Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 477, 904-934 (2018/June-2)
Emission-line diagnostics of nearby H II regions including interacting binary populations.
XIAO L., STANWAY E.R. and ELDRIDGE J.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present numerical models of the nebular emission from H II regions around young stellar populations over a range of compositions and ages. The synthetic stellar populations include both single stars and interacting binary stars. We compare these models to the observed emission lines of 254 H II regions of 13 nearby spiral galaxies and 21 dwarf galaxies drawn from archival data. The models are created using the combination of the BPASS (Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis) code with the photoionization code CLOUDY to study the differences caused by the inclusion of interacting binary stars in the stellar population. We obtain agreement with the observed emission line ratios from the nearby star-forming regions and discuss the effect of binary-star evolution pathways on the nebular ionization of H II regions. We find that at population ages above 10 Myr, single-star models rapidly decrease in flux and ionization strength, while binary-star models still produce strong flux and high [ O III]/H β ratios. Our models can reproduce the metallicity of H II regions from spiral galaxies, but we find higher metallicities than previously estimated for the H II regions from dwarf galaxies. Comparing the equivalent width of H β emission between models and observations, we find that accounting for ionizing photon leakage can affect age estimates for H II regions. When it is included, the typical age derived for H II regions is 5 Myr from single-star models, and up to 10 Myr with binary-star models. This is due to the existence of binary-star evolution pathways, which produce more hot Wolf-Rayet and helium stars at older ages. For future reference, we calculate new BPASS binary maximal starburst lines as a function of metallicity, and for the total model population, and present these in Appendix A.