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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/58038
- The flat oxygen abundance gradient in the extended disk of M83
- Bresolin, Fabio; Ryan-Weber, Emma; Kennicutt, Robert C.; Goddard, Quinton
- We have obtained deep multiobject optical spectra of 49 H II regions in the outer disk of the spiral galaxy M83 (=NGC 5236) with the FORS2 spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope. The targets span the range in galactocentric distance between 0.64 and 2.64 times the R 25 isophotal radius (5.4-22.3 kpc), and 31 of them are located at R > R 25, thus belonging to the extreme outer disk of the galaxy, populated by UV complexes revealed recently by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite. In order to derive the nebular chemical abundances, we apply several diagnostics of the oxygen abundance, including R 23, [N II]/[O II], and the [O III] λ4363 auroral line, which was detected in four H II regions. We find that, while inward of the optical edge the O/H ratio follows the radial gradient known from previous investigations, the outer abundance trend flattens out to an approximately constant value. The latter varies, according to the adopted diagnostic, between 12 + log(O/H) = 8.2 and 12 + log(O/H) = 8.6 (i.e., from approximately 1/3 of the solar oxygen abundance to nearly the solar value). An abrupt discontinuity in the radial oxygen abundance trend is also detected near the optical edge of the disk. These results are tentatively linked to the flat gas surface density in the outskirts of the galaxy, the relatively unevolved state of the extended disk of M83, and the redistribution of chemically enriched gas following a past galaxy encounter.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 695, no. 1 (Apr 2009), pp. 580-595
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
- Galaxies; ISM; M83; Spiral galaxies
- Institute of Physics Publishing
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2009. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Publisher does not officially support archiving of either the postprint (final, revised accepted draft) or published version of full text in institutional repositories.
- Additional information
- This paper is based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, under program 079.B-0438.
- Peer reviewed