RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Tuesday, 08 May 2018, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Monica Rubio

"Low metallicity molecular clouds with ALMA"

Stars form in molecular clouds. These clouds are dense concentrations of H2 that are traditionally traced in external galaxies using transitions of CO or other, more complex molecules. But dwarf irregular (dIm) galaxies seemingly contradict this fundamental picture. Tracers of recent star formation, such as Halfa or far-ultraviolet (FUV) emission, show that most dwarfs contain young stars and star clusters, but CO observations often yield only upper limits. The Magellanic Clouds are the best local templates for studying the life cycle of the ISM and star formation in low metallicity environments (LMC;Z=0.5 Zo and SMC, Z=0.2 Zo). Their proximity (LMC: D = 50 kpc; SMC: D = 60 kpc), provide a unique opportunity to resolve individual clouds, allowing us to conduct detailed studies of the different phases of the ISM in low-metallicity environments using various gas and dust tracers. I will present CO observations with ALMA of star-forming regions at the lowest metallicities dwarf galaxies from SMC to WLM.