The Magellanic Clouds

Published: Sept. 18, 2017, 10:23 p.m.

Did you know that our Milky Way galaxy has dwarf galaxies orbiting it? They're the two magellanic clouds, named after Ferdinand Magellan, and can be seen at night with the naked eye from the southern hemisphere.

The two Magellanic Clouds among many many stars

The Andromeda galaxy can also be seen with an unaided eye. It appears as just a blur, but the light that composes that blur has traveled for over 2.5 million years. Light does not travel infinitely fast, instead it takes time for light to travel across the unimaginable volume of outer space between our Milky Way galaxy and Andromeda. The picture we see of Andromeda now is what Andromeda actually looked like 2.5 million years ago, just after humans evolved. The further you look out into space, the longer you look back into time. Isn't that a trip?


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