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Paper: The Interstellar Medium in the Small Magellanic Cloud: Results from MCELS
Volume: 491, Fifty Years of Wide Field Studies in the Southern Hemisphere: Resolved Stellar Populations in the Galactic Bulge and the Magellanic Clouds
Page: 343
Authors: Winkler, P. F.; Smith, R. C.; Points, S. D.; MCELS Team
Abstract: 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. The relative proximity and low extinction make the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds ideal venues for 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 using the Curtis Schmidt Telescope at CTIO to produce deep images in Hα, [S II] and [O III] lines, plus matched red and green continuum bands for star subtraction. The survey covers the central 8×8 degrees of the LMC and 4.5× 3.5 degrees of the SMC—most of the gaseous extent of both galaxies—at a resolution of 5″ or better. This enables us to identify and study structures on scales ranging from 1 pc to global. In this paper we 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. We also include some brief historical anecdotes.
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