Volume 455, Number 3, September I 2006
|Page(s)||853 - 870|
|Published online||16 August 2006|
High spatial resolution mid-infrared spectroscopy of the starburst galaxies NGC 3256, II Zw 40 and Henize 2–10
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Vía Lactea, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Observatoire de Genève, 51 Chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
3 Laboratoire Astrophysique de Toulouse-Tarbes (UMR 5572), Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 Avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
4 NASA Ames Research Center, MS 245-6, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
5 SRON National Institute for Space Research and Kapteyn Institute, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
6 CEA/DSM/DAPNIA/SAp, CE Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Accepted: 26 April 2006
Aims.In order to show the importance of high spatial resolution observations of extra-galactic sources when compared to observations obtained with larger apertures such as ISO, we present N-band spectra (8–13 μm) of some locations in three starburst galaxies. In particular, we show the two galactic nuclei of the spiral galaxy NGC 3256, the compact IR supernebula in the dwarf galaxy II Zw 40 and the two brightest IR knots in the central starburst of the WR galaxy He 2–10.
Methods.The spectra were obtained with TIMMI2 on the ESO 3.6 m telescope. An inventory of the spectra in terms of atomic fine-structure lines and molecular bands is presented.
Results.We show the value of these high spatial resolution data in constraining properties such as the extinction in the mid-IR, metallicity or stellar content (age, IMF, etc.). We have constrained the stellar content of the IR compact knot in II Zw 40 by using the mid-IR fine-structure lines and setting restrictions on the nebular geometry. We have constructed a new mid-/far-IR diagnostic diagram based on the 11.2 μm PAH and continuum, accessible to ground-based observations. We find that extra-galactic nuclei and star clusters observed at high spatial resolution (as is the case of the TIMMI2 observations) are closer in PAH/far-IR to compact H II regions, while galaxies observed by large apertures such as ISO are closer to exposed PDRs such as Orion. This is likely due to the aperture difference. We find a dependence between the presence of PAHs and the hardness of the radiation field as measured by the / ratio that may be explained by the PAH-dust competition for FUV photons or the relative contribution of the different phases of the interstellar medium.
Key words: ISM: lines and bands / dust, extinction / H II regions / galaxies: starburst / infrared: galaxies
© ESO, 2006
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