Photometric and spectroscopic studies of star-forming regions within Wolf-Rayet galaxies [CEA]

We present a study of the properties of star-forming regions within a sample of 7 Wolf-Rayet (WR) galaxies. We analyze their morphologies, colours, star-formation rate (SFR), metallicities, and stellar populations combining broad-band and narrow-band photometry with low-resolution optical spectroscopy. The $UBVRI$ observations were made through the 2m HCT (Himalayan Chandra Telescope) and 1m ARIES telescope. The spectroscopic data were obtained using the Hanle Faint Object Spectrograph Camera (HFOSC) mounted on the 2m HCT. The observed galaxies are NGC 1140, IRAS 07164+5301, NGC 3738, UM 311, NGC 6764, NGC 4861 and NGC 3003. The optical spectra have been used to search for the faint WR features, to confirm that the ionization of the gas is consequence of the massive stars, and to quantify the oxygen abundance of each galaxy using several and independent empirical calibrations. We detected the broad features originated by WR stars in NGC 1140 and NGC 4861 and used them to derive their population of massive stars. Using our H$\alpha$ images we have identified tens of regions within these galaxies, for which we derived the SFR. For all regions we found that the most recent star-formation event is 3 – 6 Myr old. We used the optical broad-band colours in combination with Starburst99 models to estimate the internal reddening and the age of the dominant underlying stellar population within all these regions. Knots in NGC 3738, NGC 6764 and NGC 3003 generally show the presence of an important old (400 – 1000 Myr) stellar population. However, the optical colours are not able to detect stars older than 20 – 50 Myr in the knots of the other four galaxies. This fact suggests both the intensity of the starbursts and that the star-formation activity has been ongoing for at least some few tens of million years in these objects.

Read this paper on arXiv…

Mon, 2 Dec 13