Physical properties of superbubbles in the Antennae galaxies

Rosado, M.; Rodríguez-González, A.; Velázquez, P. F.; Font, J.; Beckman, J. E.; Zaragoza-Cardiel, J.; Camps-Fariña, A.
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 468, Issue 4, p.4134-4142

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Mass outflow generated by the dynamical feedback from massive stars is currently a topic of great interest. Using a purpose-developed analysis technique, and taking full advantage of the high kinematic and angular resolution of our instrument, we have detected a number of expanding superbubbles in the interacting pair of galaxies Arp 244 (NGC 4038/9), commonly known as the Antennae. We used a Fabry-Pérot interferometer GHαFaS to measure the profile of H α in emission over the full extent of the object, except for the extended H i tails. The superbubbles are found to be centred on most of the brightest H ii regions, especially in the overlap area of the two merging galaxies. We use measured sizes, expansion velocities and luminosities of the shells to estimate most of the physical parameters of the bubbles, including the kinetic energy of the expansion. In order to assess the validity of our results and approximations, we perform a hydrodynamic simulation and manage to reproduce well our best measured superbubble with reasonable physical input assumptions. We also study the sources of ionization of the shells, finding that at the current, quite late stage of expansion, radiation from the remaining stars dominates, although the effect of supernova shocks can still be observed.
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John E. Beckman