Small Magellanic Cloud
Small Magellanic Cloud and 47 Tucanae
(KMW, SMC, NGC 292)

Like its sister, the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud as well is a galaxy, the second closest to our earth. It is situated in the constellation »Water Serpen« (Hydrus) in a distance of about 200 000 light-years and is visible with the naked eye. Its true beauty though can only be revealed with a telescope.

Other than the bigger cloud, that contains many old, red stars, the Small Magellanic Cloud consists of many young, blue stars. It is believed that it is actually formed out of two combining galaxies. To measure its real size therefore is very difficult, but tests have proven that the cloud is far deeper than assumed.

The reason for the fusion of the two galaxies and the deformation of the object could be a collision with the Large Magellanic Cloud in the past and the neighbourhood to our much larger Milky Way. An indication for that assumption is the Magellanic Stream, a stream of gas caused by gravitation forces that connects these three galaxies.

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