Large Magellanic Cloud

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© ESO.

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an irregularly shaped dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way, and one of the first galaxies outside our own to be studied by astronomers. Cepheid variable stars in the LMC were calibrated as standard candles by Henrietta Swan Leavitt, laying the essential groundwork for Hubble's discovery of the expanding universe. (Unit: 11)