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Author Ott, Juergen ♦ Henkel, Christian ♦ Staveley-Smith, Lister ♦ Weiss, Axel
Source arXiv.org
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Date of Submission 2009-11-25
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Astronomy & allied sciences ♦ Physics
Subject Keyword Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics ♦ physics:astro-ph
Abstract The first detection of ammonia (NH3) is reported from the Magellanic Clouds. Using the Australia Telescope Compact Array, we present a targeted search for the (J,K) = (1,1) and (2,2) inversion lines towards seven prominent star-forming regions in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Both lines are detected in the massive star-forming region N159W, which is located in the peculiar molecular ridge south of 30 Doradus, a site of extreme star formation strongly influenced by an interaction with the Milky Way halo. Using the ammonia lines, we derive a kinetic temperature of ~16K, which is 2-3 times below the previously derived dust temperature. The ammonia column density, averaged over ~17" is ~6x10^{12} cm^{-2} <1.5x10^{13} cm^{-2} over 9" in the other six sources) and we derive an ammonia abundance of ~4x10^{-10} with respect to molecular hydrogen. This fractional abundance is 1.5-5 orders of magnitude below those observed in Galactic star-forming regions. The nitrogen abundance in the LMC (~10% solar) and the high UV flux, which can photo-dissociate the particularly fragile NH3 molecule, must both contribute to the low fractional NH3 abundance, and we likely only see the molecule in an ensemble of the densest, best shielded cores of the LMC.
Description Comment: 7 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal
Reference: Astrophys.J.710:105-111,2010
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article
Page Count 7


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