First detection of HCO+ absorption in the magellanic system

Claire E. Murray, Snežana Stanimirović, N. M. McClure-Griffiths, M. E. Putman, H. S. Liszt, Tony Wong, P. Richter, J. R. Dawson, John M. Dickey, Robert R. Lindner, Brian L. Babler, J. R. Allison

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We present the first detection of HCO+ absorption in the Magellanic System. Using the ATCA, we observed nine extragalactic radio continuum sources behind the Magellanic System and detected HCO+ absorption toward one source located behind the leading edge of the Magellanic Bridge. The detection is located at an LSR velocity of , with an FWHM of , and an optical depth of . Although there is abundant neutral hydrogen (H i) surrounding the sight line in position-velocity space, at the exact location of the absorber the H i column density is low, , and there is little evidence for dust or CO emission from Planck observations. While the origin and survival of molecules in such a diffuse environment remain unclear, dynamical events such as H i flows and cloud collisions in this interacting system likely play an important role.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015


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