Molecular Cloud Structures and Massive Star Formation in N159

O. Nayak, M. Meixner, Y. Fukui, K. Tachihara, T. Onishi, K. Saigo, K. Tokuda, R. Harada

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The N159 star-forming region is one of the most massive giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We show the 12CO, 13CO, CS molecular gas lines observed with ALMA in N159 west (N159W) and N159 east (N159E). We relate the structure of the gas clumps to the properties of 24 massive young stellar objects (YSOs) that include 10 newly identified YSOs based on our search. We use dendrogram analysis to identify properties of the molecular clumps, such as flux, mass, linewidth, size, and virial parameter. We relate the YSO properties to the molecular gas properties. We find that the CS gas clumps have a steeper size-linewidth relation than the 12CO or 13CO gas clumps. This larger slope could potentially occur if the CS gas is tracing shocks. The virial parameters of the 13CO gas clumps in N159W and N159E are low (<1). The threshold for massive star formation in N159W is 501 M o pc-2, and the threshold for massive star formation in N159E is 794 M o pc-2. We find that 13CO is more photodissociated in N159E than N159W. The most massive YSO in N159E has cleared out a molecular gas hole in its vicinity. All the massive YSO candidates in N159E have a more evolved spectral energy distribution type in comparison to the YSO candidates in N159W. These differences lead us to conclude that the giant molecular cloud complex in N159E is more evolved than the giant molecular cloud complex in N159W.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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