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Volume 585 Issue 7824, 10 September 2020

Galactic coronae

The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. They are surrounded by a high-velocity gaseous structure called the Magellanic Stream, which consists of gas stripped from both clouds. So far, simulations have been unable to reconcile observations with a complete picture of how the stream was formed. In this week’s issue, Elena D’Onghia and her colleagues present a model that potentially resolves this conundrum. By embedding the Large Magellanic Cloud in a corona of ionized gas, the researchers were able to simulate the Magellanic Stream accurately and explain its structure. The cover image shows the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds as they would appear if the gas around them was visible to the naked eye.

Cover image: Scott Lucchini (simulation)/Colin Legg (background).

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