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Analysis of Extreme Star Formation Environments in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Friday, February 23, 2018 - 1:30pm PST
Johns Hopkins University
My thesis is on three extreme star forming environments in the Large Magellanic Cloud: 30 Doradus, N159, and N79. These three regions are at different evolutionary stage of forming stars. N79 is at a very young stage, just starting its star formation activity. N159 is currently actively forming several massive YSOs. And 30 Doradus has already passed it peak star formation, and several protostars are no longer shrouded by gas and dust, and are starting to be more visible in the optical wavelengths. I analyze the CO molecular gas clouds with ALMA in 30 Doradus, N159, and N79. I identify all massive YSOs within the ALMA footprint of all three regions. My thesis is on relating the star formation activity in 30 Doradus, N159, and N79 to the high density gas in which these protostars form. I find that not all massive young stellar objects are associated with CO gas, higher mass clumps tend to form higher mass stars, and lower mass clumps tend to not be gravitationally bound however the larger clouds are bound. I use ancillary SOFIA data and Magellan FIRE data to place constraints on the outflow rate from the massive protostars, constrain the temperature of the gas, determine the spectral type of the young stellar objects, and estimate the extinction. Looking at the interplay between dense molecular gas and the newly forming stars in a stellar nursery will shed light on how these stars formed: filamentary collision, monolithic collapse, or competitive accretion. The Large Magellanic Cloud has been the subject of star formation studies for decades due to its proximity to the Milky Way (50 kpc), a nearly face-on orientation, and a low metallicity (0.5 solar) similar to that of galaxies at the peak of star formation in the universe (z~2). Thus, my thesis probes the chemical and physical conditions necessary for massive star formation in an environment more typical of the peak of star formation in the universe.