We explore the structural and kinematic properties of the outskirts of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using data from the Magellanic Edges Survey (MagES) and Gaia EDR3. Even at large galactocentric radii (8° < R < 11°), we find the north-eastern LMC disc is relatively unperturbed: its kinematics are consistent with a disc of inclination ∼36.5° and line-of-nodes position angle ∼145° east of north. In contrast, fields at similar radii in the southern and western disc are significantly perturbed from equilibrium, with non-zero radial and vertical velocities, and distances significantly in front of the disc plane implied by our north-eastern fields. We compare our observations to simple dynamical models of the Magellanic or Milky Way system which describe the LMC as a collection of tracer particles within a rigid potential, and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) as a rigid Hernquist potential. A possible SMC crossing of the LMC disc plane ∼400 Myr ago, in combination with the LMC’s infall to the Milky Way potential, can qualitatively explain many of the perturbations in the outer disc. Additionally, we find the claw-like and arm-like structures south of the LMC have similar metallicities to the outer LMC disc ([Fe/H] ∼ −1), and aremore »
The highly-substructured outskirts of the Magellanic Clouds provide ideal locations for studying the complex interaction history between both Clouds and the Milky Way (MW). In this paper, we investigate the origin of a >20° long arm-like feature in the northern outskirts of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using data from the Magellanic Edges Survey (MagES) and Gaia EDR3. We find that the arm has a similar geometry and metallicity to the nearby outer LMC disc, indicating that it is comprised of perturbed disc material. Whilst the azimuthal velocity and velocity dispersions along the arm are consistent with those in the outer LMC, the in-plane radial velocity and out-of-plane vertical velocity are significantly perturbed from equilibrium disc kinematics. We compare these observations to a new suite of dynamical models of the Magellanic/MW system, which describe the LMC as a collection of tracer particles within a rigid potential, and the SMC as a rigid Hernquist potential. Our models indicate the tidal force of the MW during the LMC’s infall is likely responsible for the observed increasing out-of-plane velocity along the arm. Our models also suggest close LMC/SMC interactions within the past Gyr, particularly the SMC’s pericentric passage ∼150 Myr ago and a more »
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- p. 445-468
- Oxford University Press
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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