Journal Article

Integral field spectroscopy of local LCBGs: NGC 7673, a case study. Physical properties of star-forming regions

A. Castillo-Morales, J. Gallego, J. Pérez-Gallego, R. Guzmán, J. C. Muñoz-Mateos, J. Zamorano and S. F. Sánchez

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 411, issue 3, pages 1819-1832
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17813.x
Integral field spectroscopy of local LCBGs: NGC 7673, a case study. Physical properties of star-forming regions

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Physical properties of the star-forming regions in the local Luminous Compact Blue Galaxy (LCBG) NGC 7673 are studied in detail using 3D spectroscopic data taken with the PMAS fibre pack (PPAK) integral field unit at the 3.5-m telescope in the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA). We derive integrated and spatially resolved properties such as extinction, star formation rate (SFR) and metallicity for this galaxy. Our data show an extinction map with maximum values located at the position of the main clumps of star formation showing small spatial variations [E(BV)t= 0.12–0.21 mag]. We derive an Hα-based SFR for this galaxy of 6.2 ± 0.8 M yr−1 in agreement with the SFR derived from infrared and radio continuum fluxes. The star formation is located mainly in clumps A, B, C and F. Different properties measured in clump B make this region peculiar. We find the highest Hα luminosity with an SFR surface density of 0.5 M yr−1 kpc−2 in this clump. In our previous work, the kinematic analysis for this galaxy shows an asymmetrical ionized gas velocity field with a kinematic decoupled component located at the position of clump B. This region shows the absence of strong absorption features and the presence of a Wolf–Rayet stellar population indicating that this is a young burst of massive stars. Furthermore, we estimate a gas metallicity of 12 + log(O/H) = 8.20 ± 0.15 (0.32 solar) for the integrated galaxy using the R23 index. The values derived for the different clumps with this method show small metallicity variations in this galaxy, with values in the range 8.12 (for clump A) to 8.23 (for clump B) for 12 + log(O/H). The analysis of the emission-line ratios discards the presence of any active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity or shocks as the ionization source in this galaxy. Between the possible mechanisms to explain the starburst activity in this galaxy, our 3D spectroscopic data support the scenario of an on-going interaction with the possibility for clump B to be the dwarf satellite galaxy.

Keywords: galaxies: individual: NGC 7673; galaxies: starburst

Journal Article.  10496 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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