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Gradients of excitation in the nuclei of starburst galaxies

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Abstract

This article forms a part of a wider study of the nuclear and circum-nuclear zones of moderately active galaxies. The use of long-slit spectroscopy at high spectral and spatial resolution has enabled us to measure gradients of gaseous excitation and also velocity fields in a sample of four bright nuclear starburst galaxies selected from the sample of Balzano (1983). We find variations not only in the intensity but also in the ‘quality’ of the emission spectra (line ratios and line widths) of the interstellar gas between regions separated by relatively short distances. We stress the need for studies with at least the present degree of angular and spectral resolution if physical sense is to be made of the interstellar excitation regimes in external galaxies, as well as to investigate a possible evolutionary link between nuclei of intermediate activity.

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Muñoz-Tuñon, C., Vilchez, J.M., Castañeda, H.O. et al. Gradients of excitation in the nuclei of starburst galaxies. Astrophys Space Sci 157, 165–171 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00637324

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Keywords

  • Spectroscopy
  • Emission Spectrum
  • Velocity Field
  • Short Distance
  • Line Width