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Timewaste-o-Vision. IN GLORIOUS. Nubecula Major. Adric Riedel. Outline. Discovery Its place in the Local Group The LMC as a whole Gas Stars Supernovae. History of the LMC. Discovered even earlier by everyone who lived in the southern hemisphere.

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Nubecula major



Nubecula Major

Adric Riedel


  • Discovery

  • Its place in the Local Group

  • The LMC as a whole

  • Gas

  • Stars

  • Supernovae

History of the lmc
History of the LMC

Discovered even earlier by everyone who lived in the southern hemisphere

Discovered in 1519 by Ferdinand Magellan

Discovered in 1503 by Amerigo Vespucci

Discovered in 964 by Abd-Al-Rahman Al Sufi

Basic facts
Basic Facts

  • 50 kpc distant in the constellation Dorado

  • Tidal radius 15 ± 4.5 kpc (van der Marel et al. 2002, ApJ 124, 2639)

  • Actual distance is not known (despite supernova studies) because the LMC is thick.

Wei-Hao Wang (IfA, U. Hawaii)

Basic facts1
Basic Facts

Basic facts2
Basic Facts

  • Third closest galaxy to the Milky Way (thus discovered)

Van den Bergh, 2000 PASP 112, 170

Discovery dates from

Basic facts3
Basic Facts

  • Fourth Largest Galaxy in the Local group

I have no


Things we can do with the lmc
Things we can do with the LMC

  • Calibrate Distance scales (Hubble 1925, Obs, 48, 139H )

  • Find the age of the universe

  • Study stellar evolution from a top down perspective

  • Find Dark Matter via microlensing

  • Constrain the size of the Milky Way dark halo

  • Study supernova evolution

  • Study Giant Molecular Clouds

  • Examine ISM from an external perspective

  • Give seminar presentations

  • Develop galaxy formation models

  • Develop galactic chemical evolution models

  • Enlarge sample sizes of rare stars


  • Often considered irregular

  • Prototype SBm barred Magellanic Type spiral

“Mediocre Design”

The brothers magellanic
The Brothers Magellanic

  • The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are interacting with each other.

  • Bekki et al. (2004 ApJL, 610, L93) suggest they may be colliding

  • The Magellanic stream contains 630×106 Msun of gas.(Brüns et al. 2005 A&A, 432, 45)

The Parkes HI telescope

The eventual fate of the lmc
The Eventual Fate of the LMC

  • Slowly spiraling into Milky Way

  • According to Mastropietro et al. (2005, MNRAS 363, 509) the LMC has lost its dark matter halo already

Mastropietro et al. 2005, MNRAS 363, 509

The eventual fate of the lmc1
The Eventual fate of the LMC

  • Mastropietro et al. assume the LMC started as a small spiral galaxy

  • ‘Bar’ forms naturally from the tidal forces and gas/halo ram pressure

Mastropietro et al. 2005, MNRAS 363, 509

The eventual fate of the lmc2
The Eventual Fate of the LMC

  • LMC eventually breaks up and merges with our galaxy

  • This simulation intentionally ignores SMC

  • Simulation ends before the potential collision with Andromeda 3-4 Gyr from now

Mastropietro et al. 2005, MNRAS 363, 509

The lmc ism

  • The LMC still has plenty of gas

  • May have been a ‘dark galaxy’ until relatively recently- van den Bergh (2000 PASP 112, 529) found few clusters between 4 and 10 Gyr old (alsoBekki et al. 2004 ApJL, 610, L93)

DEM L 130a (LMC N119)

A spiral nebula

ESO 2.2m/WFI

C. Smith, S. Points, the MCELS Team


The lmc ism1

The lmc ism2

Grocholski et al. 2006 AJ 132, 1630

The lmc ism3

Grocholski et al. 2006 AJ 132, 1630

Stars in the lmc
Stars in the LMC

  • Difficult to date

  • The LMC is uniformly low metallicity, so Pop I and Pop II are irrelevant

  • Two distinct epochs

The SN1987a OB association

Blue= >6Msun, Green=2-6Msun, Red=<2Msun

30 doradus tarantula nebula
30 Doradus (Tarantula Nebula)

280 parsecs

9 parsecs

Orion Nebula (M42)

NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA)

30 doradus king of the star forming regions

Hodge 301


30 Doradus: King of the Star Forming Regions

6x104 Msun(Townsley et al 2006, AJ 131, 2140)

HST, John Trauger (JPL), James Westphal (Caltech), Nolan Walborn (STScl), Rodolfo Barba' (La Plata Observatory), NASA


Anglo-Australian Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

How we can see superbubbles
How we can see Superbubbles

  • Holes in HI, shells of HII (Purple is Hα, Cyan is OIII.)

350 ly

Superbubble N44

Gemini Observatory GMOS Image/Travis Rector - University of Alaska Anchorage

Nubecula major

SN 1987a (1997)

Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA)

SN 1987a (2006)

NASA, ESA, P. Challis & R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)