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O. A. Valdivia (Univ. de Concepcion), S. Points, C. Smith (NOAO/CTIO)
Supergiant shells (SGSs) are the largest interstellar structures in galaxies and play an important role in the global structure and evolution of the interstellar medium. It is believed that SGSs are formed collectively by fast stellar winds and supernova explosions from a large number of massive stars. Much work has been done to investigate the massive stellar content and star formation histories of SGSs in galaxies. These investigations conclude that the past massive stellar content of several of the largest supergiant shells could not have formed and powered the SGSs. This conclusion, however, is based upon integrated photometry of clusters, not observations of individual stars.
Because of its proximity and low foreground absorption, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) provides an ideal site in which the stellar and interstellar components of SGSs. We have obtained multi-wavelength data of the supergiant shell LMC1 which enable us to measure the kinematic and thermal energy contained in this SGS. Furthermore, we have obtained UBV photometry of individual stars toward LMC1. This photometric data is used to derive the amount of energy which the massive stellar content of LMC1 has deposited into the ISM. Thus, it is possible to determine if the underlying stellar population of LMC1 has been able to provide the energy to power the supergiant shell. If the massive stellar content has been able to provide the required energy input, we will also be able to determine the efficiency of stellar energy feedback into the ISM on scales of approximately 1kpc.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.