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Astron. Astrophys. 358, L9-L12 (2000)

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Letter to the Editor

The morphology of the Magellanic Clouds revealed by stars of different age: results from the DENIS survey

M.-R.L. Cioni, H.J. Habing and F.P. Israel

Sterrewacht Leiden, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands

Received 11 April 2000 / Accepted 3 May 2000


The spatial distribution of sources populating different regions of the colour-magnitude diagram ([FORMULA], I) extracted from the DENIS catalogue towards the Magellanic Clouds (DCMC - Cioni et al. 2000) reveal significantly different morphologies. Each region is associated to a different age group. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) shows an extended circular shape with a prominent, off center bar, a nucleus and irregular spiral arms. The Small Magellanic Cloud shows a perturbated structure with a prominent central concentration of stars. Old and young populations are offset from one another.

Key words: galaxies: Magellanic Clouds

Send offprint requests to: mrcioni@strw.leidenuniv.nl

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 26, 2000