The Southern Hemisphere offers some unique objects not visible from the Northern Hemisphere such as the two closest visible galaxies to our own Milky Way, namely the Large and the Small Magellanic Cloud. The mariner Ferdinand Magellan first described these as two clouds that rose higher above the horizon each night as he sailed further south. We now know that they are not clouds or nebulae but are in fact two satellite galaxies gravitationally bound to our galaxy and that they are being tidally disrupted and will eventually be absorbed by the Milky Way. They are currently at a distance of 180 000 and 210 000 light years away, respectively. The facts are fascinating and mind-boggling. But, one can simply enjoy the absolute brilliance of a sky uninterrupted by any light other than your own candle.

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