Wednesday 11th June 2013

An In-Depth View of the Mid-Infrared Properties of Point Sources and the Diffuse ISM in the SMC Giant HII Region, N66

David G. Whelan (U. Virginia), Vianney Lebouteiller (CEA Saclay), Frederic Galliano (CEA Saclay), Els Peeters (U. Western Ontario), Jeronimo Bernard-Salas (IAS), Kelsey E. Johnson (U. Virginia), Remy Indebetouw (U. Virginia), Bernhard Brandl (Leiden Observatory)

The focus of this work is to study mid-infrared point sources and the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) in the low-metallicity (~0.2 solar) giant HII region N66 using the Spitzer Space Telescope’s Infrared Spectrograph. We study 14 targeted infrared point sources as well as spectra of the diffuse ISM that is representative of both the photodissociation regions (PDRs) and the HII regions. Among the point source spectra, we spectroscopically confirm that the brightest mid-infrared point source is a massive embedded young stellar object, we detect silicates in emission associated with two young stellar clusters, and we observe spectral features of a known B[e] supergiant that are more commonly associated with Herbig Be stars. In the diffuse ISM, we provide additional evidence that the very small grain population is being photodestroyed in the hard radiation field. The 11.3 um PAH complex emission exhibits an unexplained centroid shift in both the point source and ISM spectra that should be investigated at higher signal-to-noise and resolution. Unlike studies of other regions, the 6.2 um and 7.7 um band fluxes are decoupled; the data points cover a large range of I7.7/I11.3 PAH ratio values within a narrow band of I6.2/I11.3 ratio values. Furthermore, there is a spread in PAH ionization, being more neutral in the dense PDR where the radiation field is relatively soft, but ionized in the diffuse ISM/PDR. By contrast, the PAH size distribution appears to be independent of local ionization state. Important to unresolved studies of extragalactic low-metallicity star-forming regions, we find that emission from the infrared-bright point sources accounts for only 20-35% of the PAH emission from the entire region. These results make a comparative dataset to other star-forming regions with similarly hard and strong radiation fields.


Mid-Infrared and X-ray luminosity correlations of X-ray point sources in NGC 1399

P. Shalima, V. Jithesh, K. Jeena, R. Misra, S. Ravindranath, G. C. Dewangan, C. D. Ravikumar, B. R. S. Babu

It is known that the IR and X-ray luminosities of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are correlated with L_{IR} ~ L_{X}. Moreover, the IR flux ratio between the 5.8 and 3.6 \mu m bands is a good distinguishing characteristic of AGN or AGN-like behaviour. On the other hand, Galactic X-ray binaries (GXB) are under-luminous in the IR with L_{IR} << L_{X}. Since Ultra-luminous X-ray sources in nearby galaxies may be an intermediate class between AGN and GXB, it is interesting to study if their IR properties indicate which kind of objects they resemble. We use Spitzer IRAC images to identify mid-IR counterparts of bright X-ray sources, detected by Chandra in the elliptical galaxy NGC 1399. We find that for sources with AGN-like IR flux ratios, the IR luminosity strongly correlates with that in X-rays, L_{IR} ~ L_{X}, while for the others, there is no correlation between the two. Some of the former objects may be background AGN. If they are not strongly contaminated by background AGN, this result extends the IR-X-ray luminosity correlation down to L_{X} ~ 10^{39} ergs/s. We calculate their g-z colours and find that the bright X-ray sources with IR counterparts are typically blue in optical color. This is in contrast to typical X-ray sources, without IR counterparts which have predominantly red optical counterparts. We highlight the need for IR or optical spectra of these sources to distinguish background AGN and unveil the effect of the X-ray emission on the different environments of these systems.

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