Dense clumps in giant molecular clouds in the large magellanic cloud: Density and temperature derived from 13CO(J = 3-2) observations

Tetsuhiro Minamidani, Takanori Tanaka, Yoji Mizuno, Norikazu Mizuno, Akiko Kawamura, Toshikazu Onishi, Tetsuo Hasegawa, Ken'Ichi Tatematsu, Tatsuya Takekoshi, Kazuo Sorai, Nayuta Moribe, Kazufumi Torii, Takeshi Sakai, Kazuyuki Muraoka, Kunihiko Tanaka, Hajime Ezawa, Kotaro Kohno, Sungeun Kim, Mónica Rubio, Yasuo Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In order to precisely determine the temperature and density of molecular gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud, we made observations of the optically thin 13CO(J = 3-2) transition using the ASTE 10 m telescope toward nine peaks where 12CO(J = 3-2) clumps were previously detected with the same telescope. The molecular clumps include those in giant molecular cloud (GMC) Types I (with no signs of massive star formation), II (with H II regions only), and III (with H II regions and young star clusters). We detected 13CO(J = 3-2) emission toward all the peaks and found that their intensities are 3-12 times lower than those of 12CO(J = 3-2). We determined the intensity ratios of 12CO(J = 3-2) to 13CO(J = 3-2), R 12/13/ 3-2, and 13CO(J = 3-2) to 13CO(J = 1-0), R 13 3-2/1-0, at 45″ resolution. These ratios were used in radiative transfer calculations in order to estimate the temperature and density of the clumps. The clumps have a kinetic temperature range of T kin = 15-200K and a molecular hydrogen gas density range of n(H2) = 8 × 102-7 × 10 3cm-3. We confirmed that the higher density clumps have higher kinetic temperature and that the lower density clumps have lower kinetic temperature to better accuracy than in previous work. The kinetic temperature and density increase generally from a Type I GMC to a Type III GMC. We interpret that this difference reflects an evolutionary trend of star formation in molecular clumps. The R 13 3-2/1-0 and kinetic temperature of the clumps are well correlated with the Hα flux, suggesting that the heating of molecular gas with density n(H2) = 103-10 4cm-3 can be explained by stellar far-ultravoilet photons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: molecules
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • galaxies: individual (LMC)
  • radio lines: ISM
  • submillimeter: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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