The Astronomical Journal | VOL. 140


Publication Date Oct 29, 2010


We describe the first results from the Outer Limits Survey, an NOAO survey designed to detect, map, and characterize the extended structure of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC). The survey consists of deep images of 55 06 × 06 fields distributed at distances up to 20° from the Clouds, with 10 fields at larger distances representing controls for contamination by Galactic foreground stars and background galaxies. The field locations probe the outer structure of both the LMC and SMC, as well as exploring areas defined by the Magellanic Stream, the Leading Arm, and the LMC orbit as recently measured from its proper motion. The images were taken with C, M, R, I, and DDO51 filters on the CTIO Blanco 4 m telescope and Mosaic2 camera, with supporting calibration observations taken at the CTIO 0.9 m telescope. The CRI images reach depths below the oldest main-sequence (MS) turnoffs at the distance of the Clouds, thus yielding numerous probes of structure combined with good ability to measure stellar ages and metallicities. The M and DDO51 images allow for discrimination of LMC and SMC giant stars from foreground dwarfs, allowing us to use giants as additional probes of Cloud structure and populations. From photometry of eight fields located at radii of 7°-19° north of the LMC bar, we find MS stars associated with the LMC out to 16° from the LMC center, while the much rarer giants can only be convincingly detected out to 11°. In one field, designated as a control, we see the unmistakable signature of the Milky Way (M...


Galactic Foreground Stars Leading Arm LMC Orbit LMC Populations Main-sequence LMC Center LMC Disk Foreground Dwarfs Small Magellanic Clouds Milky Way

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