The Magellanic Stream trails behind the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds – two bright shapes visible below the Milky Way’s galactic disk, to the right. The stuff ahead of the Clouds is called the Leading Arm. The pink is false color – the Stream and Arm are only visible in radio wavelengths. Credit: Nidever et al.
Most people agree that the Magellanic Clouds are in orbit around the Milky Way. What’s not clear is whether it is a bound orbit or just a temporary ‘ships passing in the night’ arrangement. Something which could clarify the relationship is the Magellanic Stream, a 600,000 light year long string of gas dragged through and beyond the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. (…) Read the rest of Astronomy Without A Telescope – Situation Cloudy (700 words)
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(C) Steve Nerlich for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post
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