The Magellanic clouds, two satellite galaxies of the Milky Way consisting of luminous clouds formed by vast numbers of nebulae and star clusters and visible in the southern hemisphere.See also Mons Mensae.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.II. 208Charles’ wain..was here sunk below the horizon, and the Cape clouds, as two dark spots in the firmament are called, seemed to be a similar token to the inhabitants here.
1815J. CampbellTrav. in S. Afr. 41One of the three perpetual clouds called by seamen The Cape Clouds, appeared black, but I was satisfied that it is only a part of the Via Lactea, or Milky Way.
1880A. GiberneSun, Moon & South 269The famous Magellanic Clouds in the southern heavens. Sometimes they are called the Cape Clouds.
1921H.J. Mandelbrotetr. ofO.F. Mentzel’s Descr. of Cape of G.H.I. 17His object was merely to observe the two so-called Cape clouds above the Table Mountain..two small stars which, like the Milky Way, appeared to be made up of numerous nebulous stars.
1948H.V. MortonIn Search of S. Afr. 69‘What a number of words the Cape has prefixed...How many do you think there are?’...‘Cape Clouds,’ said the Doctor firmly. ‘Yes,’ said Professor B., ‘the Magellan Clouds’.
1986J. & I. Rudnertr. ofCarl Peter Thunberg 1772–5 326The Magellanic Clouds, though these are not dark but luminous...They figure as Le Grand Nuage and Le Petit Nuage in the star map in Le Caille 1763. Three Cape Clouds, one of them black [Coalsack] are mentioned by Campbell.
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