Image of Alice in Wonderland at the Mad Hatter's tea party You are cordially invited to afternoon tea and biscuits wine and chocolate

Astronomy Tea Talks at Caltech

Mondays, Hameetman auditorium (Cahill)
Tea:  4.00pm
Talk: 4.15pm

Organized by:

2010 - 2011 season:
15 Nov 2010 Gurtina Besla (Harvard CfA)

'Simulations of the Magellanic Stream in a First Infall Scenario'

Recent high precision proper motions from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) suggest that the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC, respectively) are either on their first passage or on an eccentric long period (>6 Gyr) orbit about the Milky Way (MW). This differs markedly from the canonical picture in which the Clouds travel on a quasi-periodic orbit about the MW (period of ~2 Gyr). Without a short period orbit about the MW, the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a young (1-2 Gyr old) coherent stream of HI gas that trails the Clouds ~150 degrees across the sky, can no longer be attributed to stripping by MW tides and/or ram pressure stripping by MW halo gas. We propose an alternative formation mechanism in which material is removed by LMC tides acting on the SMC before the system is accreted by the MW. We demonstrate the feasibility and generality of this scenario using an N-body/SPH simulation with cosmologically motivated initial conditions constrained by the observations. Under these conditions we demonstrate that it is possible to explain the origin of the Magellanic Stream in a first infall scenario. This picture is generically applicable to any gas-rich dwarf galaxy pair infalling towards a massive host or interacting in isolation.
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Last modified on 20th Jul 2011 by Dominik A. Riechers.  

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