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The Large (left) and Small (right) Magellanic Clouds. Photos: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/SMASH

The depths of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way — can be seen in new photos taken by a dark energy camera.

Why it matters: The images could reveal never-before-known details about our galactic neighbors — and insights into how other dwarf galaxies evolve.

Details: The Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History's (SMASH), the most extensive study so far of the clouds, released the images this week.

  • "These satellite galaxies have been studied for decades, but SMASH is being used to map out their structure over their full, enormous extent and help solve the mystery of their formation," David Nidever, SMASH's principal investigator, said in a statement.
  • The full SMASH survey took about 50 nights of observatory time and covers an area 2,400 times larger than the full Moon, according to a statement from NOIRLab, an astronomy organization operated by the National Science Foundation.
  • The images were taken by the Dark Energy Camera in Chile which has a wide field of view that allowed the researchers to get a good look at the relatively nearby galaxies.

1 fun thing: The data gathered by SMASH has already revealed that the two clouds collided with one another in the past, setting off a burst of star formation.

Go deeper

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 32 mins ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.

53 mins ago - Technology

Facebook stock whipsaws amid ad targeting concerns

Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's stock showed volatility in after-hours trading Wednesday, despite adding users and beating on top and bottom lines.

Why it matters: Investors seem spooked by proposed changes to user data collection by Apple that would impact Facebook's ad business, in addition to perennial threats of new federal privacy regulations.