SIMBAD references

1999ApJS..125..489G - Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser., 125, 489-509 (1999/December-0)

Synthetic spectra of H Balmer and He I absorption lines. II. Evolutionary synthesis models for starburst and poststarburst galaxies.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present evolutionary stellar population synthesis models to predict the spectrum of a single-metallicity stellar population, with a spectral sampling of 0.3 Å in five spectral regions between 3700 and 5000 Å. The models, which are optimized for galaxies with active star formation, synthesize the profiles of the hydrogen Balmer series (Hβ, Hγ, Hδ, H8, H9, H10, H11, H12, and H13) and the neutral helium absorption lines (He I λ4922, He I λ4471, He I λ4388, He I λ4144, He I λ4121, He I λ4026, He I λ4009, and He I λ3819) for a burst with an age ranging from 106 to 109 yr, and different assumptions about the stellar initial mass function (IMF). Continuous star formation models lasting for 1 Gyr are also presented. The input stellar library includes non-LTE absorption profiles for stars hotter than 25,000 K and LTE profiles for lower temperatures. The temperature and gravity coverage is 4000 K≤Teff≤50,000 K and 0.0≤logg≤5.0, respectively. The metallicity is solar.

It is found that the Balmer and He I line profiles are sensitive to the age, except during the first 4 Myr of the evolution, when the equivalent widths of these lines are constant. At these early stages of the evolution, the profiles of the lines are also sensitive to the IMF. However, strong H Balmer and He I lines are predicted even when the low-mass cutoff of the IMF is as high as 10 M. The equivalent widths of the Balmer lines range from 2 to 16 Å and those of the He I lines from 0.2 to 1.2 Å. During the nebular phase (cluster younger than about 10 Myr), Hβ ranges from 2 to 5 Å and He I λ4471 ranges between 0.5 and 1.2 Å. The strength of the lines is maximum when the cluster is a few hundred (for the Balmer lines) and a few tens (for the He I lines) of Myr old. In the continuous star formation scenario, the strength of the Balmer and He I lines increases monotonically with time until 500 and 100 Myr, respectively. However, the lines are weaker than in the burst models owing to the dilution of the Balmer and He I lines by the contribution from very massive stars.

The high spectral resolution of the profiles is useful to reproduce the absorption wings observed in regions of recent star formation and to estimate the effect of the underlying absorption on the nebular emission lines. The strength of the nebular emission Balmer and He I lines compared with the stellar absorption components indicates that Hδ and the higher order terms of the Balmer series and He I are dominated by the stellar absorption component if an instantaneous burst is older than ≃5 Myr. Some of the He I lines (e.g., He I λ3819 and He I λ4922) are more favorable than others (e.g., He I λ4471) for the detection of stellar features in the presence of nebular emission. We estimate that the correction to the He I λ4471 nebular emission line due to the stellar absorption is between 5% and 25%, if the nebular emission has equivalent width between 10 and 2.5 Å (corresponding to a burst age between 1 and 3 Myr).

The models can be used to date starburst and poststarburst galaxies until 1 Gyr. They have been tested on data for clusters in the LMC, the super-star cluster B in the starburst galaxy NGC 1569, the nucleus of the dwarf elliptical NGC 205 and a luminous ``E+A'' galaxy. The full data set is available for retrieval at our websites or on request from the authors.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Fundamental Parameters - galaxies: starburst - galaxies: stellar content - line: profiles

CDS comments: The 'E+A' galaxy = [D80] ACO 2063 13 in SIMBAD.

Simbad objects: 14

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