AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 65. FUSE Only
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[65.06] FUSE Observations of the Magellanic Bridge

N. Lehner (Johns Hopkins University)

We report on Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) observations of sightlines toward two early-type stars in the Magellanic Bridge: DI1388 (V=14.39), which is situated approximately midway between the Small and Large Magellanic Cloud; and DGIK975 (V=15.05), which lies at the western end of the Bridge near the Large Magellanic Cloud halo. The data have typical signal-to-noise ratios in the LiF channel of ~20 for DI1388 and ~10 for DGIK975 for a spectral resolution of about 15,000. Along these sightlines, gas in the Magellanic Bridge is detected in absorption in the following species: C II, N I, N II, O I, O VI, Fe II, and Fe III. Weak H2 features are also observed in the spectra of DI1388; this is the first detection of molecular clouds in the Magellanic Bridge. These observations indicate very complex multi gas-phases and are discussed in conjunction with previous HST/STIS observations of the Magellanic Bridge (Lehner et al. 2001, ApJ 551, 781). Since the Magellanic Bridge has a metallicity of Z \approx 0.08 Z\odot, it provides a very good laboratory to investigate not only interstellar gas, but also star formation in very low metallicity regions, and can therefore be used as a template for understanding low metallicity gas in high-redshift galaxies.

This work is based on data obtained for the Guaranteed Time Team by the NASA-CNES-CSA FUSE mission operated by the Johns Hopkins University. Financial support to U. S. participants has been provided by NASA contract NAS5-32985.

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