The influence of far-ultraviolet radiation on the properties of molecular clouds in the 30 dor region of the large magellanic cloud

Jorge L. Pineda, Jürgen Ott, Ulrich Klein, Tony Wong, Erik Muller, Annie Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a complete 12CO J = 1 → 0 map of the prominent molecular ridge in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) obtained with the 22 m ATNF Mopra Telescope. The region stretches southward by 2° (or 1.7 kpc) from 30 Doradus, the most vigorous star-forming region in the Local Group. The location of this molecular ridge is unique insofar as it allows us to study the properties of molecular gas as a function of the ambient radiation field in a low-metallicity environment. We find that the physical properties of CO-emitting clumps within the molecular ridge do not vary with the strength of the far-ultraviolet radiation field. Since the peak CO brightness of the clumps shows no correlation with the radiation field strength, the observed constant value for CO-to-H2 conversion factor along the ridge seems to require an increase in the kinetic temperature of the molecular gas that is offset by a decrease in the angular filling factor of the CO emission. We find that the difference between the CO-to-H2 conversion factor in the molecular ridge and the outer Milky Way is smaller than has been reported by previous studies of the CO emission: applying the same cloud identification and analysis methods to our CO observations of the LMC molecular ridge and CO data from the outer Galaxy survey by Dame et al., we find that the average CO-to-H2 conversion factor in the molecular ridge is X CO ≃ (3.9 2.5) × 1020 cm-2 (K km s-1)-1, approximately twice the value that we determine for the outer Galaxy clouds. The mass spectrum and the scaling relations between the properties of the CO clumps in the molecular ridge are similar, but not identical, to those that have been established for Galactic molecular clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-751
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume703
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Galaxies: ISM
  • ISM: molecules
  • ISM: structure
  • Magellanic Clouds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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