EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 389, Number 3, July III 2002
Page(s) 855 - 870
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020721

A&A 389, 855-870 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020721

6-m telescope spectroscopic observations of the bubble complex in NGC 6946

Yu. N. Efremov1, S. A. Pustilnik2, 3, A. Y. Kniazev2, 3, 4, B. G. Elmegreen5, S. S. Larsen6, E. J. Alfaro7, P. W. Hodge8, A. G. Pramsky2, 3 and T. Richtler9

1  Sternberg Astronomical Institute of Moscow State University, Universitetsky Prospect, 13, Moscow, 119899, Russia
2  Special Astrophysical Observatory of RAS, Nizhnij Arkhyz, Karachai-Circassia, 369167, Russia
3  Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, SAO Branch, Russia
4  Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany
5  IBM Research Division, T.J. Watson Research Center, PO Box 218, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
6  UC Observatories / Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
7  Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, 18008 Granada, Spain
8  University of Washington, Seattle, USA
9  Grupo de Astronomía, Departamento de Física, Casilla 160-C, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción, Chile

(Received 9 September 2001 / Accepted 16 May 2002 )

We describe the results of a long-slit spectroscopic study of an unusual star complex in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946 using the SAO 6 m telescope and the Keck 10 m telescope. The complex resembles a circular bubble 600 pc in diameter with a young super star cluster (SSC) near the center. The kinematics of ionized gas is studied through H $\alpha$ emission with several slit positions. Position-velocity diagrams show two distinct features with high speed motions. One is an irregularly shaped region to the east of the SSC, 270 pc in size, in which most of the H $\alpha$ emission is blue shifted by 120 km s -1, and another is a 350 pc shell centered on the SSC with positive and negative velocity shifts of 60 km s -1. Balmer and $\ion{He}{i}$ absorption lines in the SSC give an age of 12-13 Myr, which is consistent with the photometric age but significantly older than the kinematic ages of the high speed regions. The energetics of the SSC and its interaction with the environment are considered. The expansion energies exceed 1052 ergs, but the power outputs from winds and supernova in the SSC are large enough to account for this. The intensities of Balmer, [ $\ion{N}{ii}$], and [ $\ion{S}{ii}$] emission lines within and around the complex indicate that shock excitation makes a significant contribution to the emission from the most energetic region.

Key words: galaxies: ISM -- galaxies: globular clusters: general -- galaxies: formation -- galaxies: individual: NGC 6946  -- ISM: bubbles

Offprint request: Yu. N. Efremov, efremov@sai.msu.ru

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