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News Release Archive:

News Release 195 of 296

December 2, 1999 01:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1999-44

Hubble Telescope Reveals Swarm of Glittering Stars in Nearby Galaxy

A Hubble Heritage Release

December 2, 1999: Peering at a small area within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), the Hubble telescope has provided the deepest color picture ever obtained in this satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. More than 10,000 stars can be seen in this photo, covering a region about 130 light-years wide. The LMC is a small companion galaxy of the Milky Way, visible only from Earth's southern hemisphere. It attracts the attention of modern-day astronomers because, at a distance of only 168,000 light-years, it is one of the nearest galaxies.


Q & A: Understanding the Discovery

  1. 1. What does Hubble see?


  2. The faintest stars in this picture are some 100 million times dimmer than the human eye can see. Our Sun, if located in the LMC, would be one of the faintest stars in the photograph, indistinguishable from the swarm of other similar stars. Hubble also captures sheets of glowing gas and dark patches of interstellar dust silhouetted against the stars and gas behind them.

 
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Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)