Volume 546, October 2012
|Number of page(s)||28|
|Published online||27 September 2012|
Integral field spectroscopy of a sample of nearby galaxies
II. Properties of the H ii regions⋆,⋆⋆,⋆⋆⋆
1 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, Aptdo. 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
2 Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán, Calar Alto, CSIC-MPG, C/Jesús Durbán Remón 2-2, 04004 Almería, Spain
3 Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
4 CEI Campus Moncloa, UCM-UPM, Departamento de Astrofísica y CC. de la Atmósfera, Facultad de CC. Físicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Avda. Complutense s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
5 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
6 Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics A28, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
7 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
8 Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
9 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
10 Departamento de Física – CFM – Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, PO Box 476, 88040-900, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil
Received: 11 May 2012
Accepted: 7 August 2012
We analyse the spectroscopic properties of thousands of H ii regions identified in 38 face-on spiral galaxies. All galaxies were observed out to 2.4 effective radii using integral field spectroscopy (IFS) over the wavelength range ~3700 to ~6900 Å. The near uniform sample has been assembled from the PPAK IFS Nearby Galaxy (PINGS) survey and a sample described in Paper I. We develop a new automatic procedure to detect H ii regions, based on the contrast of the Hα intensity maps extracted from the datacubes. Once detected, the algorithm provides us with the integrated spectra of each individual segmented region. In total, we derive good quality spectroscopic information for ~2600 independent H ii regions/complexes. This is by far the largest H ii region survey of its kind. Our selection criteria and the use of 3D spectroscopy guarantee that we cover the regions in an unbiased way. A well-tested automatic decoupling procedure has been applied to remove the underlying stellar population, deriving the main properties (intensity, dispersion and velocity) of the strongest emission lines in the considered wavelength range (covering from [O ii] λ3727 to [S ii] λ6731). A final catalogue of the spectroscopic properties of H ii regions has been created for each galaxy, which includes information on morphology, spiral structure, gaskinematics, and surface brightness of the underlying stellar population. In the current study, we focus on the understanding of the average properties of the H ii regions and their radial distributions. We find a significant change in the ionisation characteristics of H ii regions within r < 0.25 re due to contamination from sources with different ionising characteristics, as we discuss. We find that the gas-phase oxygen abundance and the Hα equivalent width present a negative and positive gradient, respectively. The distribution of slopes is statistically compatible with a random Gaussian distribution around the mean value, if the radial distances are measured in units of the respective effective radius. No difference in the slope is found for galaxies of different morphologies, e.g. barred/non-barred, grand-design/flocculent. Therefore, the effective radius is a universal scale length for gradients in the evolution of galaxies. Some properties have a large variance across each object and between galaxies (e.g. electron density) without a clear characteristic value. But other properties are well described by an average value either galaxy by galaxy or among the different galaxies (e.g. dust attenuation).
Key words: galaxies: ISM / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: abundances
Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC).
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
Catalogues are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/546/A2
© ESO, 2012
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