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The Large Magellanic above Easter Island

By: Stephane Guisard

 

Region: Australia and Pacific

Site: Easter Island - Chile

Date: September 2009

Its a bizarre experience to stand besides a giant Moais in a moonlit night of the Easter Island, isolated in the Pacific Ocean. At the upper edge of the image note our Galactic neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Some 160,000 light years away it is a dwarf galaxy only few percent as massive as the Milky Way but still it consists of over 10 billion times the mass of our Sun. Closer to the horizon just above the clouds is Canopus, the second brightest star of our night-time, much closer than a neighboring galaxy and only 300 light years away in our home Milky Way. As pictured in this image, Easter Island's large statues, or locally called Moais, remained from 13th to 15th century. They are monolithic human figures carved from rock on this Polynesian island. Almost all moais have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moais are chiefly the 'living faces' of deified ancestors. Stephane Guisard - Astrosurf.com/sguisard

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