From gas to stars in energetic environments: Dense gas clumps in the 30 doradus region within the large magellanic cloud

Crystal N. Anderson, David S. Meier, Jürgen Ott, Annie Hughes, Tony Wong, Christian Henkel, Rosie Chen, Remy Indebetouw, Leslie Looney, Erik Muller, Jorge L. Pineda, Jonathan Seale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present parsec-scale interferometric maps of HCN(1-0) and HCO+(1-0) emission from dense gas in the star-forming region 30 Doradus, obtained using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. This extreme star-forming region, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), is characterized by a very intense ultraviolet ionizing radiation field and sub-solar metallicity, both of which are expected to impact molecular cloud structure. We detect 13 bright, dense clumps within the 30 Doradus-10 giant molecular cloud. Some of the clumps are aligned along a filamentary structure with a characteristic spacing that is consistent with formation via varicose fluid instability. Our analysis shows that the filament is gravitationally unstable and collapsing to form stars. There is a good correlation between HCO+emission in the filament and signatures of recent star formation activity including H2O masers and young stellar objects (YSOs). YSOs seem to continue along the same direction of the filament toward the massive compact star cluster R136 in the southwest. We present detailed comparisons of clump properties (masses, linewidths, and sizes) in 30Dor-10 to those in other star forming regions of the LMC (N159, N113, N105, and N44). Our analysis shows that the 30Dor-10 clumps have similar masses but wider linewidths and similar HCN/HCO+(1-0) line ratios as clumps detected in other LMC star-forming regions. Our results suggest that the dense molecular gas clumps in the interior of 30Dor-10 are well shielded against the intense ionizing field that is present in the 30Doradus region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2014


  • ISM: molecules
  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: individual (Large Magellanic Clouds)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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