The Magellanic Clouds are two of the Milky Way's closest neighboring galaxies.
Visible only in the southern hemisphere, these small, "irregular" galaxies are
named for the explorer Magellan,
who brought them to the attention of Europeans in 1519.
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has a distinct stellar bar; it contains
many interesting objects,
including giant HII regions, planetary nebulae, and of course stars, that can be
viewed in exquisite detail because this galaxy is so nearby.
A detailed study of the LMC is now being carried out by CfA astronomers
using the Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the SAGE project.
In addition, CfA astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope
to measure the orbits of both the LMC and the Small Magellanic
Cloud (SMC), throwing new light on their relationship to the Milky Way.
The Proper Motion of the Large Magellanic Cloud using HST
Is the SMC Bound to the LMC? The Hubble Space Telescope Proper Motion of the SMC .pdf
Spitzer Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud: Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution (SAGE). I. Overview and Initial Results .pdf
SAGE (Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution) Homepage