Submillimeter Observations of Giant Molecular Clouds in the Large Magellanic Cloud: Temperature and Density as Determined from J=3-2 and J=1-0 transitions of CO

T. Minamidani, N. Mizuno, Y. Mizuno, A. Kawamura, T. Onishi, T. Hasegawa, K. Tatematsu, M. Ikeda, Y. Moriguchi, M. Yamaguchi, J. Ott, T. Wong, E. Muller, J.L. Pineda, A. Hughes, Lister Staveley-Smith, U. Klein, A. Mizuno, S. Nikolic, R.S. BoothA. Heikkila, L-A. Nyman, M. Lerner, G. Garay, S. Kim, M. Fujishita, T. Kawase, M. Rubio, Y. Fukui

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    Abstract

    We have carried out submillimeter (CO)-C-12(J = 3-2) observations of six giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) with the ASTE 10 m submillimeter telescope at a spatial resolution of 5 pc and very high sensitivity. We have identified 32 molecular clumps in the GMCs and revealed significant details of the warm and dense molecular gas with n(H-2) similar to 10(3)-10(5) cm(-3) and T-kin similar to 60 K. These data are combined with (CO)-C-12(J = 1-0) and (CO)-C-13(J = 1-0) results and compared with LVG calculations. The results indicate that clumps that we detected are distributed continuously from cool (similar to 10-30 K) to warm (greater than or similar to 30-200 K), and warm clumps are distributed from less dense (similar to 10(3) cm(-3)) to dense (similar to 10(3.5)-10(5) cm(-3)). We found that the ratio of (CO)-C-12(J = 3-2) to (CO)-C-12(J = 1-0) emission is sensitive to and is well correlated with the local H alpha flux. We infer that differences of clump properties represent an evolutionary sequence of GMCs in terms of density increase leading to star formation. Type I and II GMCs (starless GMCs and GMCs with H II regions only, respectively) are at the young phase of star formation where density does not yet become high enough to show active star formation, and Type III GMCs (GMCs with H II regions and young star clusters) represent the later phase where the average density is increased and the GMCs are forming massive stars. The high kinetic temperature correlated with H alpha flux suggests that FUV heating is dominant in the molecular gas of the LMC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)485-508
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Supplement Series
    Volume175
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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