The Magellanic System: Stars, Gas, and
28 July - 1 August 2008
Laboratories of Stellar Astrophysics
the Magellanic Clouds have
such a low metal content, astrophysicists can study
conditions which cannot be
found in other nearby galaxies. Metals are
formed inside large stars at the end of their lives, which means that
there were less metals available in the early Universe. Therefore, the
Magellanic Clouds offer almost unique views of the early Universe.
Being able to see the conditions in the Universe so long ago lets
astrophysicists understand more fully how the Universe has developed
Also, some stars behave
in different ways in galaxies with little
metal. For example, a particular type of large star, known as a B star,
rotates faster if less metal is present.