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Astrophysics/How big would Milky Way appear in LMC?


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The image  
So suppose there is a civilization living on a planet in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and when they look up the sky they naturally see our Milky Way galaxy. So how big would you say Milky Way would appear on their skies?

I have found an image of someone's idea of what Milky Way would look like for an alien living in the Magellanic Clouds.

So going by your opinion, does the picture seem about right? Or would our galaxy appear even larger or maybe a bit smaller?


Some simple calculations can shed some light.  

We know the Andromeda galaxy is roughly 2x the size of the Milky Way (220 kLy vs. 110 kLY) . Also, in our skies (at 2.5 million LY, it subtends about 1.6 deg by 0.8 deg, at this distance)

The LMC is at 163,000 LY from the (smaller) Milky Way or about 15 x nearer than Andromeda is to us.

This means the Milky Way in the skies of the LMC observer would be roughly:

12 deg x 6.7 degrees (expanding Andromeda dimensions by the factor 15, then dividing by 2)

That is, roughly the expanse of 24 full Moons (1/2 deg dia.)  lined up end to end by 13.

Given these factors and numbers the image looks about right.


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Philip A. Stahl


I specialize in stellar and solar astrophysics. Can answer questions pertaining to these areas, including: stellar structure and evolution, HR diagrams, binary systems, collapsars (black holes, neutron stars) stellar atmospheres and the spectroscopic analysis of stars as well as the magnetohydrodynamics of sunspots and solar flares. Sorry No homework problems done or research projects! I will provide hints on solutions. No nonsense questions accepted, i.e. pertaining to astrology, or 'UFOs' or overly speculative questions: 'traveling through or near black holes, worm holes, time travel etc. Absolutely NO questions based on the twaddle at this Canadian site: purporting to show a "new physics". Do not waste my time or yours by wasting bandwidith with reference to such bunkum.


Have constructed computerized stellar models; MHD research. Gave workshops in astrophysics (stellar spectroscopy, analysis) at Harry Bayley Observatory, Barbados. More than twenty years spent in solar physics research, including discovery of SID flares. Developed first ever consistent magnetic arcade model for solar flares incorporating energy dissipation and accumulation. Developed first ever loop-based solar flare model using double layers and incorporating cavity resonators. (Paper presented at Joint AGU/AAS Meeting in Baltimore, MD, May 1994)

American Astronomical Society (Solar physics and Dynamical astronomy divisions), American Geophysical Union, American Mathematical Society, Intertel.

Papers appearing in Solar Physics, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Journal of the Barbados Astronomical Society, Meudon Solar Flare Proceedings (Meudon, France). Books: 'Fundamentals of Solar Physics', 'Selected Analyses in Solar Flare Plasma Dynamics', 'Physics Notes for Advanced Level', 'Astronomy & Astrophysics: Notes, Problems and Solutions', 'Modern Physics: Notes, Problems and Solutions'

B.A. degree in Astronomy; M.Phil. degree in Physics - specializing in solar physics.

Awards and Honors
Postgraduate research award- Barbados government; Studentship Award in Solar Physics - American Astronomical Society. Barbados Astronomical Society award for service (1977-91) as Journal editor.

Past/Present Clients
Caribbean Examinations Council (as advisor, examiner), Barbados Astronomical Society (as Journal Editor 1977-91), Trinidad & Tobago Astronomical Society (as consultant on courses, methods of instruction, and guest speaker).

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