Astrophysics (index)

Large Magellanic Cloud

(irregular satellite galaxy of the Milky Way)

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a Satellite Galaxy orbiting the Milky Way, about 160,000 light-years away. It is the third closest Galaxy, after the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy and Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy. Its mass is about 10 billion solar masses, about 1/100 as massive as the Milky Way. Its diameter is 14,000 light-years and it the fourth largest galaxy in the Local Group after Andromeda, the Milky Way, and the Triangulum Galaxy.

It was formerly classified as irregular, but is currently considered a single-armed Spiral Galaxy and a Galaxy Classification has been invented for its morphology: Magellanic Spiral Galaxy ("Magellanic" indicated by an appended lower-case "m").

Interaction with the Milky Way and the Small Magellanic Cloud appear to contribute to its irregularity. A stream of gas exists between it and the Small Magellanic Cloud which is a Star-Forming Region.


  • Dorado/Mensa - constellation.
  • 05h23m34.5s - Right Ascension.
  • -69deg45m22s - Declination.
  • 157,000 ly - distance.
  • SB(s)m - type.
  • 10deg - apparent dimension.

(galaxy,Local Group,spiral)
/Lookback Years
~048kpc157klyLarge Magellanic Cloud

Referenced by:
Dwarf Galaxy
Galaxy Classification
Local Group (LG)
NGC 1866
Satellite Galaxy
SN 1987A (1987A)
Spiral Galaxy