Monday 04/30/2012

Paper 1: Ionised gas abundances in barred spiral galaxies

Authors:E. Florido, I. Pérez, A. Zurita, P. Sánchez-Blázquez

Abstract: This is the third paper of a series devoted to study the properties of bars from long slit spectroscopy to understand their formation, evolution and their influence on the evolution of disk galaxies. In this work we aim to determine the gas metallicity distribution of a sample of 20 barred early-type galaxies. We compare the nebular and stellar metallicity distributions to conclude about the origin of the warm gas. We compare the results of nebular emission metallicities using different semi-empirical methods. We carry out AGN diagnostic diagrams along the radius to determine the radius of influence of the AGN and the nuclei nature of the studied galaxies. We then derive the gas metallicities along the bars and compare the results to the distribution of stellar metallicities in the same regions. Most of the gas emission is centrally concentrated, although 15 galaxies also show emission along the bar. In the central regions, gas oxygen abundances are in the range 12+$\log$(O/H)= 8.4-9.1. The nebular metallicity gradients are very shallow in the bulge and bar regions. For three galaxies (one of them a LINER), the gas metallicities lie well below the stellar ones in the bulge region. These results do not depend on the choice of the semi-empirical calibration used to calculate the abundances. We see that the galaxies with the lowest abundances are those with the largest rotational velocities. The presence of gas of significantly lower metallicity than the stellar abundances in three of our galaxies, points to an external origin as the source of the gas that fuels the present star formation in the centre of some early-type barred galaxies. The fact that the bar/disk nebular metallicities are higher than the central ones might be indicating that the gas could be accreted via cooling flows instead of radial accretion from gas sitting in the outer parts of the disk.

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