CHARACTERIZING THE LOW-MASS MOLECULAR COMPONENT IN THE NORTHERN SMALL MAGELLANIC CLOUD
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We present here the first results from a high-resolution survey of the 12CO(J=1-0) emission across the northern part of the poorly-enriched Small Magellanic Cloud, made with the ATNF Mopra telescope. Three molecular complexes detected in the lower resolution NANTEN survey are mapped with a beam FWHM of 4200, to sensitivities of approximately 210 mK per 0.9 km s−1 channel, resolving each complex into 4-7 small clouds of masses in the range of Mvir 103−4M and with radii no larger than 16 pc. The northern SMC CO clouds follow similar empirical relationships to the southern SMC population, yet they appear relatively under-luminous for their size, suggesting that the star-forming environment in the SMC is not homogeneous. Our data also suggests that the CO cloud population has little or no extended CO envelope on scales&30 pc, further evidence that the weak CO component in the north SMC is being disassociated by penetrating UV radiation. The new high-resolution data provide evidence for a variable correlation of the CO integrated brightness with integrated Hi and 160 μm emission; in particular CO is often, but not always, found coincident with peaks of 160 μm emission, verifying the need for matching-resolution 160 μm and Hi data for a complete assessment of the SMC H2 mass.