" Star Formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud - Using ALMA to Prepare for Future JWST Observations "
Abstract: The Large Magellanic Cloud has been the subject of star formation studies for decades due to its proximity to the Milky Way (50 kpc), a nearly face-on orientation, and a low metallicity (0.5 solar) similar to that of galaxies at the peak of star formation in the universe (z~2). My work is on three extreme star forming environments in the Large Magellanic Cloud: 30 Doradus, N159, and N79. I analyze the CO molecular gas clouds, as well as other high density gas tracers, observed with ALMA to relate the star formation activity in 30 Doradus, N159, and N79 to the parental gas in which protostars form. I find that not all massive young stellar objects are associated with CO gas, higher mass clumps tend to form higher mass stars, and there is a density threshold above which massive star formation takes place. Looking at the interplay between dense molecular gas and the newly forming stars in a stellar nursery will shed light on how these stars formed: filamentary collision, monolithic collapse, or competitive accretion. My current work using ALMA observations of a super star cluster candidate in N79 serves as the basis for JWST MIRI and NIRCam planned GTO observations.