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Astron. Astrophys. 329, L49-L52 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Bow-shock induced star formation in the LMC?

K.S. de Boer 1, J.M. Braun 1, A. Vallenari 2 and U. Mebold 3

1 Sternwarte, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo Osservatorio 5, I-35122 Padova, Italy
3 Radioastronomisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 11 September 1997 / Accepted 30 October 1997


The structure of supergiant shells, in particular of LMC 4, is hard to explain with stochastic self-propagating star formation. A series of supergiant structures lies along the outer edge of the LMC and form a sequence increasing clockwise in age. We have considered the rotation of the LMC and its motion through the halo of the Milky Way and propose that these structures find their origin in star formation induced in the bow-shock formed at the leading edge of the LMC. Due to the rotation of the LMC these structures then move aside.

Key words: stars: formation – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: Magellanic Clouds – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

Send offprint requests to: deboer@astro.uni-bonn.de

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: December 16, 1997