Volume 379, Number 3, December I 2001
|Page(s)||864 - 869|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||15 December 2001|
The recent structural evolution of the SMC
Section of Astrophysics Astronomy & Mechanics, Department of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece
2 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
3 Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Observatory of Athens, PO Box 20048, 11810 Athens, Greece
Corresponding author: F. Maragoudaki, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 October 2001
We investigate the spatial distribution of stars of different ages towards the main body of the SMC, in an attempt to further understand the nature of the complex structure of the SMC. The old stellar population of the galaxy shows a rather regular and smooth distribution which is typical for a spheroidal body. On the contrary, the distribution of the younger stellar component is highly asymmetric and irregular giving evidence for the severe impact of the SMC during its close encounter with the LMC some 0.2 to 0.4 Gyr ago. In a series of isodensity contour maps of stars within selected ages, the recent structural evolution of the SMC is presented.
Key words: galaxies: Magellanic Clouds / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: structure
© ESO, 2001
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