The so-called "bar" in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Hongsheng Zhao*, N. Wyn Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


We propose that the off-centered "bar" in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is an unvirialized structure slightly misaligned with, and offset from, the plane of the LMC disk. The small displacement and misalignment are consequences of recent tidal interactions with the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Galaxy. This proposal, although radical, is consistent with the kinematics of the LMC and the near-infrared star count maps from the Deep Near-Infrared Survey and the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey and, in particular, with the reported 25°-50° inclination range of the LMC and the east-west gradient of distance moduli of standard candles. Contributions to LMC microlensing come mainly from the mutual lensing of stars in the disk and the "bar." The predicted microlensing optical depth is at levels comparable to observation, even without including contributions from MACHOs. Observational tests are suggested to discriminate between our misaligned offset "bar" model and the conventional picture of an off-centered planar bar.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2000


  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics
  • Magellanic Clouds


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