1,329 research outputs found

    Seyfert Activity and Nuclear Star Formation in the Circinus Galaxy

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    We present high angular resolution (0".15-0".5) near infrared images and spectroscopy of the Circinus galaxy, the closest Seyfert 2 galaxy known. The data reveal a non-stellar nuclear source at 2.2 microns. The coronal line region and the hot molecular gas emission extend for 20-50 pc in the ionization cone. The data do not show evidence for a point-like concentration of dark mass; we set an upper limit of 4*10^6 Mo to the mass of a putative black hole. We find evidence for a young nuclear stellar population, with typical ages between 4*10^7 and 1.5*10^8 yrs. The luminosity of the starburst inside a few hundred pc is comparable to the intrinsic luminosity of the Seyfert nucleus, and the two of them together account for most of the observed bolometric luminosity of the galaxy. Within the central 12 pc the starburst has an age of about 7*10^7 yrs and radiates about 2% of the luminosity of the active nucleus. We discuss the implications of these results for models that have been proposed for the starburst-AGN connection.Comment: 44 pages, Latex (including 11 Figures), Color Figures 1, 2 and 4 are available at http://www.arcetri.astro.it/~maiolino/ , ApJ in pres

    Photometry and dynamics of the minor mergers AM\,1228-260 and AM\,2058-381

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    We investigate interaction effects on the dynamics and morphology of the galaxy pairs AM\,2058-381 and AM\,1228-260. This work is based on r′r' images and long-slit spectra obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph at the Gemini South Telescope. The luminosity ratio between the main (AM\,2058A) and secondary (AM\,2058B) components of the first pair is a factor of ∼\sim 5, while for the other pair, the main (AM\,1228A) component is 20 times more luminous than the secondary (AM\,1228B). The four galaxies have pseudo-bulges, with a S\'ersic index n<2n<2. Their observed radial velocities profiles (RVPs) present several irregularities. The receding side of the RVP of AM\,2058A is displaced with respect to the velocity field model, while there is a strong evidence that AM\,2058B is a tumbling body, rotating along its major axis. The RVPs for AM\,1228A indicate a misalignment between the kinematic and photometric major axes. The RVP for AM\,1228B is quite perturbed, very likely due to the interaction with AM\,1228A. NFW halo parameters for AM\,2058A are similar to those of the Milky Way and M\,31. The halo mass of AM\,1228A is roughly 10\% that of AM\,2058A. The mass-to-light (M/L) of AM\,2058 agrees with the mean value derived for late-type spirals, while the low M/L for AM\,1228A may be due to the intense star formation ongoing in this galaxy.Comment: 20 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    A first study of the galaxy HRG 2304 and its companion AM 1646-795 (NED01)

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    Aims. We report the first study of the peculiar ring-like galaxy HRG 2304 (NED02),which was previously classified as a ring galaxy with an elliptical smooth ring. This object was selected to prove that it is a candidate for the Solitaire-type ring galaxies in an early stage of ring formation. The main goal of this work is to provide the spectral characteristics of the current object and its companion AM 1646-795 (NED01). Methods. The study is based on spectroscopic observations in the optical band to highlight the characteristics of this interacting galaxy. To investigate the star formation history of HRG 2304 we used the stellar population synthesis code STARLIGHT. The direct V and B broad band images were used to enhance some fine structures. Results. Along the entire long-slit signal, the spectra of HRG 2304 and its companion resemble that of an early-type galaxy. We estimated a heliocentric systemic redshift of z = 0.0415, corresponding to heliocentric velocities of 12449 km s-1 for HRG 2304 (NED02) and 12430 km s-1 for AM1646-795 (NED01). The spatial variation in the contribution of the stellar population components for both objects are dominated by an old stellar population 2x10^9 < t < 13x10^9 yr. The observed radial-velocity distribution and the fine structures around HRG 2304 suggest an ongoing tidal interaction of both galaxies. Conclusions.The spectroscopic results and the morphological peculiarities of HRG 2304 can be adequately interpreted as an ongoing interaction with the companion galaxy. Both galaxies are early-type, the companion is elliptical, and the smooth distribution of the material around HRG 2304 and its off-center nucleus in the direction of AM1646-795 (NED01) characterize HRG 2304 as a Solitaire-type galaxy candidate in an early stage of ring formation.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 9 pages, 10 figures and 3 table

    Electron temperature fluctuations in NGC 346

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    The existence and origin of large spatial temperature fluctuations in HII regions and planetary nebulae are assumed to explain the differences between the heavy element abundances inferred from collisionally excited and recombination lines, although this interpretation remains significantly controversial. We investigate the spatial variation in electron temperature inside NGC 346, the brightest HII region in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Long slit spectrophotometric data of high signal-to-noise were employed to derive the electron temperature from measurements derived from localized observations of the [OIII](λ4959+λ5007)/λ4363\lambda4959 + \lambda5007)/\lambda4363 ratio in three directions across the nebula. The electron temperature was estimated in 179 areas of 5′′×1.5′′^{\prime\prime}\times1.5^{\prime\prime} of size distributed along three different declinations. A largely homogeneous temperature distribution was found with a mean temperature of 12 269 K and a dispersion of 6.1%. After correcting for pure measurements errors, a temperature fluctuation on the plane of the sky of ts2=0.0021t^2_{\rm s} = 0.0021 (corresponding to a dispersion of 4.5%) was obtained, which indicates a 3D temperature fluctuation parameter of t2≈0.008t^2 \approx 0.008. A large scale gradient in temperature of the order of −5.7±1.3-5.7\pm1.3 K arcsec−1^{-1} was found. The magnitude of the temperature fluctuations observed agrees with the large scale variations in temperature predicted by standard photoionization models, but is too small to explain the abundance discrepancy problem. However, the possible existence of small spatial scale temperature variations is not excluded.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, 2 table
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