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14th of March 2015
The Magellanic Stream
by Bärbel Koribalski (CASS)
Atomic neutral hydrogen gas in and around galaxies is detected via the 21-cm spectral line of hydrogen. The Magellanic System is a great example where neutral hydrogen (HI) is found in both the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a bridge between the two neighbouring galaxies as well as an extended stream - the Magellanic Stream - tracing their gravitational interactions with the Milky Way. The few bright dots in the middle of the image are hydrogen emission from more distant galaxies in the Sculptor Group. The data for this study (published in Nature by Mary Putman et al.) are from the HI Parkes All Sky Survey (HIPASS), which was carried out over several years with the 21-cm multibeam receiver on the 64-m Parkes Telescope. The 13 horns of the innovative multibeam receiver system allowed for a survey speed 13 times faster than previously possible. In the near future, phased array feeds will provide even larger field of views and consequently faster survey speeds.

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