Observations of the interstellar medium in the Magellanic Bridge.

N. Lehner, K.R. Sembach, Philip Dufton, W.R.J. Rolleston, Francis Keenan

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24 Citations (Scopus)


We present ultraviolet and optical spectra of DI 1388, a young star in the Magellanic Bridge, a region of gas between the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds. The data have signal-to-noise ratios of 20-45 and a spectral resolution of 6.5 km s-1. Interstellar absorption by the Magellanic Bridge at vLSR~200 km s-1 is visible in the lines of C I, C II, C II*, C IV, N I, O I, Al II, Si II, Si III, Si IV, S II, Ca II, Fe II, and Ni II. The relative gas-phase abundances of C II, N I, O I, Al II, Si II, Fe II, and Ni II with respect to S II are similar to those found in Galactic halo clouds, despite a significantly lower metallicity in the Magellanic Bridge. The higher ionization species in the cloud have a column density ratio N(C+3)/N(Si+3)~1.9, similar to that inferred for collisionally ionized Galactic cloud interfaces at temperatures ~105 K. We identify substructure in the stronger interstellar lines, with a broad component (FWHM~20 km s-1) at ~179 km s-1 and a sharp component (FWHM~11 km s-1) at 198 km s-1. The abundance analysis for these clouds indicates that the feature at 198 km s-1 consists of a low electron density, mainly neutral gas that may be associated with an interface responsible for the highly ionized gas. The 179 km s-1 cloud consists of warmer, lower density gas that is partially ionized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-793
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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