A characteristic oxygen abundance gradient in galaxy disks unveiled with CALIFA
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We present the largest and most homogeneous catalog of H II regions and associations compiled so far. The catalog comprises more than 7000 ionized regions, extracted from 306 galaxies observed by the CALIFA survey. We describe the procedures used to detect, select, and analyze the spectroscopic properties of these ionized regions. In the current study we focus on characterizing of the radial gradient of the oxygen abundance in the ionized gas, based on the study of the deprojected distribution of H II regions. We found that all galaxies without clear evidence of an interaction present a common gradient in the oxygen abundance, with a characteristic slope of aO/H = -0.1 dex/re between 0.3 and 2 disk effective radii (re), and a scatter compatible with random fluctuations around this value, when the gradient is normalized to the disk effective radius. The slope is independent of morphology, the incidence of bars, absolute magnitude, or mass. Only those galaxies with evidence of interactions and/or clear merging systems present a significantly shallower gradient, consistent with previous results. The majority of the 94 galaxies with H II regions detected beyond two disk effective radii present a flattening in the oxygen abundance. The flattening is statistically significant. We cannot provide a conclusive answer regarding the origin of this flattening. However, our results indicate that its origin is most probably related to the secular evolution of galaxies. Finally, we find a drop/truncation of the oxygen abundance in the inner regions for 26 of the galaxies. All of them are non-interacting, mostly unbarred Sb/Sbc galaxies. This feature is associated with a central star-forming ring, which suggests that both features are produced by radial gas flows induced by resonance processes. Our result suggests that galaxy disks grow inside-out, with metal enrichment driven by the local star formation history and with a small variation galaxy-by-galaxy. At a certain galactocentric distance, the oxygen abundance seems to be correlated well with the stellar mass density and total stellar mass of the galaxies, independently of other properties of the galaxies. Other processes, such as radial mixing and inflows/outflows seem to have a limited effect on shaping of the radial distribution of oxygen abundances, although they are not ruled out.
Sanchez , S F , Rosales-Ortega , F F , Iglesias-Paramo , J , Molla , M , Barrera-Ballesteros , J , Marino , R A , Perez , E , Sanchez-Blazquez , P , Gonzalez Delgado , R , Cid Fernandes , R , De Lorenzo-Caceres Rodriguez , A , Mendez Abreu , J , Galbany , L , Falcon-Barroso , J , Miralles-Caballero , D , Husemann , B , Garcia-Benito , R , Mast , D , Walcher , C J , de Paz , A G , Garcia-Lorenzo , B , Jungwiert , B , Vilchez , J M , Jilkova , L , Lyubenova , M , Cortijo-Ferrero , C , Diaz , A I , Wisotzki , L , Marquez , I , Bland-Hawthorn , J , Ellis , S , van de Ven , G , Jahnke , K , Papaderos , P , Gomes , J M , Mendoza , M A & Lopez-Sanchez , A R 2014 , ' A characteristic oxygen abundance gradient in galaxy disks unveiled with CALIFA ' Astronomy & Astrophysics , vol 563 , A49 . DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201322343
Astronomy & Astrophysics
© ESO, 2014
The authors thank the Viabilidad, Diseño, Acceso y Mejorafunding program, ICTS-2009-10, for supporting the initial development of this project. S.F.S., F.F.R.O. and D. Mast thank the Plan Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo funding programs, AYA2010-22111-C03-03 and AYA2010-10904E, of the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, for their support for this project. S.F.S thanks the Ramón y Cajal project RyC-2011-07590 of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, for their support for this project. S.F.S. and B.J. acknowledge support from the grants No. M100031241 and M100031201 of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR Internal support program of international cooperation projects – PIPPMS) and by the Czech Republic program for the long-term development of the research institution No. RVO67985815. R.G.D., E.P., and R.G.B. thank the Plan Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo funding program AYA2010-15081. F.F.R.O. acknowledges the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) for financial support under the program Estancias Posdoctorales y Sabáticas al Extranjero para la Consolidación de Grupos de Investigación, 2010-2012. I.M. and J.P. acknowledge financial support from the Spanish grant AYA2010-15169 and Junta de Andalucía TIC114 and Excellence Project P08-TIC-03531. D.M. and A.M.-I. are supported by the Spanish Research Council within the program JAE-Doc, Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios, cofunded by the FSE. R.A. Marino was also funded by the Spanish program of the International Campus of Excellence Moncloa (CEI). J.I.-P., J.M.V., A.M.-I., and C.K. have been partially funded by the projects AYA2010-21887 from the Spanish PNAYA, CSD2006 – 00070 “1st Science with GTC” from the CONSOLIDER 2010 program of the Spanish MICINN, and TIC114 Galaxias y Cosmología of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain). M.A.P.T. acknowledges support by the Spanish MICINN through grant AYA2012-38491-C02-02 and by the Autonomic Government of Andalusia through grants P08-TIC-4075 and TIC-126. CJW acknowledges support through the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant 303912. Polychronis Papaderos is supported by a Ciencia 2008 contract, funded by FCT/MCTES (Portugal) and POPH/FSE (EC). Jean Michel Gomes is supported by a grant SFRH/BPD/66958/2009 from FCT (Portugal).
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