Home » News & Blogs » Astronomers Discover Magnetic Bridge Between Magellanic Clouds
Bookmark and Share
Sky and Telescope

Astronomers Discover Magnetic Bridge Between Magellanic Clouds

19 May 2017, 15:42 UTC
Astronomers Discover Magnetic Bridge Between Magellanic Clouds
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A magnetic field appears to span the space between the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two dwarf galaxies being consumed by our Milky Way Galaxy.
For stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s easy to forget that the Milky Way is actively consuming two dwarf galaxies. Those in the Southern Hemisphere have a front row seat to watch our galaxy wreak havoc on the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC). But there’s more to the story — the dwarfs are not only gravitationally interacting with the Milky Way but with each other as well.
The gravitational effects evident from these interactions can tell us a lot about the history and evolution of these galaxies as well as the environments surrounding them, but gravity isn’t the only force at work here. Magnetic fields play a role as well, one astronomers are still trying to puzzle out. Now, for the first time, researchers using the Australia Telescope Compact Array radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia, have detected a magnetic field in the space between the Magellanic Clouds. Called the Magellanic Bridge, this structure is a 75,000 light-year long filament of gas and dust that stretches from the LMC to ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod