EDP Sciences
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Volume 367, Number 2, February IV 2001
Page(s) 388 - 404
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010063

A&A 367, 388-404 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010063

The chemical abundances in a sample of dwarf irregular galaxies

I. Small scale variations within NGC 6822?
A. M. Hidalgo-Gámez1, K. Olofsson1 and J. Masegosa2

1  Astronomiska observatoriet, Box 515, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
    e-mail: kjell.olofsson@astro.uu.se
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Apdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
    e-mail: pepa@iaa.es

(Received 9 November 1999 / Accepted 18 October 2000)

Deep groundbased spectra of Hubble V and Hubble X, the two largest and brightest H II regions in the Local Group dwarf galaxy, NGC 6822, are presented. The extinction, excitation and ionization are studied on scales as small as 4 pc. The chemical composition of some elements within the regions as well as possible small scale variations in the abundances of helium, nitrogen, oxygen and neon over the face of the two regions are investigated. The detection of the emission lines $\lbrack$OI$\rbrack$ and $\lbrack$ClIII$\rbrack$ are probably related to shock-heating from gas ejected from supernova explosions and planetary nebula ejections, respectively, although the contribution to the total ionization is very small. No significant differences in chemical composition was found between Hubble V and Hubble X. However, some small scale variations in the abundances of oxygen, and possibly nitrogen and helium, over the face of both H II regions were noted, although different physical conditions could apply within the regions, such as local fluctuations in the temperature.

Key words: galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: irregular -- galaxies: stellar content -- ISM: H II regions

Offprint request: A. M. Hidalgo-Gámez, anamaria@astro.uu.se

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