Magellanic Clouds, Milky Way and Zodiacal Light

October 25, 2014


Summary Authors: Fabrice Conques; Jim Foster
Featured above are the glows of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (at right), the Milky Way (at right center) and the zodiacal light (left) as observed from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. This panorama of 14 photos was taken on November 9, 2013. The Magellanic Clouds are satellite galaxies to the Milky Way. At a distance of approximately 160,000 light years, the larger cloud (LMC) is about 40,000 light years closer to us than the smaller cloud (SMC). Despite these enormous distances, they're visible with the naked eye throughout the entire Southern Hemisphere and from low latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.