Query : 2022A&A...666A.109A

2022A&A...666A.109A - Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 666A, 109 (2022/10-1)

The survey of planetary nebulae in Andromeda (M31) V. Chemical enrichment of the thin and thicker discs of Andromeda: Oxygen to argon abundance ratios for planetary nebulae and HII regions.


Abstract (from CDS):

Context. The Andromeda (M31) galaxy presents evidence of recent substantial mass accretion. This is unlike what has happened in the Milky Way, which has experienced a rather quiescent evolution.
Aims. We use oxygen and argon abundances for planetary nebulae (PNe) with low internal extinction (progenitor ages of > 4.5 Gyr) and high extinction (progenitor ages < 2.5 Gyr), as well as those of the HII regions, to constrain the chemical enrichment and star formation efficiency in the thin and thicker discs of M31.
Methods. The argon element is produced in larger fractions by Type Ia supernovae compared to oxygen. We find that the mean log(O/Ar) values of PNe as a function of their argon abundances, 12 + log(Ar/H), trace the interstellar medium (ISM) conditions at the time of birth of the M31 disc PN progenitors. Thus, the chemical enrichment and star formation efficiency information encoded in the [α/Fe] versus [Fe/H] distribution of stars is also imprinted in the oxygen-to-argon abundance ratio log(O/Ar) versus argon abundance for the nebular emissions of the different stellar evolution phases. We propose using the log(O/Ar) versus (12 + log(Ar/H)) distribution of PNe with different ages to constrain the star formation histories of the parent stellar populations in the thin and thicker M31 discs.
Results. For the inner M31 disc (RGC < 14 kpc), the chemical evolution model that reproduces the mean log(O/Ar) values as a function of argon abundance for the high- and low-extinction PNe requires a second infall of metal-poorer gas during a gas-rich (wet) satellite merger. This wet merger triggered the burst of star formation seen by the PHAT survey in the M31 disc, ∼3 Gyr ago. A strong starburst is ongoing in the intermediate radial range (14 ≤ RGC ≤ 18 kpc). In the outer M31 disc (RGC > 18 kpc), the log(O/Ar) versus argon abundance distribution of the younger high-extinction PNe indicates that they too were formed in a burst, though mostly from the metal-poorer gas. Present-day HII regions show a range of oxygen-to-argon ratios, which is indicative of spatial variations and consistent with a present-day rainfall of metal-poorer gas onto the disc with different degrees of mixing with the previously enriched ISM.
Conclusions. We implement the use of the log(O/Ar) versus argon abundance distribution for emission nebulae as a complement to the [α/Fe] versus [Fe/H] diagram for stars, and use it to constrain the star formation efficiency in the thin and thicker discs of M31. Diagrams for M31 PNe in different age ranges reveal that a secondary infall of gas affected the chemical evolution of the M31 thin disc. In M31, the thin disc is younger and less radially extended, formed stars at a higher star formation efficiency, and had a faster chemical enrichment timescale than the more extended thicker disc. Both the thin and thicker discs in M31 reach similar high argon abundances (12 + log(Ar/H)) ≃ 6.7. The chemical and structural properties of the thin and thicker discs in M31 are thus remarkably different from those determined for the Milky Way thin and thick discs.

Abstract Copyright: © M. Arnaboldi et al. 2022

Journal keyword(s): stars: AGB and post-AGB - HII regions - planetary nebulae: general - stars: abundances - galaxies: individual: M31 - galaxies: structure

Simbad objects: 2

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Number of rows : 2
N Identifier Otype ICRS (J2000)
ICRS (J2000)
Mag U Mag B Mag V Mag R Mag I Sp type #ref
1850 - 2024
1 M 31 AGN 00 42 44.330 +41 16 07.50 4.86 4.36 3.44     ~ 12678 1
2 UGC 10738 G 17 11 05.845 +05 51 08.10   15.5       ~ 52 0

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