- Published on 16 April 2021
6. Interstellar and circumstellar matter
Multiwavelength analysis of the X-ray spur and southeast of the Large Magellanic Cloud
The authors study the extended region known as the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) X-ray spur that extends southeast from the 30 Dor star-forming region using XMM soft X-ray imaging, H I 21 cm emission, and a range of atomic and molecular tracers. By tessellating the X-ray- and channel-separated H I imaging, they produce a novel correlation map between the X-ray emission and the neutral gas, which they separate into components associated with the LMC disk, from the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), and an intermediate component that is connected to 30 Dor. A striking result of the separation of the three H I components is their correlations, and anti-correlations, with the X-rays. These maps show that while the stellar feedback dominates the interstellar medium around R136 and the core of 30 Dor, the large kiloparsec-scale structures are likely the product of a collision of gas originating in the SMC with the disk of the LMC that began about 5 Myr ago and is still ongoing. An array of spectroscopic probes is used to tease out the fine structure and reconstruct the history of the interaction, including Planck dust maps, CO, optical recombination, and collisionally excited lines that trace ionization and shocks.