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Astronomy Tea Talks at Caltech

Mondays, Robinson 106
Tea:  4.00pm
Talk: 4.15pm

Organised by:

2007 - 2008 season:
11 February 2008 Erik Muller (ATNF)

"High-resolution Analysis of the Molecular Component in a Nearby Early-Universe Analogue; the SMC"


The Magellanic System is the epitome of gas-rich, interacting dwarf systems. Their
proximity, low-metallicity and richness in hydrogen, the primary constituent for
formation of stars, makes them the perfect target for high-resolution and high
sensitivity observations of the un-enriched ISM.
Providing ~10 pc resolutions, we are able to examine the morphological
characteristics, distribution, and kinematical properties of the ISM at scales
unavailable any where else.
We are part way through a larger-scale survey to observe the CO(J=1-0) transition
throughout the Magellanic System. We show that the small and weak CO clouds are, in
fact, much smaller and less massive than previously understood, particularly in the
SMC, indicating a poorly-enriched, un-evolved ISM. We also show to high resolution,
a puzzlingly poor detailed correlation of the CO and HI fractions in the ISM. For
the first time, we resolve multi-component CO profiles in the SMC, indicative of
some recent major energetic perturbing events in the body of the SMC.
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Last modified on 20th Jul 2011 by Johan Richard.  

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