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Nature volume 114, page 100 (19 July 1924) | Download Citation



THE LESSER MAGELLANIC CLOUD.—There have already been several estimates published of the distance of this object. Prof. Harlow Shapley (Harv. Coll. Obs., Circ. No. 255) revises these in the light of new photographic determinations of the magnitudes and periods of the numerous Cepheid variables in the Cloud. The results point very consistently to a distance of 31 kiloparsecs or 100,000 light-years. He notes that Dr. R. E. Wilson's researches on the proper motions of galactic Cepheids tend to make the estimated distances of clusters and the Magellanic Clouds smaller by 20 or 30 per cent.; but that this reduction may be cancelled if Kapteyn's suggestion of systematic errors in the accepted proper motions in declination should be correct. He proposes, therefore, to postpone any correction till the question is settled.

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