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Linking stellar populations to H II regions across nearby galaxies. I. Constraining pre-supernova feedback from young clusters in NGC 1672

Abstract : Context. Stellar feedback is one of the fundamental factors regulating the evolution of galaxies. However, we still do not have access to strong observational constraints on the relative importance of the different feedback mechanisms (e.g. radiation, ionised gas pressure, stellar winds) in driving H II region evolution and molecular cloud disruption. To quantify and compare the different feedback mechanisms, the size of an H II region is crucial, whereas samples of well-resolved H II regions are scarce.
Aims: We constrain the relative importance of the various feedback mechanisms from young massive star populations by resolving H II regions across the disk of the nearby star-forming galaxy NGC 1672.
Methods: We combined measurements of ionised gas nebular lines obtained by PHANGS-MUSE, with high-resolution (PSF FWHM ∼ 0.1″; ∼10 pc) imaging from Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in both the narrow-band Hα and broad-band (NUV, U, B, V, I) filters. We identified a sample of 40 isolated, compact H II regions in the HST Hα image. We measured the sizes of these H II regions, which were previously unresolved in seeing-limited ground-based observations. In addition, we identified the ionisation source(s) for each H II region from catalogues produced as part of the PHANGS-HST survey. In doing so, we were able to link young stellar populations with the properties of their surrounding H II regions.
Results: The HST observations allowed us to resolve all 40 regions, with radii between 5 and 40 pc. The H II regions investigated here are mildly dominated by thermal or wind pressure, yet their elevation above the radiation pressure is within the expected uncertainty range. We see that radiation pressure provides a substantially higher contribution to the total pressure than previously found in the literature over similar size scales. In general, we find higher pressures within more compact H II regions, which is driven by the inherent size scaling relations of each pressure term, albeit with significant scatter introduced by the variation in the stellar population properties (e.g. luminosity, mass, age, metallicity).
Conclusions: For nearby galaxies, the combination of MUSE/VLT observations with stellar population and resolved Hα observations from HST provides a promising approach that could yield the statistics required to map out how the importance of different stellar feedback mechanisms evolve over the lifetime of a H II region.
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Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Saturday, July 2, 2022 - 7:34:07 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 24, 2022 - 12:02:05 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, October 3, 2022 - 6:24:25 PM


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A. T. Barnes, R. Chandar, K. Kreckel, S. C. O. Glover, F. Scheuermann, et al.. Linking stellar populations to H II regions across nearby galaxies. I. Constraining pre-supernova feedback from young clusters in NGC 1672. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2022, 662, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202243766⟩. ⟨insu-03711517⟩



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