Discovery of Shocked Molecular Clouds Associated with the Shell-type Supernova Remnant RX J0046.5-7308 in the Small Magellanic Cloud

H. Sano, H. Matsumura, Y. Yamane, P. Maggi, K. Fujii, K. Tsuge, K. Tokuda, R. Z.E. Alsaberi, M. D. Filipović, N. Maxted, G. Rowell, H. Uchida, T. Tanaka, K. Muraoka, T. Takekoshi, T. Onishi, A. Kawamura, T. Minamidani, N. Mizuno, H. YamamotoK. Tachihara, T. Inoue, S. Inutsuka, F. Voisin, N. F.H. Tothill, M. Sasaki, N. M. McClure-Griffiths, Y. Fukui

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15 Citations (Scopus)


RX J0046.5-7308 is a shell-type supernova remnant (SNR) in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We carried out new 12CO(J = 1-0, 3-2) observations toward the SNR using Mopra and the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment. We found eight molecular clouds (A-H) along the X-ray shell of the SNR. The typical cloud size and mass are ∼10-15 pc and ∼1000-3000 M , respectively. The X-ray shell is slightly deformed and has the brightest peak in the southwestern shell where two molecular clouds A and B are located. The four molecular clouds A, B, F, and G have high intensity ratios of 12CO(J = 3-2)/12CO(J = 1-0) > 1.2, which are not attributable to any identified internal infrared sources or high-mass stars. The H i cavity and its expanding motion are found toward the SNR, which are likely created by strong stellar winds from a massive progenitor. We suggest that the molecular clouds A-D, F, and G and H i clouds within the wind-blown cavity at V LSR = 117.1-122.5 km s-1 are associated with the SNR. The X-ray spectroscopy reveals the dynamical age of yr and the progenitor mass of ≳30 M , which is also consistent with the proposed scenario. We determine physical conditions of the giant molecular cloud LIRS 36A using the large velocity gradient analysis with archival data sets of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array; the kinematic temperature is K and the number density of molecular hydrogen is cm-3. The next generation of γ-ray observations will allow us to study the pion-decay γ-rays from the molecular clouds in the SMC SNR.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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