Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 July 2008
We describe an ongoing, large-scale, photometric and spectroscopic survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) periphery. This survey uses Washington M, T2 + DDO51 photometry to identify distant LMC red giant branch (RGB) star candidates; multi-object spectroscopy is used to confirm the stellar surface gravities of these RGB stars and their association with the LMC (e.g., through radial velocities). The survey now encompasses hundreds of fields ranging from the LMC center with full azimuthal coverage around the LMC and out to 23° from the LMC center. We have confirmed the existence of RGB stars with (the unusual) Magellanic velocities out to the radial limit of this survey coverage. From data in a subsample of these fields, we show that this extended population of stars makes up a diffuse structure enveloping the LMC with a two-dimensional distribution resembling a classical halo with a shallow de Vaucouleurs profile and a broad metallicity spread around a typical mean value of [Fe/H] ~ −1.0.