Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser., 174, 337-365 (2008/February-0)
A connection between star formation in nuclear rings and their host galaxies.
MAZZUCA L.M., KNAPEN J.H., VEILLEUX S. and REGAN M.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present results from a photometric Hα survey of 22 nuclear rings, aiming to provide insight into their star formation properties, including age distribution, dynamical timescales, star formation rates, and galactic bar influence. We find a clear relationship between the position angles and ellipticities of the rings and those of their host galaxies, which indicates the rings are in the same plane as the disk and circular. We use population synthesis models to estimate ages of each Hα-emitting (H II) region, which range from 1 to 10 Myr throughout the rings. We find that approximately half of the rings contain azimuthal age gradients that encompass at least 25% of the ring, although there is no apparent relationship between the presence or absence of age gradients and the morphology of the rings or their host galaxies. NGC 1343, NGC 1530, and NGC 4321 show clear bipolar age gradients, where the youngest H II regions are located near the two contact points of the bar and ring. We speculate in these cases that the gradients are related to an increased mass inflow rate and/or an overall higher gas density in the ring, which would allow for massive star formation to occur on short timescales, after which the galactic rotation would transport the H II regions around the ring as they age. Two-thirds of the barred galaxies show correlation between the locations of the youngest H II region(s) in the ring and the location of the contact points, which is consistent with predictions from numerical modeling.
Galaxies: Spiral - Galaxies: Structure - Stars: Formation
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJS/174/337): galaxies.dat tables.dat>
Tables 4-23, Figs 3: [MKV2008] NGC NNNN NN, [MKV2008] IC 1438 NN N=456.
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