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The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. Like the Large Magellanic Cloud, it is located in the southern hemisphere of Earth's night sky.

Overview

The Small Magellanic Cloud is located just under 210 thousand light-years from Earth. With a diameter of thirteen-thousand light-years, it is a small galaxy. The SMC is an irregular type galaxy containing about 3.1 billion stars.

History

The Small Magellanic Cloud had been known to humans living on the southern hemisphere of Earth for thousands of years, such as the native Australians and southern traders. Knowledge of the galaxy's existence was not made in the northern hemisphere until sailor Ferdinand Magellan and his crew discovered the galaxy while at sea. During the Middle Ages, the Magellanic clouds were used by sailors for navigation. Early 16th century observations of the SMC described it as a mere cluster of stars. However, scientist John Frederick William Herschel cataloged the SMC as a tight group of 37 nebulae. The SMC was not categorized as a galaxy until Edwin Hubble discovered the existence of other galaxies, after which it was clear the SMC was indeed its own entity.

While humans had travelled to the Small Magellanic Cloud before the invention of the wormhole drive, these voyages were very short and never led to notable discoveries. After humanity began using wormholes, exploration of SMC drastically increased. In the fifty years since, many new worlds and solar systems have been charted, named, and are planned to be colonized in the near future.

Alien Homeworlds

The Small Magellanic Cloud is home to worlds with life, as is every galaxy in the Universe.

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