The VISCACHA survey. III. Star clusters counterpart of the Magellanic Bridge and Counter-Bridge in 8D
Context. The interactions between the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds (SMC and LMC) created the Magellanic Bridge; a stream of gas and stars pulled out of the SMC towards the LMC about 150 Myr ago. The tidal counterpart of this structure, which should include a trailing arm, has been predicted by models but no compelling observational evidence has confirmed the Counter-Bridge so far.
Aims: The main goal of this work is to find the stellar counterpart of the Magellanic Bridge and Counter-Bridge. We use star clusters in the SMC outskirts as they provide a 6D phase-space vector, age, and metallicity which help characterise the outskirts of the SMC.
Methods: Distances, ages, and photometric metallicities were derived from fitting isochrones to the colour-magnitude diagrams from the VISCACHA survey. Radial velocities and spectroscopic metallicities were derived from the spectroscopic follow-up using GMOS in the CaII triplet region.
Results: Among the seven clusters analysed in this work, five belong to the Magellanic Bridge, one belongs to the Counter-Bridge, and the other belongs to the transition region.
Conclusions: The existence of the tidal counterpart of the Magellanic Bridge is evidenced by star clusters. The stellar component of the Magellanic Bridge and Counter-Bridge are confirmed in the SMC outskirts. These results are an important constraint for models that seek to reconstruct the history of the orbit and interactions between the LMC and SMC as well as constrain their future interaction including with the Milky Way.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- March 2021
- Magellanic Clouds;
- galaxies: star clusters: general;
- galaxies: evolution;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 10 pages, 7 figures. Astronomy and Astrophysics Letter, accepted. For associated video file (fig.A.4), see https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mSx3z6vDjHUneEeVq1i-MHwXZ1O0pZ-f