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14th of June 2018
When molecular clouds collide
by Sano et al.
A collision between two molecular clouds is one possible candidate for high-mass star formation. The HII region RCW 36, located in the Vela molecular ridge, contains a young star cluster, about 1 million years old, and two O-type stars. Sano et al. present new observations of CO emission line in RCW 36 with Mopra (J=1-0), NANTEN2 (J=2-1), and ASTE (J=3-2). They have discovered two molecular clouds likely to be physically associated with the star cluster. The high intensity ratio for CO J = 3–2 / 1–0 found toward both clouds indicates that the gas temperature has been increased due to heating by the O-type stars. Sano et al. propose that the O-type stars in RCW 36 were formed by a collision between the two clouds. with an estimated collision timescale of around 100,000 years. Full details are given in the paper in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.

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