YCAA seminar: “Resolving the substructure of molecular clouds in the LMC” - Tony Wong, University of Illinois

Event time: 
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Watson Center (WTS), A51 See map
60 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Observations indicate that star formation in molecular clouds is closely related to the local gas density. We present recent wide-field CO and 13CO mapping of a sample of giant molecular clouds in the Large Magellanic Cloud with ALMA. Our sample exhibits diverse star-formation properties, and reveals comparably diverse molecular cloud properties including surface density and velocity dispersion at a given scale. We first present the results of a recent study comparing two GMCs at the extreme ends of the star formation activity spectrum. Our quiescent cloud exhibits 10 times lower surface density and 5 times lower velocity dispersion than the active 30 Doradus cloud, yet in both clouds we find a wide range of line widths at the smallest resolved scales, spanning nearly the full range of line widths seen at all scales. This suggests an important role for feedback on sub-parsec scales, while the energetics on larger scales are dominated by clump-to-clump relative velocities. We are extending our analysis to four additional clouds that exhibit intermediate levels of star formation activity, and report initial results.