F. Winkler Abstract

The Interstellar Medium in the Small Magellanic Cloud: Results from MCELS

P. F. Winkler (Middlebury College), R. C. Smith, S. D. Points, and the MCELS Team

The interstellar medium (ISM) provides the playing field where gas and dust are cycled into and out of stars through dynamic and complex interactions, including H II regions, planetary nebulae, supernovae and their remnants, superbubbles, and gigantic supershells.   Their relative proximity and low extinction make the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds ideal venues for the studying the ISM: its constituents, energetics, and interaction with the underlying stellar populations.

The Magellanic Cloud Emission-Line Survey (MCELS) surveyed both the LMC and SMC over six years from the Curtis Schmidt Telescope at CTIO to produce deep images in H-alpha, [S II] and [O III] lines, plus matched red and green continuum bands for star subtraction.  The survey covers the central 8x8 degrees of the LMC and 3.5x4.5 degrees of the SMC—most of the gaseous extent of both galaxies--at a resolution of 5 arcsec or better.  These enable us to identify and study structures on scales ranging from 1 pc to global.

We will highlight some of the results from MCELS, concentrating on the SMC. These include deep inventories of PNe and SNRs, analysis of H II regions and their optical depth, and extended structures on the scale of the entire galaxy.