years

Another of our neighbours in the Local Group, the Large Magellanic Cloud, is an irregular galaxy that orbits our own. It is visible in the southern sky as a pale cloud-like object, like an extension of the Milky Way itself. This infrared image from the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope reveals huge swathes of hot gas and dust, showing that the Large Magellanic Cloud is a hotbed of star formation.

Credit: Image made in infrared light by M. Meixner for NASA / JPL-Caltech and the SAGE Legacy Team.

Download High Res Tif and Caption (22.9 MB)