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Molecular gas in the outflow of the small Magellanic Cloud


Di Teodoro, EM and McClure-Griffiths, NM and Breuck, CD and Armillotta, L and Pingel, NM and Jameson, KE and Dickey, JM and Rubio, M and Stanimirovic, S and Staveley-Smith, L, Molecular gas in the outflow of the small Magellanic Cloud, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 885, (2) pp. 1-6. ISSN 2041-8205 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab4fe9


We report the first evidence of molecular gas in two atomic hydrogen (H i) clouds associated with gas outflowing from the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We used the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment to detect and spatially resolve individual clumps of 12CO(2->1) emission in both clouds. CO clumps are compact (~10 pc) and dynamically cold (line widths $\lesssim 1\,\mathrm{km}\,{{\rm{s}}}^{-1}$). Most CO emission appears to be offset from the peaks of the H i emission, some molecular gas lies in regions without a clear H i counterpart. We estimate a total molecular gas mass of ${M}_{\mathrm{mol}}\simeq {10}^{3}\mbox{--}{10}^{4}\,{M}_{\odot }$ in each cloud and molecular gas fractions up to 30% of the total cold gas mass (molecular + neutral). Under the assumption that this gas is escaping the galaxy, we calculated a cold gas outflow rate of ${\dot{M}}_{\mathrm{gas}}\simeq 0.3\mbox{--}1.8\,\,{M}_{\odot }\,{\mathrm{yr}}^{-1}$ and mass loading factors of $\beta \simeq 3\mbox{--}12$ at a distance larger than 1 kpc. These results show that relatively weak starburst-driven winds in dwarf galaxies like the SMC are able to accelerate significant amounts of cold and dense matter and inject it into the surrounding environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:star-formation; cold gas; interstellar-medium; winds; accretion; galaxies; flow
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Galactic astronomy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dickey, JM (Professor John Dickey)
ID Code:152808
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Mathematics
Deposited On:2022-08-24
Last Modified:2022-09-19

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