RemoveYoung: A tool for the removal of the young stellar component in galaxies within an adjustable age cutoff
Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade do Porto, Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
Received: 15 February 2016
Accepted: 23 March 2016
The optical morphology of galaxies holds the cumulative record of their assembly history, and techniques for its quantitative characterization offer a promising avenue toward understanding galaxy formation and evolution. However, the morphology of star-forming galaxies is generally dictated by the youngest stellar component, which can readily overshine faint structural/morphological features in the older underlying stellar background (e.g., relics from recent minor mergers) that could hold important insights into the galaxy build-up process. Stripping off galaxy images from the emission from stellar populations younger than an adjustable age cutoff tcut can therefore provide a valuable tool in extragalactic research. RemoveYoung (ℛ𝒴), a publicly available tool that is presented here, exploits the combined power of integral field spectroscopy (IFS) and spectral population synthesis (SPS) toward this goal. Two-dimensional (2D) post-processing of SPS models to IFS data cubes with ℛ𝒴 permits computation of the spectral energy, surface brightness, and stellar surface density distribution of stellar populations older than a user-defined tcut. This suggests a variety of applications of star-forming galaxies, such as interacting or merging galaxy pairs and lower mass starburst galaxies near and far; these include blue compact and tidal dwarf galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: starburst / galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: star clusters: general / galaxies: photometry / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: evolution
© ESO, 2016