206,000 Light Years Away!

The Small Magellanic Cloud, NGC 292

This is my second recent shot of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The first one can be found > here <. It’s a naked eye object in the Southern constellation of Tucana, a dwarf galaxy and a companion to our own much larger Milky Way galaxy. The SMC has a diameter of about 7,000 light-years, has a few hundred million stars and is 17° from the South Celestial Pole.

The apparent field of view of the whole SMC covers an area of the sky of about 18sq° (much, much bigger than my telescope’s field of view).

My image captures about 8% of the SMC and the view peeps through the foreground stars of the Milky Way at the distant conglomeration of stars in the SMC and the vast red hydrogen nebulae, which is clearly visible, despite the distance of 206,000 light years from us!

Also visible in the image are: NGC 176, NGC 220, NGC 221, NGC231, NGC 241, NGC 242, NGC 248, NGC 249, NGC 256, NGC 261, NGC 265, NGC 267, NGC 269.

Image exposure:
152 minutes
Image field of view:
89.8 x 58.9 arcminutes
Image date:

For context I show the following very wide field DSLR image of the SMC which I took in 2012. It prominently shows the adjacent globular cluster 47-Tucanae (a mere 13,000 light years away).

2012-10-07 Small Magellanic Cloud 16x8sec ISO1600 f1.4 50mm Black & White Reversed (RP)


Thanks for reading 🙃

Cosmic Focus Observatory

Above us only sky….

Telescope:SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor; 840 mm f/l @ f/7.
Optics:Field flattener; Astronomik CLS CCD filter.
Mount:SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro.
Imaging camera:ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled.

Images © Roger Powell
I’m one of the founder members of Macarthur Astronomical Society and current webmaster.
Cosmic Focus Observatory Down Under @ 34° S

Acknowledgements to the Cartoonist.


  1. Nice, and here I clearly see the beady eyes of some type of horrific cosmic bug.

    I like the cartoon. I’d seen similar, like the argument of not wanting to put something bad into one’s body . . . as they sit there smoking and drinking beer.


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