Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)
Abr-e Kucak-e Magellan (#)
Fr.: Petit Nuage de Magellan
An irregular galaxy, the smaller of the two → Magellanic Clouds that are satellites of our own Galaxy, lying in the southern constellation → Tucana about 20 degrees from the → south celestial pole. The SMC covers an area roughly 3 by 5 degrees in dimension and has an overall → visual magnitude about +2.7. The SMC is about 10,000 → light-years in diameter and some 210,000 light-years (61 → kpc) away. It has a visible mass of about 1/50-th that of our Galaxy and 1/10-th of that of the → Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Its → heavy element content is about a factor 5 smaller than that of the Galaxy. The SMC is the third-nearest external galaxy after the → Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy and the LMC.
→ small; → Magellanic; → cloud.
Fr.: nuage de Smith
A huge, → high-velocity cloud of hydrogen gas that measures some 9,800 × 3,300 → light-years. It is located between 36,000 and 45,000 light-years away from Earth in the northern constellation of → Aquila. It has a mass of at least 106 → solar masses. It is now moving toward the disk of the → Milky Way at 73 ± 26 km/s and is expected to hit the disk of our Galaxy in about 27 million years, at an angle of approximately 45° at a point in the → Perseus Arm, one of two major → spiral arms of the Galaxy.
Named after Gail Bieger, née Smith, who discovered the cloud in 1963, when she was an astronomy student at Leiden University in the Netherlands; → cloud.
Fr.: nuage translucide
A type of → interstellar medium cloud where → carbon (C), in → ionized atomic form and protected from → interstellar radiation, transforms into neutral atomic or molecular form. The chemistry in this regime is qualitatively different than in the → diffuse molecular clouds, both because of the decreasing electron fraction and because of the abundance of the highly reactive C atoms. The translucent cloud regime is the least well understood of all the cloud types. This is partly because of a relative lack of observational data, but also because theoretical models do not all agree on the chemical behavior in this transition region. In some models, there is a zone where the abundance of C exceeds that of C+ and CO; in others the peak abundance of C falls below that of C+ and CO. To cope with this uncertainty, Snow & McCall (2006) propose a working definition of translucent cloud material as gas with C+ fraction < 0.5 and CO fraction < 0.9. This definition reflects the fact that C+ is no longer the dominant form of carbon as it converts to neutral or molecular form, but also excludes the → dense molecular clouds, where carbon is almost exclusively CO (Snow & McCall, 2006, ARA&A 44, 367).
→ translucent; → cloud.
warm intercloud medium
madim-e andarabri-ye garm
Fr.: milieu internuage chaud
A component of the → interstellar medium consisting of an extremely tenuous (density 0.1 to 10 cm-3) and relatively warm gas (temperature about 8,000 K) filling the space between denser neutral and ionized gas. Hydrogen is partly ionized, partly atomic and observed by the → 21-centimeter line in emission.
→ warm; → intercloud medium.