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Metal Transport to the Gaseous Outskirts of Galaxies

By J. K. Werk, M. E. Putman, G. R. Meurer and N. Santiago-Figueroa


We present a search for outlying H II regions in the extended gaseous outskirts of nearby ( D < 40 Mpc) galaxies and subsequent multi-slit spectroscopy used to obtain the H II region nebular oxygen abundances. The galaxies in our sample have extended H I disks and/or interaction-related H I 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 H I gas distributions in the vicinity of the H II 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

Publisher: IOP Publishing
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0004-637X-735-2-71
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