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Magellan British & World English

An American space probe launched in 1989 to map the surface of Venus, using radar to penetrate the dense cloud cover. The probe was deliberately burned up in Venus’s atmosphere in 1994

Magellan New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

, Ferdinand (c.1480–1521), Portuguese explorer

Magellan, Ferdinand British & World English

(Circa 1480–1521), Portuguese explorer; Portuguese name Fernão Magalhães. In 1519 he sailed from Spain, rounding South America through the strait which now bears his name, and reached the Philippines in 1521. He was killed in a skirmish on Cebu; the survivors sailed back to Spain round Africa, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe (1522)

Magellan, Strait of British & World English

A passage separating Tierra del Fuego and other islands from mainland South America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Magellan in Magellanic Clouds British & World English

Two diffuse luminous patches in the southern sky, now known to be small irregular galaxies that are the closest to our own. The Large Magellanic Cloud is about 169,000 light years away and the Small Magellanic Cloud is about 210,000 light years


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