The Large Magellanic Cloud: the largest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way
The Large Magellanic Cloud is the largest of all the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. It is around 158,200 light-years from Earth and is around 14,000 light-years in diameter. It is the third closest orbiting galaxy to the Milky Way galaxy. It contains 60 Globular Star Clusters, 700 Open Star Clusters and many nebulae. As the name suggests, the Large Magellanic Cloud was discovered by the famous Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. The Large Magellanic Cloud contains around 30 billion stars.
The Tarantula Nebula
The Tarantula Nebula is an extremely large star-forming region located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is the largest, the brightest and the most active star-forming region in the entire Local Group of galaxies. It is over 1800 light-years in diameter and contains the most massive stars known in the Universe. R136a1, a star in the R136 star cluster located at the heart of the Tarantula Nebula, is the most massive and the most luminous star known in the entire Universe. It has a mass of over 350 times the mass of the Sun and has a luminosity of 9 million times the luminosity of the Sun!