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Sclak España
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UW-Madison Astronomy
The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. They are surrounded by a high-velocity gaseous structure called the Magellanic Stream, which consists of gas stripped from both clouds. So far, simulations have been unable to reconcile observations with a complete picture of how the stream was formed. In this week's Nature issue, numerical simulations carried out at the Astronomy Department by Scott Lucchini with Elena D'Onghia, present a model that potentially resolves this conundrum. By embedding the Large Magellanic Cloud in a corona of ionized gas, the researchers were able to simulate the Magellanic Stream accurately and explain its structure. Ellen Zweibel and Chad Bustard are also co-authors of the article. The cover image shows the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds as they would appear if the gas around them was visible to the naked eye. Image: Scott Lucchini (simulation)/Colin Legg (background).

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