Unusually bright 12CO(3-2) condensations in the tidally perturbed Small Magellanic Cloud "tail"

Muller, Erik; Mizuno, Norikazu; Minamidani, Tetsuhiro; Kawamura, Akiko; Rosie Chen, C.-H.; Indebetouw, Remy; Enokiya, Rei; Fukui, Yasuo; Gordon, Karl; Hayakawa, Takahiro; Mizuno, Yoji; Murai, Miyuki; Okuda, Takeshi; Onishi, Toshikazu; Tachihara, Kengo; Takekoshi, Tatsuya; Yamamoto, Hiroaki; & Yoshiike, Satoshi
2014, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, 66, 4

We report on recent observations of molecular clouds in the tidal Magellanic Bridge; specifically, the ˜kpc-long, tidally extended "tail" of the Small Magellanic Cloud. In particular, we identify an unusually high 12CO(3-2)/12CO(1-0) ratio of 2-3 to 1, toward one of the clouds, suggesting a warm and dense molecular material associated with imminent or current formation of stars. Our ˜ 6 pc-resolution observations show that the target clouds have only a general correlation with bright 24 μm emission regions, occasionally offset by up to ˜ 15 pc. These detections support the scenario that stars are actively being created in this uniquely nearby tidal filament, in the present epoch, and that star formation is ongoing at a range of evolutionary stages or rates.


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