Large Magellanic Cloud II

This is the Swift LMC mosaic at full resolution. Nearly a million ultraviolet sources appear in this mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud, which was assembled from 2,200 images taken by the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope aboard NASA's Swift satellite. The 160-megapixel image required a cumulative exposure of 5.4 days. The image includes light from 1,600 to 3,300 angstroms -- UV wavelengths largely blocked by Earth's atmosphere -- and has an angular resolution of 2.5 arcseconds. Viewing in the ultraviolet allows astronomers to suppress the light of normal stars like the sun, which are not very bright at these higher energies, and provides a clearer picture of the hottest stars and star-formation regions. The LMC is about 14,000 light-years across. The image is oriented with north at top.

Credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler (Goddard) and M. Siegel (Penn State)