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Revista mexicana de astronomía y astrofísica

Print version ISSN 0185-1101

Rev. mex. astron. astrofis vol.47 no.2 México Oct. 2011

 

 

The Proper Motion of the Large Magellanic Cloud Revisited

 

M. H. Pedreros1,2

 

1 Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Casilla 7–D, Arica, Chile (mpedrero@uta.cl).

2 Visiting Astronomer, Cerro Tololo Inter–American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

 

Received 2011 March 2
Accepted 2011 June 24

 

RESUMEN

El movimiento propio (PM) de la Nube Mayor de Magallanes (LMC) relativo a cuatro cuasares en el trasfondo de los respectivos campos, se ha determinado leyendo y reprocesando datos de las imágenes de dos estudios previos. El PM total del centro de masas de la LMC que se obtiene aquí es µ = (+1.94 ± 0.08) mas yr–1, con un ángulo de posición de θ = (61.5 ± 3.2)°. Los nuevos resultados concuerdan razonablemente con aquellos obtenidos previamente por nuestro y otros grupos, y con varios modelos teóricos existentes. A partir de la velocidad radial del centro de la LMC obtenida de la literatura, en combinación con el vector velocidad transversal determinado de nuestra medición del PM en este trabajo, obtenemos la velocidad espacial del centro de la LMC. Usando esta ultima y suponiendo un potencial puntual de masa para la Galaxia, hemos estimado la cantidad de masa contenida dentro de 50 kpc desde el centro de la Galaxia.

 

ABSTRACT

The proper motion (PM) of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) relative to four background quasistellar objects has been determined by reading and reprocessing image data from two previous studies. The total center of mass PM for the LMC obtained here is µ = (+1.94 ± 0.08) mas yr–1, with a position angle θ = (61.5 ± 3.2)°. The new results agree reasonably well with those obtained previously by our group and by other groups, and with several existing theoretical % models. From the radial velocity of the center of the LMC found in the literature, in combination with the transverse velocity vector determined from the PM measured in the present work, we obtain the space velocity of the LMC center. Using the latter and assuming a point–mass potential for the Galaxy, we have estimated the amount of mass contained within 50 kpc of the center of the Galaxy.

Key Words: astrometry — proper motions — Magellanic Clouds — quasars: general.

 

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

M.H.P. is greatful of the support by the Universidad de Tarapacá research fund (project # 4721–09). The – author wishes to thank to an anonymous referee for helpful suggestions which improved this paper. It is also a pleasure to thank T. Martínez for helping with data processing.

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