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R. C. Smith, S. Points (NOAO/CTIO), Y.-H. Chu (U. of Illinois), P. F. Winkler (Middlebury College), R. Leiton (NOAO/CTIO), MCELS Team
Optical emission line observations of the Magellanic Clouds provide an important view of the ionized component of the interstellar medium (ISM), one which is crucial for the study of the relationships between stars and the ISM, from star formation in HII regions to stellar death as traced by planetary nebulae (PNe) and supernova remnants (SNRs). Early photographic surveys of the Halpha emission provided maps of the ionized gas, fueling mostly morphological studies and leading to the identifcation of large structures such as superbubbles and supershells in the ISM. With observations in additional emission lines such as [S II] and [O III] together with accurate calibrations, imaging surveys of emission lines can provide significant insight into the physics of the emitting regions, be they photoionized or shock ionized. I will review the available optical emission line surveys and provide details about the data from Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey (MCELS), which will soon provide a large, publically accessible emission line dataset for studies of structures such as HII regions, PNe, SNRs, superbubbles, supershells, and in general the ionized ISM of the Magellanic Clouds.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.