AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 116. Galaxies - Activating
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[116.16] Dust and Gas Clouds and the Starburst in NGC 5253

J. L. Turner (UCLA), L. P. Crosthwaite (Astute Networks), D. S. Meier (Illinois), A. Kovacs (Caltech), D. J. Benford (NASA/Goddard), S. C. Beck (Tel Aviv Univ.)

We present a far infrared image of the dust emission in the starburst galaxy, NGC 5253. This unusual dwarf galaxy contains what may be the youngest globular cluster known. Even though this cluster is very young, estimated to be less than 1 million years of age, and very massive, containing 105-106 solar masses in stars, little CO line emission is associated with the young cluster. Does this mean that the star formation in NGC 5253 is remarkably efficient, ultimately turning more than 75% of the star-forming gas clouds into stars--nearly 100 times more efficient than Galactic star formation on these sizescales? Or does it mean that CO cannot be relied upon to trace molecular gas in this low-metallicity galaxy, and that most of this gas is ``invisible''? How is NGC 5253 capable of forming such large star clusters? The image that we show, taken at a wavelength of 350 microns with the SHARC camera at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, when put together with a CO(2-1) map made with the Owens Valley Millimeter Array, provides answers to these questions.

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~chicag/N5253_CO21.pdf. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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