The Large Magellanic Cloud or LMC is a companion satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy. It has a diameter of about 30,000 light years, contains more than 30 billion stars, and is about 150,000 light years distant. Together with the Small Magellanic Cloud, the LMC is visible to the naked eye as a faint, diffuse smudge of light from dark locations in the Southern Hemisphere. Although it is usually classified as an irregular galaxy, the LMC is sometimes thought to be a barred spiral galaxy. Both the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are named after the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan (1480?–1521), who first circumnavigated the globe in 1521.

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