The molecular ridge close to 30 doradus in the large magellanic cloud

Jürgen Ott, Tony Wong, Jorge L. Pineda, Annie Hughes, Erik Muller, Zhi Yun Li, Min Wang, Lister Staveley-Smith, Yasuo Fukui, Axel Weiß, Christian Henkel, Ulrich Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the ATNF Mopra telescope we are performing a survey in the 12CO(1-0) line to map the molecular gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud. For some regions we also obtained interferometric maps of the high density gas tracers HCO+ and HCN with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Here we discuss the properties of the elongated molecular complex that stretches about 2 kpc southward from 30 Doradus. Our data suggest that the complex, which we refer to as the 'molecular ridge', is not a coherent feature but consists of many smaller clumps that share the same formation history. Likely triggers of molecular-cloud formation are shocks and shearing forces that are present in the surrounding south-eastern Hi overdensity region, a region influenced by strong ram pressure and tidal forces. The molecular ridge is at the western edge of the the overdensity region where a bifurcated velocity structure transitions into a single disk velocity component. We find that the 12CO(1-0) and Hi emission peaks in the molecular ridge are typically near each other but never coincide. A likely explanation is the conversion of warmer, low-opacity Hi to colder, high-opacity Hi from which H2 subsequently forms. On smaller scales we find that very dense molecular gas, as traced by interferometric HCO+ and HCN maps, is associated with star formation along shocked filaments and with rims of expanding shell-like structures, both created by feedback from massive stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: Magellanic clouds
  • Galaxies: individual (Large Magellanic Cloud)
  • ISM: evolution
  • ISM: molecules
  • Radio lines: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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