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Dr Yi-nan Chin (Tamkang University, Taiwan)

Magellanic Clouds -- An Astrophysical Laboratory - Dr Yi-nan Chin Colloquium

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 14 Jul 2004

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre


Temperature, density, metallicity, and radiation field are important
parameters that characterize the physical and chemical state of molecular
clouds. In order to understand the physics and chemistry of them, it is
therefore necessary to observe and analyze molecular clouds in a variety of
environments and to combine observational data with results from model
calculations. Observationally, it is possible to vary the first two
parameters (i.e., temperature and density) within our Milky Way by observing
clouds in different locations. The metallicity, however, does not change
drastically in the Galactic plane. As two of the closest galaxies to the
Milky Way, Magellanic Clouds provide a unique environment because of their
low metallicity and high UV radiation field. As a consequence the Magellanic
Clouds are characterized by low dust-to-gas mass ratios. They are thus a
"laboratory" where we can study molecular clouds with exotic boundary
conditions, and it is easy to foresee that detailed observations will have a
great impact on our general knowledge of astrochemistry and astrophysics of
interstellar clouds.

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