Hubble captures stellar clockwork motion in nearby galaxy

This illustration shows NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope measurements of the rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), the nearest visible galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy. The LMC appears in the Southern sky, as seen in this ground-based photo. The image contrast was enhanced to highlight the LMC's faint outer regions, which are not visible to the naked eye. To illustrate the LMC's large apparent size on the sky, an image of the full moon is shown at bottom right. A horizon has been added for perspective.

The red arrows represent the highest-quality Hubble measurements of the motion of the LMC's stars to show how this galaxy rotates. Each arrow reveals the predicted motion over the next 7 million years. The motion of the stars measured by Hubble over a few years' time are a million times smaller than the length of each arrow. The LMC completes a rotation every 250 million years.


Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Feild and Z. Levay (STScI), Y. Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory), and R. van der Marel (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, R. van der Marel (STScI), and N. Kallivayalil (University of Virginia)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:19 February 2014, 09:10
Size:3000 x 2400 px

About the Object

Name:Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Irregular

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
523.5 KB


Also see our

Accelerated by CDN77