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Seen from the southern hemisphere, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are bright irregular dwarf galaxies, satellites to our Milky Way galaxy. They lie at a distance of 160 000 and 200 000 light-years respectively, and are named after the Portuguese explorer Fernão de Magalhães, who first recorded them on his voyage of circumnavigation in 1519–1522.

CREDIT: ESO/S. Brunier.