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S. D. Points, R. C. Smith (CTIO/NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (Univ. of Illinois)
Massive stars inject energy into the ambient medium via strong UV fluxes, fast stellar winds, and powerful supernova explosions, and thus are the main energy source of the interstellar medium (ISM) in late-type galaxies. This stellar energy feedback ionizes the ambient gas, sweeps it into shell structures, and fills the interior of the shell with hot, shock-heated gas. The interplay between massive star formation and stellar energy feedback plays an important role in the structure and evolution of the ISM in a galaxy. To examine the effects of stellar energy feedback on the ISM in a star forming region, it is necessary to acquire knowledge of the stellar content and the interstellar gas components at all temperatures and ionization states (i.e., the multi-phase ISM) in detail over the region of interest.
Star forming regions in the Galaxy can be studied in great detail, but the overall structure cannot be easily visualized because of confusion along the line of sight and uncertainties in distances. Extragalactic star forming regions can be studied for their integrated properties, but not for their physical details. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) provides an ideal site to study the stellar energy feedback in star forming regions due to its proximity and low foreground absorption. Here we investigate the distribution and the physical conditions of the hot ionized gas in the 30 Doradus complex (e.g., plasma temperature and density) as well as the star formation activity as determined by optical emission line images.
This work is supported by the grant NASA NNG04EE20I.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.