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Title: OGLE-ing the Magellanic system: stellar populations in the Magellanic Bridge

We report the discovery of a young stellar bridge that forms a continuous connection between the Magellanic Clouds. This finding is based on number density maps for stellar populations found in data gathered by OGLE-IV that fully cover over 270 deg{sup 2} of the sky in the Magellanic Bridge area. This is the most extensive optical survey of this region to date. We find that the young population is present mainly in the western half of the MBR, which, together with the newly discovered young population in the eastern Bridge, form a continuous stream of stars connecting both galaxies along δ ∼ –73.5 deg. The young population distribution is clumped, with one of the major densities close to the SMC and the other fairly isolated and located approximately mid-way between the Clouds, which we call the OGLE island. These overdensities are well matched by H I surface density contours, although the newly found young population in the eastern Bridge is offset by ∼2 deg north from the highest H I density contour. We observe a continuity of red clump stars between the Magellanic Clouds which represent an intermediate-age population. Red clump stars are present mainly in the southern and centralmore » parts of the Magellanic Bridge, below its gaseous part, and their presence is reflected by a strong deviation from the radial density profiles of the two galaxies. This may indicate either a tidal stream of stars, or that the stellar halos of the two galaxies overlap. On the other hand, we do not observe such an overlap within an intermediate-age population represented by the top of the red giant branch and the asymptotic giant branch stars. We also see only minor mixing of the old populations of the Clouds in the southern part of the Bridge, represented by the lowest part of the red giant branch.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory, Aleje Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478 Warszawa (Poland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370252
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 795; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APPROXIMATIONS; ASYMPTOTIC SOLUTIONS; DENSITY; DISTRIBUTION; ISLANDS; MAGELLANIC CLOUDS; SKY; STARS; STREAMS; SURFACES