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The dust-to-dust gas ratio in the Small Magellanic Cloud Tail

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The Tail region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) was imaged using the MIPS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the SAGE-SMC Spitzer Legacy. Diffuse infrared emission from dust was detected in all the MIPS bands. The Tail gas-to-dust ratio was measured to be 1200 ± 350 using the MIPS observations combined with existing IRAS and H I observations. This gas-to-dust ratio is higher than the expected 500-800 from the known Tail metallicity indicating possible destruction of dust grains. Two cluster regions in the Tail were resolved into multiple sources in the MIPS observations and local gas-to-dust ratios were measured to be ~440 and ~250 suggest dust formation and/or significant amounts of ionized gas in these regions. These results support the interpretation that the SMC Tail is a tidal Tail recently stripped from the SMC that includes gas, dust, and young stars.

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