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Metal Transport to the Gaseous Outskirts of Galaxies

By Jessica Werk, Mary Putman, Gerhardt Meurer and Nitza Santiago-Figueroa

Abstract

We present a search for outlying HII regions in the extended gaseous outskirts of nearby (D < 40 Mpc) galaxies, and subsequent multi-slit spectroscopy used to obtain the HII region nebular oxygen abundances. The galaxies in our sample have extended HI disks and/or interaction-related HI features that extend well beyond their primary stellar components. We report oxygen abundance gradients out to 2.5 times the optical radius for these galaxies which span a range of morphologies and masses. We analyze the underlying stellar and neutral HI gas distributions in the vicinity of the HII regions to understand the physical processes that give rise to the observed metal distributions in galaxies. These measurements, for the first time, convincingly show flat abundance distributions out to large radii in a wide variety of systems, and have broad implications for galaxy chemodynamical evolution.Comment: 25 Pages, 3 Figures, 16 Table

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics, Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/71
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1104.3897
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