Journal Article

Eliminating error in the chemical abundance scale for extragalactic H <span class="smallCaps">ii</span> regions

Á. R. López-Sánchez, M. A. Dopita, L. J. Kewley, H. J. Zahid, D. C. Nicholls and J. Scharwächter

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 426, issue 4, pages 2630-2651
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21145.x
Eliminating error in the chemical abundance scale for extragalactic H ii regions

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Abstract

In an attempt to remove the systematic errors which have plagued the calibration of the H ii region abundance sequence, we have theoretically modelled the extragalactic H ii region sequence. We then used the theoretical spectra so generated in a double-blind experiment to recover the chemical abundances using both the classical electron temperature + ionization correction factor technique and the technique which depends on the use of strong emission lines (SELs) in the nebular spectrum to estimate the abundance of oxygen. We find a number of systematic trends, and we provide correction formulae which should remove systematic errors in the electron temperature + ionization correction factor technique. We also provide a critical evaluation of the various semi-empirical SEL techniques. Finally, we offer a scheme which should help to eliminate systematic errors in the SEL-derived chemical abundance scale for extragalactic H ii regions.

Keywords: methods: data analysis; techniques: spectroscopic; ISM: abundances; H ii regions; galaxies: abundances

Journal Article.  12361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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