NASA charts how stars evolve with a 160-megapixel image of neighboring galaxy

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NASA has been spying on our neighbors. With the help of Pennsylvania State University, it’s assembled a huge photo collage of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two of the closest galaxies to our native Milky Way. The images, gathered with NASA’s Swift telescope, create a picture that could let us track the formation of stars. But they’re also amazing in their own right: a 160-megapixel collage of the Large Magellanic Cloud was assembled using 2,200 images that cover the 14,000 light-year-wide galaxy, and a 57-megapixel one for the Small Magellanic Cloud used 656 shots. Both can be found at NASA’s site, with the largest TIFF image topping out at 457MB.

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The collages offer a highly detailed look at the Large and Small Magellanic…

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