Galaxies: Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)
Cluster: Alpha Centauri

Location: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (SPACE Lodge)
Date: 2018-04-08
Time: 9:45 PM - 11:45 PM EST
Instrument: Visual
Transparency: Very Good (4)
Seeing: Very Good (4)

Very warm with no breeze or clouds.

Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) / PGC 17223 / Nubecula Major
Time: 9:45 PM - 11:45 PM EST 

Instrument: Visual
S&T Chart Reference: 20, 30
We had just arrived in Atacama then went for dinner. Upon return to the Lodge, we opened our car doors to be greeted by the southern Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud. So much larger than envisioned! This was our first “OH, WOW!” It literally kept me planted beside the car for a few seconds as I attempted to take it all in. "Large" as a descriptor doesn't do the LMC justice. It was so much larger than the photos suggest.

The night sky was so expansive with no interference from trees, buildings, or clouds. So much to explore! It was so different from home. Low humidity meant we didn't have to use warmers for telescope lenses nor to protect any books or papers we were using. Virtually no wind at night but cold, nonetheless. Dave led us to discover the Alpha Centauri Globular cluster. Another "Oh, WOW!" moment.

Bedtime at 12:30 AM.

NOTE: The LMC and SMC were named after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan who brought this to European knowledge in 1519.

Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) / Nubecula Minor
Time: 9:45 PM - 11:45 PM EST 
Instrument: Visual
S&T Chart Reference: 10
Having been WOWed by the LMC upon our arrival back at the lodge, the SMC was the second "Oh, WOW!" in a very short time span. One cannot help but be in awe of such galactic entities.

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