Featured Image: A Molecular Cloud Outside Our Galaxy

What do molecular clouds look like outside of our own galaxy? See for yourself in the images above and below of N55, a molecular cloud located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). In a recent study led by Naslim Neelamkodan (Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Taiwan), a team of scientists explore N55 to determine how its cloud properties differ from clouds within the Milky Way. The image above reveals the distribution of infrared-emitting gas and dust observed in three bands by the Spitzer Space Telescope. Overplotted in cyan are observations from the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment tracing the clumpy, warm molecular gas. Below, new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal the sub-parsec-scale molecular clumps in greater detail, showing the correlation of massive clumps with Spitzer-identified young stellar objects (crosses). The study presented here indicates that this cloud in the LMC is the site of massive star formation, with properties similar to equivalent clouds in the Milky Way. To learn more about the authors’ findings, check out the article linked below.

ALMA view of N55


Naslim N. et al 2018 ApJ 853 175. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aaa5b0