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INVESTIGATING THE CORE MORPHOLOGY-SEYFERT CLASS RELATIONSHIP WITH HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE ARCHIVAL IMAGES OF LOCAL SEYFERT GALAXIES

Description

The unified model of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has provided a successful explanation for the observed diversity of AGNs in the local universe. However, recent analysis of multi-wavelength spectral and

The unified model of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has provided a successful explanation for the observed diversity of AGNs in the local universe. However, recent analysis of multi-wavelength spectral and image data suggests that the unified model is only a partial theory of AGNs, and may need to be augmented to remain consistent with all observations. Recent studies using high spatial resolution ground-and space-based observations of local AGNs show that Seyfert class and the "core" (r less than or similar to 1 kpc) host-galaxy morphology are correlated. Currently, this relationship has only been established qualitatively, by visual inspection of the core morphologies of low-redshift (z < 0.035) Seyfert host galaxies. We re-establish this empirical relationship in Hubble Space Telescope optical imaging by visual inspection of a catalog of 85 local (D < 63 Mpc) Seyfert galaxies. We also attempt to re-establish the core morphology-Seyfert class relationship using an automated, non-parametric technique that combines both existing classification parameter methods (the adapted CAS and G-M-20) and a new method which implements the Source Extractor software for feature detection in unsharp-mask images. This new method is designed explicitly to detect dust features in the images. We use our automated approach to classify the morphology of the AGN cores and determine that Sy2 galaxies visually appear, on average, to have more dust features than Sy1. With the exception of this "dustiness" however, we do not measure a strong correlation between the dust morphology and the Seyfert class of the host galaxy using quantitative techniques. We discuss the implications of these results in the context of the unified model.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-28

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The resolved stellar populations in nearby star-forming galaxies: M83, NGC 4214, and CGCG 269-049

Description

Understanding the properties and formation histories of individual stars in galaxies remains one of the most important areas in astrophysics. The impact of the Hubble Space Telescope<\italic> (HST<\italic>) has been

Understanding the properties and formation histories of individual stars in galaxies remains one of the most important areas in astrophysics. The impact of the Hubble Space Telescope<\italic> (HST<\italic>) has been revolutionary, providing deep observations of nearby galaxies at high resolution and unprecedented sensitivity over a wavelength range from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared. In this study, I use deep HST<\italic> imaging observations of three nearby star-forming galaxies (M83, NGC 4214, and CGCG 269-049) based on the HST<\italic> observations, in order to provide to construct color-magnitude and color-color diagrams of their resolved stellar populations. First, I select 50 regions in the spiral arm and inter-arm areas of M83, and determine the age distribution of the luminous stellar populations in each region. I developed an innovative method of star-by-star correction for internal extinction to improve stellar age and mass estimates. I compare the extinction-corrected ages of the 50 regions with those determined from several independent methods. The young stars are much more likely to be found in concentrated aggregates along spiral arms, while older stars are more dispersed. These results are consistent with a scenario where star formation is associated with the spiral arms, and stars form primarily in star clusters before dispersing on short timescales to form the field population. I address the effects of spatial resolution on the measured colors, magnitudes, and age estimates. While individual stars can occasionally show measurable differences in the colors and magnitudes, the age estimates for entire regions are only slightly affected. The same procedure is applied to nearby starbursting dwarf NGC 4214 to study the distributions of young and old stellar populations. Lastly, I describe the analysis of the HST<\italic> and Spitzer Space Telescope<\italic> observations of the extremely metal-poor dwarf galaxy (XMPG) CGCG 269-049 at a distance of 4.96 Mpc. This galaxy is one of the most metal-poor known with 12+log(O/H)=7.43. I find clear evidence for the presence of an old stellar population in CGCG~269-049, ruling out the possibility that this galaxy is forming its first generation of stars, as originally proposed for XMPGs. This comprehensive study of resolved stellar populations in three nearby galaxies provides detailed view of the current state of star formation and evolution of galaxies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012