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M. Meixner (STScI), B. Babler (Univ. of Wisconsin), J-P. Bernard (CESR), R. Blum (CTIO/NOAO), E.B. Churchwell (Univ. of Wisconsin), C. Engelbracht, B.-Q. For, K. Gordon (Univ. of Arizona), J. Hora (Harvard/CfA), R. Indebetouw (Univ. of Virgina), C. Leitherer (STScI), M. Meade (Univ. of Wisconsin), K. Misselt (Univ. of Arizona), W. Reach (SSC/Caltech), Uma Vijh, B. Whitney (STScI), SAGE Team
The recycling of matter between the interstellar medium (ISM) and stars are key evolutionary drivers of a galaxy's visible matter. We are performing a Spitzer Legacy imaging survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), using the IRAC (3.6, 4.5, 5.8 and 8 microns) and MIPS (24, 70, and 160 microns) instruments on board Spitzer. The Spitzer wavelengths provide a sensitive probe of circumstellar and interstellar dust and hence, allows us to study the physical processes of the ISM, the formation of new stars and the injection of mass by evolved stars and their relationships on the galaxy-wide scale of the LMC. Due to its proximity, favorable viewing angle, multi-wavelength information, and measured tidal interactions with the Milky Way (MW) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), the LMC is uniquely suited for surveying the agents of a galaxy's evolution (SAGE), the ISM and stars. Our uniform and unbiased survey of the LMC (7x7 degrees) will have much better wavelength coverage, up to ~1000 times better point source sensitivity and ~11 times better angular resolution than previous IR surveys. SAGE will reveal over 6 million sources including ~150,000 evolved stars, ~50,000 young stellar objects and the diffuse ISM with column densities >1.2x1021 H/cm2. The diffuse IR emission in the LMC can be associated with individual gas/dust clouds, thereby permitting unique studies of dust processes in the ISM. SAGE's complete census of newly formed stars with masses >1-3 Msun will reveal whether tidally-triggered star formation events in the LMC are sustained or short-lived. SAGE's complete census of evolved stars with mass loss rates >1x10-8 Msun/yr will quantitatively measure the rate at which evolved stars inject mass into the ISM. We will present an overview of the SAGE survey including a preliminary view of the SAGE data that will be provided to the community as a Legacy data set.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.