Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2003 January 04
Explanation: Stars of many types and colours are visible in this Hubble Space Telescope close-up of a starfield in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Over 10,000 stars are visible -- the brightest of which are giant stars. Were our Sun at the distance of these stars, about 170,000 light-years, it would hardly be discernable. By contrast, only a few thousand individual stars can be seen in the night sky with the unaided eye, and many of these lie within only a few hundred light-years. So typically, the light we see from nearby stars left during the age of our great-grand-parents, while light from LMC stars started its journey well before the dawn of recorded human history.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& NASA SEU Edu. Forum
& Michigan Tech. U.