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Small Magellanic Cloud

The Small Magellanic Cloud is an irregular type galaxy in constellations Tucana & Hydrus. The galaxy is small, irregular, resides in two different constellations and is fairly close to our own Milky Way.


The Small Magellanic Cloud is also known as SMC, and due to it’s size and small enough diameter the galaxy is considered a dwarf galaxy. As the galaxy is close enough to the Milky Way, the galaxy is actually visible to the naked eye.

The SMC is a member of the local group of galaxies and is paired with the LMC which is the larger galaxy. The LMC is the Large Magellanic Loud. Both galaxies were observed in the 16th century by the famous Dutch explorer Ferdinand Magellan

In the 19th century, the famous astronomer John Frederick William Herschel studied and made some breakthrough observations on the SMC.


Key Data

Size: 7,000 light years.

Star Population: 300 million + 

Distance from Earth: 200,00 light years.

Galaxy Type: Irregular.  

Constellation: Tucana, Hydrus.  


Kids Fun Facts Corner

# 1. The Small Magellanic Cloud resides in two different constellations. Tucana & Hydrus.  

# 2. The Small Magellanic Cloud is part of the local group of galaxies.

# 3. The is a bridge of gas that connects the Small Magellanic Cloud & the Large Magellanic Cloud.  


Q&A Corner

Q. What group of galaxies is The Small Magellanic Cloud in?

Q. What is the size of The Small Magellanic Cloud?

Q. What type of galaxy is The Small Magellanic Cloud?

Q. What constellation(s) is The Small Magellanic Cloud in? 

Q. What is the distance of The Small Magellanic Cloud from Earth?

Download questions about The Small Magellanic Cloud here: The Small Magellanic Cloud  (answer are on this page)

For further reading and more information on The Small Magellanic Cloud visit

Key Vocabulary Galaxy. Constellation. Light Years. Merger. Formation


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