AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 73. AGN: Radio Galaxies, QSO's and Blazars
Display, Wednesday, June 2, 1999, 10:00am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[73.13] A Search for Quasars Behind the Magellanic Clouds

M. Geha (LLNL/UCD), T. Axelrod (ANU), K. Cook (LLNL), Z. Zaritsky, H. Kobulnicky (UCSC), MACHO Collaboration

We have begun a search for quasars behind the Magellanic Clouds for the purpose of measuring the proper motion of these galaxies. Candidates are chosen by combining a UBVI color selection with aperiodic lightcurve variability in the MACHO database, allowing us to uniquely separate quasars from the otherwise overwhelming stellar background. This technique is capable of detecting quasars behind the central regions of the Clouds which, unlike previous estimates, will allow us to measure proper motions without relying on models of the Clouds internal rotation. We have identified 50 quasar candidates in an 11\Box\circ region north of the LMC bar in the brightness range 16.5 \le V \le 20 and expect to identify a smaller number of candidates in the Small Magellanic Cloud. We demonstrate the feasibility of this technique by presenting spectra for two new quasars behind the LMC discovered with the Siding Springs 2.3m telescope.

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