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Adrianus BikForskare

Om mig

My name is Arjan Bik and I am a researcher in the Galaxy group of the Astronomy department at Stockholm University. 


I am working on analysing inter stellar mater and star cluster feedback in nearby star forming galaxies using optical integral field spectroscopy. I also study massive star clusters in our own galaxy by analyzing their stellar content with infrared spectroscopy to derive their formation history.


  • JWST/MIRI: Member of the  High-z GTO team focussing on integral field spectroscopic observations with the MRS spectrograph.
  • ELT/MOSAIC: Member of the technical team working on the data reduction and analysis software.
  • ELT/MOSAIC: Member of the science working groups defining the science cases for MOSAIC.
  • ELT/ANDES: Member of the extra galactic science working group.
  • BlueMUSE: Member of the galactic and nearby galaxies science working groups.


2017: Introduction to Astronomy (AS5001)

2016: Introduction to Astronomy (AS5001)



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • A ∼15 kpc outflow cone piercing through the halo of the blue compact metal-poor galaxy SBS 0335–052E

    2023. E. C. Herenz (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 670


    Context. Outflows from low-mass star-forming galaxies are a fundamental ingredient for models of galaxy evolution and cosmology. Despite seemingly favourable conditions for outflow formation in compact starbursting galaxies, convincing observational evidence for kiloparsec-scale outflows in such systems is scarce.

    Aims. The onset of kiloparsec-scale ionised filaments in the halo of the metal-poor compact dwarf SBS 0335−052E was previously not linked to an outflow. In this paper we investigate whether these filaments provide evidence for an outflow.

    Methods. We obtained new VLT/MUSE WFM and deep NRAO/VLA B-configuration 21 cm data of the galaxy. The MUSE data provide morphology, kinematics, and emission line ratios of Hβ/Hα and [O III]λ5007/Hα of the low surface-brightness filaments, while the VLA data deliver morphology and kinematics of the neutral gas in and around the system. Both datasets are used in concert for comparisons between the ionised and the neutral phase.

    Results. We report the prolongation of a lacy filamentary ionised structure up to a projected distance of 16 kpc at SB = 1.5 × 10−18 erg s cm−2 arcsec−2. The filaments exhibit unusual low Hα/Hβ ≈ 2.4 and low [O III]/Hα ∼ 0.4 − 0.6 typical of diffuse ionised gas. They are spectrally narrow (∼20 km s−1) and exhibit no velocity sub-structure. The filaments extend outwards from the elongated H I halo. On small scales, the NHI peak is offset from the main star-forming sites. The morphology and kinematics of H I and H II reveal how star-formation-driven feedback interacts differently with the ionised and the neutral phase.

    Conclusions. We reason that the filaments are a large-scale manifestation of star-formation- driven feedback, namely limb-brightened edges of a giant outflow cone that protrudes through the halo of this gas-rich system. A simple toy model of such a conical structure is found to be commensurable with the observations.

    Läs mer om A ∼15 kpc outflow cone piercing through the halo of the blue compact metal-poor galaxy SBS 0335–052E
  • Spatially resolved gas and stellar kinematics in compact starburst galaxies

    2022. Arjan Bik (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 666


    Context. The kinematics of galaxies provide valuable insights into their physics and assembly history. Kinematics are governed not only by the gravitational potential, but also by merger events and stellar feedback processes such as stellar winds and supernova explosions.

    Aims. We aim to identify what governs the kinematics in a sample of SDSS-selected nearby starburst galaxies, by obtaining spatially resolved measurements of the gas and stellar kinematics.

    Methods. We obtained near-infrared integral-field K-band spectroscopy with VLT/SINFONI for 15 compact starburst galaxies. We derived the integrated as well as spatially resolved stellar and gas kinematics. The stellar kinematics were derived from the CO absorption bands, and Paα and Brγ emission lines were used for the gas kinematics.

    Results. Based on the integrated spectra, we find that the majority of galaxies have gas and stellar velocity dispersion that are comparable. A spatially resolved comparison shows that the six galaxies that deviate show evidence for a bulge or stellar feedback. Two galaxies are identified as mergers based on their double-peaked emission lines. In our sample, we find a negative correlation between the ratio of the rotational velocity over the velocity dispersion (vrot/σ) and the star formation rate surface density.

    Conclusions. We propose a scenario where the global kinematics of the galaxies are determined by gravitational instabilities that affect both the stars and gas. This process could be driven by mergers or accretion events. Effects of stellar feedback on the ionised gas are more localised and detected only in the spatially resolved analysis. The mass derived from the velocity dispersion provides a reliable mass even if the galaxy cannot be spatially resolved. The technique used in this paper is applicable to galaxies at low and high redshift with the next generation of infrared-focussed telescopes (JWST and ELT).

    Läs mer om Spatially resolved gas and stellar kinematics in compact starburst galaxies
  • Inferring the HII region escape fraction of ionizing photons from infrared emission lines in metal-poor star-forming dwarf galaxies

    2022. L. Ramambason (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 667


    Local metal-poor galaxies stand as ideal laboratories for probing the properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) in chemically unevolved conditions. Detailed studies of this primitive ISM can help gain insights into the physics of the first primordial galaxies that may be responsible for the reionization. Quantifying the ISM porosity to ionizing photons in nearby galaxies may improve our understanding of the mechanisms leading to Lyman continuum photon leakage from galaxies. The wealth of infrared (IR) tracers available in local galaxies and arising from different ISM phases allows us to constrain complex models in order to estimate physical quantities.

    Läs mer om Inferring the HII region escape fraction of ionizing photons from infrared emission lines in metal-poor star-forming dwarf galaxies
  • CLusters in the UV as EngineS (CLUES). I. Survey Presentation and FUV Spectral Analysis of the Stellar Light

    2022. Mattia Sirressi (et al.). Astronomical Journal 164 (5)


    The CLusters in the Uv as EngineS (CLUES) survey is a Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) campaign aimed at acquiring the 1130–1770 Å rest-frame spectroscopy of very young (<20 Myr) and massive (>104 M) star clusters in galaxies that are part of the Hubble treasury program Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey. In this first paper of a series, we describe the CLUES sample consisting of 20 young star clusters and report their physical properties as derived by both multiwavelength photometry and far-UV (FUV) spectroscopy with Hubble Space Telescope. Thanks to the synergy of the two different data sets, we build a coherent picture of the diverse stellar populations found in each region (with sizes of 40–160 pc). We associate the FUV-brightest stellar population to the central targeted star cluster and the other modeled population to the diffuse stars that are included in the COS aperture. We observe better agreement between photometric and spectroscopic ages for star clusters younger than 5 Myr. For clusters older than 5 Myr, photometry and spectroscopy measurements deviate, with the latter producing older ages, due to the degeneracy of photometric models. FUV spectroscopy enables us to better constrain the stellar metallicities, a parameter that optical colors are insensitive to. Finally, the derived E(BV) are quite similar, with a tendency for FUV spectroscopy to favor solutions with higher extinctions. The recovered masses are in agreement within a factor of 2 for all of the clusters.

    Läs mer om CLusters in the UV as EngineS (CLUES). I. Survey Presentation and FUV Spectral Analysis of the Stellar Light
  • Haro 11-Untying the knots of the nuclear starburst

    2022. Mattia Sirressi (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 510 (4), 4819-4836


    Star formation is a clustered process that regulates the structure and evolution of galaxies. We investigate this process in the dwarf galaxy Haro 11, forming stars in three knots (A, B, and C). The exquisite resolution of HST imaging allows us to resolve the starburst into tens of bright star clusters. We derive masses between 105 and 107 M and ages younger than 20 Myr, using photometric modelling. We observe that the clustered star formation has propagated from knot C (the oldest) through knot A (in between) towards knot B (the youngest). We use aperture-matched ultraviolet and optical spectroscopy (HST + MUSE) to independently study the stellar populations of Haro 11 and determine the physical properties of the stellar populations and their feedback in 1-kpc diameter regions. We discuss these results in light of the properties of the ionized gas within the knots. We interpret the broad blue-shifted components of the optical emission lines as outflowing gas (vmax ∼ 400 km/s). The strongest outflow is detected in knot A with a mass rate of M˙ out ∼ 10 M/yr, 10 times higher than the star formation in the same region. Knot B hosts a young and not fully developed outflow, whereas knot C has likely been already evacuated. Because Haro 11 has properties similar to high-redshift unresolved galaxies, our work can additionally aid the understanding of star formation at high redshift, a window that will be opened by upcoming facilities.

    Läs mer om Haro 11-Untying the knots of the nuclear starburst
  • Stellar feedback in M 83 as observed with MUSE II. Analysis of the H II region population: Ionisation budget and pre-SN feedback

    2022. Lorenza Della Bruna (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 666


    Context. Energy and momentum injected by young, massive stars into the surrounding gas play an important role in regulating further star formation and in determining the galaxy's global properties. Before supernovae begin to explode, stellar feedback consists of two main processes: radiation pressure and photoionisation.

    Aims. We study pre-supernova feedback and constrain the leakage of Lyman continuum (LyC) radiation in a sample of similar to 4700 H II regions in the nearby spiral galaxy M 83. We explore the impact that the galactic environment and intrinsic physical properties (metallicity, extinction, and stellar content) have on the early phases of H II region evolution.

    Methods. We combined VLT/MUSE observations of the ionised gas with young star cluster physical properties derived from HST multiwavelength data. We identified H II regions based on their Hα emission, and cross-matched the sample with planetary nebulae and supernova remnants to assess contaminant sources and identify evolved H II regions. We also spectroscopically identified Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars populating the star-forming regions. We estimated the physical properties of the H II regions (luminosity, size, oxygen abundance, and electron density). For each H II region, we computed the pressure of ionised gas (Pion) and the direct radiation pressure (Pdir) acting in the region, and investigated how they vary with galactocentric distance, with the physical properties of the region, and with the pressure of the galactic environment (PDE). For a subset of similar to 500 regions, we also investigated the link between the pressure terms and the properties of the cluster population (age, mass, and LyC flux). By comparing the LyC flux derived from Hα emission with the one modelled from their clusters and WRs, we furthermore constrained any escape of LyC radiation (fesc).

    Results. We find that Pion dominates over Pdir by at least a factor of 10 on average over the disk. Both pressure terms are strongly enhanced and become almost comparable in the central starburst region. In the disk (R ≥ 0.15Re), we observe that Pdir stays approximately constant with galactocentric distance. We note that Pdir is positively correlated with an increase in radiation field strength (linked to the negative metallicity gradient in the galaxy), while it decreases in low extinction regions, as is expected if the amount of dust to which the momentum can be imparted decreases. In addition, Pion decreases constantly for increasing galactocentric distances; this trend correlates with the decrease in extinction - indicative of more evolved and thus less compact regions - and with changes in the galactic environment (traced by a decrease in PDE). In general, we observe that H II regions near the centre are underpressured with respect to their surroundings, whereas regions in the rest of the disk are overpressured and hence expanding. We find that regions hosting younger clusters or those that have more mass in young star clusters have a higher internal pressure, indicating that clustered star formation likely plays a dominant role in setting the pressure. Finally, we estimate that only 13% of H II regions hosting young clusters and WR stars have fesc ≥ 0, which suggests that star formation taking place outside young clusters makes a non-negligible contribution to ionising H II regions.

    Läs mer om Stellar feedback in M 83 as observed with MUSE II. Analysis of the H II region population
  • Stellar feedback in M83 as observed with MUSE I. Overview, an unprecedented view of the stellar and gas kinematics and evidence of outflowing gas

    2022. Lorenza Della Bruna (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 660


    Context. Young massive stars inject energy and momentum into the surrounding gas, creating a multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM) and regulating further star formation. The main challenge of studying stellar feedback proves to be the variety of scales spanned by this phenomenon, ranging from the immediate surrounding of the stars (H II regions, 10s pc scales) to galactic-wide kiloparsec scales.

    Aims. We present a large mosaic (3.8 × 3.8 kpc) of the nearby spiral galaxy M83, obtained with the MUSE instrument at ESO Very Large Telescope. The integral field spectroscopy data cover a large portion of the optical disk at a resolution of ∼20 pc, allowing the characterisation of single H II regions while sampling diverse dynamical regions in the galaxy.

    Methods. We obtained the kinematics of the stars and ionised gas, and compared them with molecular gas kinematics observed in CO(2-1) with the ALMA telescope array. We separated the ionised gas into H II regions and diffuse ionised gas (DIG) and investigated how the fraction of Hα luminosity originating from the DIG (fDIG) varies with galactic radius.

    Results. We observe that both stars and gas trace the galactic disk rotation, as well as a fast-rotating nuclear component (30″ ≃ 700 pc in diameter), likely connected to secular processes driven by the galactic bar. In the gas kinematics, we observe a stream east of the nucleus (50″ ≃ 1250 pc in size), redshifted with respect to the disk. The stream is surrounded by an extended ionised gas region (1000 × 1600 pc) with enhanced velocity dispersion and a high ionisation state, which is largely consistent with being ionised by slow shocks. We interpret this feature as either the superposition of the disk and an extraplanar layer of DIG, or as a bar-driven inflow of shocked gas. A double Gaussian component fit to the Hα line also reveals the presence of a nuclear biconic structure whose axis of symmetry is perpendicular to the bar. The two cones (20″ ≃ 500 pc in size) appear blue- and redshifted along the line of sight. The cones stand out for having an Hα emission separated by up to 200 km s−1 from that of the disk, and a high velocity dispersion ∼80–200 km s−1. At the far end of the cones, we observe that the gas is consistent with being ionised by shocks. These features had never been observed before in M83; we postulate that they are tracing a starburst-driven outflow shocking into the surrounding ISM. Finally, we obtain fDIG ∼ 13% in our field of view, and observe that the DIG contribution varies radially between 0.8 and 46%, peaking in the interarm region. We inspect the emission of the H II regions and DIG in ‘BPT’ diagrams, finding that in H II regions photoionisation accounts for 99.8% of the Hα flux, whereas the DIG has a mixed contribution from photoionisation (94.9%) and shocks (5.1%).

    Läs mer om Stellar feedback in M83 as observed with MUSE I. Overview, an unprecedented view of the stellar and gas kinematics and evidence of outflowing gas
  • Ionized gas properties of the extreme starburst galaxy Haro 11 - temperature and metal abundance discrepancies

    2021. Veronica Menacho (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 506 (2), 1777-1800


    We use high quality VLT/MUSE data to study the kinematics and the ionized gas properties of Haro 11, a well-known starburst merger system and the closest confirmed Lyman continuum leaking galaxy. We present results from integrated line maps, and from maps in three velocity bins comprising the blueshifted, systemic, and redshifted emission. The kinematic analysis reveals complex velocities resulting from the interplay of virial motions and momentum feedback. Star formation happens intensively in three compact knots (knots A, B, and C), but one, knot C, dominates the energy released in supernovae. The halo is characterized by low gas density and extinction, but with large temperature variations, coincident with fast shock regions. Moreover, we find large temperature discrepancies in knot C, when using different temperature-sensitive lines. The relative impact of the knots in the metal enrichment differs. While knot B is strongly enriching its closest surrounding, knot C is likely the main distributor of metals in the halo. In knot A, part of the metal enriched gas seems to escape through low density channels towards the south. We compare the metallicities from two methods and find large discrepancies in knot C, a shocked area, and the highly ionized zones, that we partially attribute to the effect of shocks. This work shows, that traditional relations developed from averaged measurements or simplified methods, fail to probe the diverse conditions of the gas in extreme environments. We need robust relations that include realistic models where several physical processes are simultaneously at work.

    Läs mer om Ionized gas properties of the extreme starburst galaxy Haro 11 - temperature and metal abundance discrepancies
  • Studying the ISM at similar to 10 pc scale in NGC 7793 with MUSE

    2021. Lorenza Della Bruna (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 650


    Context. Feedback from massive stars a ffects the interstellar medium (ISM) from the immediate surroundings of the stars (parsec scales) to galactic (kiloparsec) scales. High-spatial resolution studies of H ii regions are critical to investigate how this mechanism operates.

    Aims. We study the ionised ISM in NGC7793 with the MUSE instrument at ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), over a field of view (FoV) of similar to 2 kpc2 and at a spatial resolution of similar to 10 pc. The aim is to link the physical conditions of the ionised gas (reddening, ionisation status, abundance measurements) within the spatially resolved H ii regions to the properties of the stellar populations producing Lyman continuum photons.

    Methods. The analysis of the MUSE dataset, which provides a map of the ionised gas and a census of Wolf Rayet stars, is complemented with a sample of young star clusters (YSCs) and O star candidates observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and of giant molecular clouds traced in CO(2-1) emission with the Atacama Large Millimeter /submillimeter Array (ALMA). We estimated the oxygen abundance using a temperature-independent strong-line method. We determined the observed total amount of ionising photons ( Q(H0)) from the extinction corrected H ff luminosity. This estimate was then compared to the expected Q(H0) obtained by summing the contributions of YSCs and massive stars. The ratio of the two values gives an estimate for the escape fraction ( fesc) of photons in the region of interest. We used the [S ii] /[O iii] ratio as a proxy for the optical depth of the gas and classified H ii regions into ionisation bounded, or as featuring channels of optically thin gas. We compared the resulting ionisation structure with the computed fesc. We also investigated the dependence of fesc on the age spanned by the stellar population in each region.

    Results. We find a median oxygen abundance of 12 + log (O =H) similar to 8 :37, with a scatter of 0.25 dex, which is in agreement with previous estimates for our target. We furthermore observe that the abundance map of H ii regions is rich in substructures, surrounding clusters and massive stars, although clear degeneracies with photoionisation are also observed. From the population synthesis analysis, we find that YSCs located in H ii regions have a higher probability of being younger and less massive as well as of emitting a higher number of ionising photons than clusters in the rest of the field. Overall, we find fesc;H ii = 0:67+0:08 0:12 for the population of H ii regions. We also conclude that the sources of ionisation observed within the FoV are more than su fficient to explain the amount of di ffuse ionised gas (DIG) observed in this region of the galaxy. We do not observe a systematic trend between the visual appearance of H ii regions and fesc, pointing to the e ffect of 3D geometry in the small sample probed.

    Läs mer om Studying the ISM at similar to 10 pc scale in NGC 7793 with MUSE
  • A relation between the radial velocity dispersion of young clusters and their age

    2021. M. C. Ramírez-Tannus (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 645


    The majority of massive stars (> 8 M-circle dot) in OB associations are found in close binary systems. Nonetheless, the formation mechanism of these close massive binaries is not understood yet. Using literature data, we measured the radial-velocity dispersion (sigma (1D)) as a proxy for the close binary fraction in ten OB associations in the Galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud, spanning an age range from 1 to 6 Myr. We find a positive trend of this dispersion with the cluster's age, which is consistent with binary hardening. Assuming a universal binary fraction of f(bin) = 0.7, we converted the sigma (1D) behavior to an evolution of the minimum orbital period P-cutoff from similar to 9.5 years at 1 Myr to similar to 1.4 days for the oldest clusters in our sample at similar to 6 Myr. Our results suggest that binaries are formed at larger separations, and they harden in around 1 to 2 Myr to produce the period distribution observed in few million year-old OB binaries. Such an inward migration may either be driven by an interaction with a remnant accretion disk or with other young stellar objects present in the system. Our findings constitute the first empirical evidence in favor of migration as a scenario for the formation of massive close binaries.

    Läs mer om A relation between the radial velocity dispersion of young clusters and their age
  • Studying the ISM at similar to 10 pc scale in NGC 7793 with MUSE

    2020. Lorenza Della Bruna (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 635


    Context. Studies of nearby galaxies reveal that around 50% of the total H alpha luminosity in late-type spirals originates from diffuse ionised gas (DIG), which is a warm, diffuse component of the interstellar medium that can be associated with various mechanisms, the most important ones being leaking HII regions, evolved field stars, and shocks.Aims. Using MUSE Wide Field Mode adaptive optics-assisted data, we study the condition of the ionised medium in the nearby (D=3.4 Mpc) flocculent spiral galaxy NGC 7793 at a spatial resolution of similar to 10 pc. We construct a sample of HII regions and investigate the properties and origin of the DIG component.Methods. We obtained stellar and gas kinematics by modelling the stellar continuum and fitting the H alpha emission line. We identified the boundaries of resolved HII regions based on their H alpha surface brightness. As a way of comparison, we also selected regions according to the H alpha/[SII] line ratio; this results in more conservative boundaries. Using characteristic line ratios and the gas velocity dispersion, we excluded potential contaminants, such as supernova remnants (SNRs) and planetary nebulae (PNe). The continuum subtracted HeII map was used to spectroscopically identify Wolf Rayet stars (WR) in our field of view. Finally, we computed electron densities and temperatures using the line ratio [SII]6716/6731 and [SIII]6312/9069, respectively. We studied the properties of the ionised gas through BPT emission line diagrams combined with velocity dispersion of the gas.Results. We spectroscopically confirm two previously detected WR and SNR candidates and report the discovery of the other seven WR candidates, one SNR, and two PNe within our field of view. The resulting DIG fraction is between similar to 27 and 42% depending on the method used to define the boundaries of the HII regions (flux brightness cut in H alpha = 6.7x10(-18) erg s(-1) cm(-2) or H alpha/[SII] = 2.1, respectively). In agreement with previous studies, we find that the DIG exhibits enhanced [SII]/H alpha and [NII]/H alpha ratios and a median temperature that is similar to 3000 K higher than in HII regions. We also observe an apparent inverse correlation between temperature and H alpha surface brightness. In the majority of our field of view, the observed [SII]6716/6731 ratio is consistent within 1 sigma with n(e)< 30 cm(-3), with an almost identical distribution for the DIG and HII regions. The velocity dispersion of the ionised gas indicates that the DIG has a higher degree of turbulence than the HII regions. Comparison with photoionisation and shock models reveals that, overall, the diffuse component can only partially be explained via shocks and that it is most likely consistent with photons leaking from density bounded HII regions or with radiation from evolved field stars. Further investigation will be conducted in a follow-up paper.

    Läs mer om Studying the ISM at similar to 10 pc scale in NGC 7793 with MUSE
  • The GRAVITY young stellar object survey

    2020. A. Caratti O. Garatti (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 635


    Context. The inner regions of the discs of high-mass young stellar objects (HMYSOs) are still poorly known due to the small angular scales and the high visual extinction involved.Aims. We deploy near-infrared spectro-interferometry to probe the inner gaseous disc in HMYSOs and investigate the origin and physical characteristics of the CO bandhead emission (2.3-2.4 mu m).Methods. We present the first GRAVITY/VLTI observations at high spectral (R=4000) and spatial (mas) resolution of the CO overtone transitions in NGC 2024 IRS 2.Results. The continuum emission is resolved in all baselines and is slightly asymmetric, displaying small closure phases (<= 8 degrees). Our best ellipsoid model provides a disc inclination of 34 degrees +/- 1 degrees, a disc major axis position angle (PA) of 166 degrees +/- 1 degrees, and a disc diameter of 3.99 +/- 0.09 mas (or 1.69 +/- 0.04 au, at a distance of 423 pc). The small closure phase signals in the continuum are modelled with a skewed rim, originating from a pure inclination effect. For the first time, our observations spatially and spectrally resolve the first four CO bandheads. Changes in visibility, as well as differential and closure phases across the bandheads are detected. Both the size and geometry of the CO-emitting region are determined by fitting a bidimensional Gaussian to the continuum-compensated CO bandhead visibilities. The CO-emitting region has a diameter of 2.74 +/-(0.08)(0.07) +/- 0.07 0.08 </mml:msubsup> mas (1.16 +/- 0.03 au), and is located in the inner gaseous disc, well within the dusty rim, with inclination and PA matching the dusty disc geometry, which indicates that both dusty and gaseous discs are coplanar. Physical and dynamical gas conditions are inferred by modelling the CO spectrum. Finally, we derive a direct measurement of the stellar mass of M-* similar to 14.7(-3.6)(+2)M(circle dot) M * similar to 14 . 7 - 3.6 + 2 M circle dot by combining our interferometric and spectral modelling results.

    Läs mer om The GRAVITY young stellar object survey
  • The young stellar content of the giant H ii regions M8, G333.6 0.2, and NGC6357 with VLT/KMOS

    2020. M. C. Ramírez-Tannus (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 633


    Context. The identification and characterisation of populations of young massive stars in (giant) HII regions provides important constraints on (i) the formation process of massive stars and their early feedback on the environment, and (ii) the initial conditions for population synthesis models predicting the evolution of ensembles of stars. Aims. We identify and characterise the stellar populations of the following young giant HII regions: M 8, G333.6-0.2, and NGC 6357. Methods. We have acquired H- and K-band spectra of around 200 stars using the K-band Multi Object Spectrograph on the ESO Very Large Telescope. The targets for M 8 and NGC 6357 were selected from the Massive Young Star-Forming Complex Study in Infrared and X-ray (MYStIX), which combines X-ray observations with near-infrared (NIR) and mid-infrared data. For G333.6-0.2, the sample selection is based on the NIR colours combined with X-ray data. We introduce an automatic spectral classification method in order to obtain temperatures and luminosities for the observed stars. We analysed the stellar populations using their photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic properties and compared the position of the stars in the Hertzprung-Russell diagram with stellar evolution models to constrain their ages and mass ranges. Results. We confirm the presence of candidate ionising sources in the three regions and report new ones, including the first spectroscopically identified O stars in G333.6-0.2. In M 8 and NGC 6357, two populations are identified: (i) OB main-sequence stars (M> 5 M-circle dot) and (ii) pre-main sequence stars (M approximate to 0.5 - 5M(circle dot)). The ages of the clusters are similar to 1-3 Myr, < 3 Myr, and similar to 0.5-3 Myr for M 8, G333.6-0.2, and NGC 6357, respectively. We show that MYStIX selected targets have > 90% probability of being members of the HII region, whereas a selection based on NIR colours leads to a membership probability of only similar to 70%.

    Läs mer om The young stellar content of the giant H ii regions M8, G333.6 0.2, and NGC6357 with VLT/KMOS
  • VLT/X-shooter spectroscopy of massive young stellar objects in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud

    2020. M. L. van Gelder (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 636


    The process of massive star (M >= 8 M-circle dot) formation is still poorly understood. Observations of massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) are challenging due to their rarity, short formation timescale, large distances, and high circumstellar extinction. Here, we present the results of a spectroscopic analysis of a population of MYSOs in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We took advantage of the spectral resolution and wavelength coverage of X-shooter (300-2500 nm), which is mounted on the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope, to detect characteristic spectral features in a dozen MYSO candidates near 30 Doradus, the largest starburst region in the Local Group hosting the most massive stars known. The X-shooter spectra are strongly contaminated by nebular emission. We used a scaling method to subtract the nebular contamination from our objects. We detect H alpha, beta, [OI] 630.0 nm, CaII, infrared triplet [FeII] 1643.5 nm, fluorescent FeII 1687.8 nm, H-2 2121.8 nm, Br gamma, and CO bandhead emission in the spectra of multiple candidates. This leads to the spectroscopic confirmation of ten candidates as bona fide MYSOs. We compared our observations with photometric observations from the literature and find all MYSOs to have a strong near-infrared excess. We computed lower limits to the brightness and luminosity of the MYSO candidates, confirming the near-infrared excess and the massive nature of the objects. No clear correlation is seen between the Br gamma luminosity and metallicity. Combining our sample with other LMC samples results in a combined detection rate of disk features, such as fluorescent FeII and CO bandheads, which is consistent with the Galactic rate (40%). Most of our MYSOs show outflow features.

    Läs mer om VLT/X-shooter spectroscopy of massive young stellar objects in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud
  • Near-infrared spectroscopy of the massive stellar population of W51

    2019. Adrianus Bik (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 624


    Context. The interplay between the formation of stars, stellar feedback and cloud properties strongly influences the star formation history of giant molecular clouds. The formation of massive stars leads to a variety of stellar clusters, ranging from low stellar density OB associations to dense, gravitationally bound starburst clusters.

    Aims. We aimed at identifying the massive stellar content and reconstructing the star formation history of the W51 giant molecular cloud.

    Methods. We performed near-infrared imaging and K-band spectroscopy of the massive stars in W51. We analysed the stellar populations using colour-magnitude and colour-colour diagrams and compared the properties of the spectroscopically identified stars with stellar evolution models.

    Results. We derive the ages of the different sub-clusters in W51 and, based on our spectroscopy derive an age for W51 of 3 Myr or less. The age of the P Cygni star LS1 and the presence of two still forming proto-clusters suggests that the star formation history of W51 is more complex than a single burst.

    Conclusions. We did not find evidence for triggered star formation and we concluded that the star formation in W51 is multi seeded. We finally concluded that W51 is an OB association where different sub-clusters form over a time span of at least 3-5 Myr.

    Läs mer om Near-infrared spectroscopy of the massive stellar population of W51
  • The impact of stellar feedback from velocity-dependent ionized gas maps - a MUSE view of Haro 11

    2019. Veronica Menacho (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 487 (3), 3183-3198


    We have used the capability of the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument to explore the impact of stellar feedback at large scales in Haro 11, a galaxy under extreme starburst condition and one of the first galaxies where Lyman continuum (LyC) has been detected. Using H alpha, [O III] lambda 5007, and [O I]) lambda 6300 emission lines from deep MUSE observations, we have constructed a sequence of velocity-dependent maps of the H alpha emission, the state of the ionized gas, and a tracer of fast shocks. These allowed us to investigate the ionization structure of the galaxy in 50 km s(-1) bins over a velocity range of -400 to 350 km s(-1). The ionized gas in Haro 11 is assembled by a rich arrangement of structures, such as superbubbles, filaments, arcs, and galactic ionized channels, whose appearances change drastically with velocity. The central star-forming knots and the star-forming dusty arm are the main engines that power the strong mechanical feedback in this galaxy, although with different impact on the ionization structure. Haro 11 appears to leak LyC radiation in many directions. We found evidence of a kpc-scale fragmented superbubble that may have cleared galactic scale channels in the ISM. Additionally, the Southwestern hemisphere is highly ionized in all velocities, hinting at a density hound scenario. A compact kpc-scale structure of lowly ionized gas coincides with the diffuse Ly alpha emission and the presence of fast shocks. Finally, we find evidence that a significant fraction of the ionized gas mass may escape the gravitational potential of the galaxy.

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  • ULX contribution to stellar feedback

    2019. L. M. Oskinova (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 627


    Context. X-ray radiation from accreting compact objects is an important part of stellar feedback. The metal-poor galaxy ESO 338-4 has experienced vigorous starburst during the last <40 Myr and contains some of the most massive super star clusters in the nearby Universe. Given its starburst age and its star-formation rate, ESO 338-4 is one of the most efficient nearby manufactures of neutron stars and black holes, hence providing an excellent laboratory for feedback studies. Aims. We aim to use X-ray observations with the largest modern X-ray telescopes XMM-Newton and Chandra to unveil the most luminous accreting neutron stars and black holes in ESO 338-4. Methods. We compared X-ray images and spectra with integral field spectroscopic observations in the optical to constrain the nature of strong X-ray emitters. Results. X-ray observations uncover three ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in ESO 338-4. The brightest among them, ESO 338 X-1, has X-ray luminosity in excess of 10(40) erg s(-1). We speculate that ESO 338-4 X-1 is powered by accretion on an intermediate-mass (greater than or similar to 300 M-circle dot)black hole. We show that X-ray radiation from ULXs and hot superbubbles strongly contributes to He II ionization and general stellar feedback in this template starburst galaxy.

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  • Super star cluster feedback driving ionization, shocks and outflows in the halo of the nearby starburst ESO 338-IG04

    2018. Adrianus Bik (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 619


    Context. Stellar feedback strongly affects the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies. Stellar feedback in the first galaxies likely plays a major role in enabling the escape of LyC photons, which contribute to the re-ionization of the Universe. Nearby starburst galaxies serve as local analogues allowing for a spatially resolved assessment of the feedback processes in these galaxies. Aims. We aim to characterize the feedback effects from the star clusters in the local high-redshift analogue ESO 338-IG04 on the ISM and compare the results with the properties of the most massive clusters. Methods. We used high quality VLT/MUSE optical integral field data to derive the physical properties of the ISM such as ionization, density, shocks, and performed new fitting of the spectral energy distributions of the brightest clusters in ESO 338-IG04 from HST imaging. Results. We find that ESO 338-IG04 has a large ionized halo which we detect to a distance of 9 kpc. We identify four Wolf-Rayet (WR) clusters based on the blue and red WR bump. We follow previously identified ionization cones and find that the ionization of the halo increases with distance. Analysis of the galaxy kinematics shows two complex outflows driven by the numerous young clusters in the galaxy. We find a ring of shocked emission traced by an enhanced [O-I]/H alpha ratio surrounding the starburst and at the end of the outflow. Finally we detect nitrogen enriched gas associated with the outflow, likely caused by the WR stars in the massive star clusters. Conclusions. Photoionization dominates the central starburst and sets the ionization structure of the entire halo, resulting in a density bounded halo, facilitating the escape of LyC photons. Outside the central starburst, shocks triggered by an expanding super bubble become important. The shocks at the end of the outflow suggest interaction between the hot outflowing material and the more quiescent halo gas.

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  • A dearth of short-period massive binaries in the young massive star forming region M17 Evidence for a large orbital separation at birth?

    2017. H. Sana (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 599


    Aims. The formation of massive stars remains poorly understood and little is known about their birth multiplicity properties. Here, we aim to quantitatively investigate the strikingly low radial-velocity dispersion measured for a sample of 11 massive pre- and near main-sequence stars (sigma(1D) = 5.6 +/- 0.2 km s(-1)) in the very young massive star forming region M 17, in order to obtain first constraints on the multiplicity properties of young massive stellar objects.

    Methods. We compute the radial-velocity dispersion of synthetic populations of massive stars for various multiplicity properties and we compare the obtained sigma(1D) distributions to the observed value. We specifically investigate two scenarios: a low binary fraction and a dearth of short-period binary systems.

    Results. Simulated populations with low binary fractions (f(bin) = 0.12(-0.09)(+0.16)) or with truncated period distributions (P-cutoff > 9 months) are able to reproduce the low sigma(1D) observed within their 68%-confidence intervals. Furthermore, parent populations with f(bin) > 0.42 or P-cutoff < 47 d can be rejected at the 5%-significance level. Both constraints are in stark contrast with the high binary fraction and plethora of short-period systems in few Myr-old, well characterized OB-type populations. To explain the difference in the context of the first scenario would require a variation of the outcome of the massive star formation process. In the context of the second scenario, compact binaries must form later on, and the cut-off period may be related to physical length-scales representative of the bloated pre-main-sequence stellar radii or of their accretion disks.

    Conclusions. If the obtained constraints for the M 17's massive-star population are representative of the multiplicity properties of massive young stellar objects, our results may provide support to a massive star formation process in which binaries are initially formed at larger separations, then harden or migrate to produce the typical (untruncated) power-law period distribution observed in few Myr-old OB binaries.

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  • Massive pre-main-sequence stars in M17

    2017. M. C. Ramirez-Tannus (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 604


    The formation process of massive stars is still poorly understood. Massive young stellar objects (mYSOs) are deeply embedded in their parental clouds; these objects are rare, and thus typically distant, and their reddened spectra usually preclude the determination of their photospheric parameters. M17 is one of the best-studied H i i regions in the sky, is relatively nearby, and hosts a young stellar population. We have obtained optical to near-infrared spectra of previously identified candidate mYSOs and a few OB stars in this region with X-shooter on the ESO Very Large Telescope. The large wavelength coverage enables a detailed spectroscopic analysis of the photospheres and circumstellar disks of these candidate mYSOs. We confirm the pre-main-sequence (PMS) nature of six of the stars and characterise the O stars. The PMS stars have radii that are consistent with being contracting towards the main sequence and are surrounded by a remnant accretion disk. The observed infrared excess and the double-peaked emission lines provide an opportunity to measure structured velocity profiles in the disks. We compare the observed properties of this unique sample of young massive stars with evolutionary tracks of massive protostars and propose that these mYSOs near the western edge of the H i i region are on their way to become main-sequence stars (similar to 6-20 M-circle dot) after having undergone high mass accretion rates ((M) over dot(acc) similar to 10(-4)-10(3) M-circle dot yr(-1)). Their spin distribution upon arrival at the zero age main-sequence is consistent with that observed for young B stars, assuming conservation of angular momentum and homologous contraction.

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  • VLT/MUSE illuminates possible channels for Lyman continuum escape in the halo of SBS 0335-52E

    2017. Edmund Christian Herenz (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 606


    We report on the discovery of ionised gas filaments in the circum-galactic halo of the extremely metal-poor compact starburst SBS 0335-052E in a 1.5 h integration with the MUSE integral-field spectrograph. We detect these features in H alpha and [O III] emission down to a limiting surface-brightness of 5 x 10(-19) erg s(-1) cm(-2) arcsec(-2). The filaments have projected diameters of 2.1 kpc and extend more than 9 kpc to the north and north-west from the main stellar body. We also detect extended nebular He II lambda 4686 emission that brightens towards the north-west at the rim of a starburst driven super-shell. We also present a velocity field of the ionised gas. The filaments appear to connect seamlessly in velocity space to the kinematical disturbances caused by the shell. Similar to high-z starforming galaxies, the ionised gas in this galaxy is dispersion dominated. We argue that the filaments were created via feedback from the starburst and that these ionised structures in the halo may act as escape channels for Lyman continuum radiation in this gas-rich system.

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  • The Lyman alpha reference sample VII. Spatially resolved H alpha kinematics

    2016. Edmund Christian Herenz (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 587


    We present integral field spectroscopic observations with the Potsdam Multi-Aperture Spectrophotometer of all 14 galaxies in the z similar to 0.1 Lyman Alpha Reference Sample (LARS). We produce 2D line-of-sight velocity maps and velocity dispersion maps from the Balmer alpha (H alpha) emission in our data cubes. These maps trace the spectral and spatial properties of the LARS galaxies' intrinsic Ly alpha radiation field. We show our kinematic maps that are spatially registered onto the Hubble Space Telescope H alpha and Lyman alpha (Ly alpha) images. We can conjecture a causal connection between spatially resolved H alpha kinematics and Ly alpha photometry for individual galaxies, however, no general trend can be established for the whole sample. Furthermore, we compute the intrinsic velocity dispersion sigma(0), the shearing velocity v(shear), and the v(shear)/sigma(0) ratio from our kinematic maps. In general LARS galaxies are characterised by high intrinsic velocity dispersions (54 km s(-1) median) and low shearing velocities (65 km s(-1) median). The v(shear/sigma 0) values range from 0.5 to 3.2 with an average of 1.5. It is noteworthy that five galaxies of the sample are dispersion-dominated systems with v(shear)/sigma(0) < 1, and are thus kinematically similar to turbulent star-forming galaxies seen at high redshift. When linking our kinematical statistics to the global LARS Ly alpha properties, we find that dispersion-dominated systems show higher Ly alpha equivalent widths and higher Ly alpha escape fractions than systems with v(shear)/sigma(0) > 1. Our result indicates that turbulence in actively star-forming systems is causally connected to interstellar medium conditions that favour an escape of Ly alpha radiation.

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  • Limits on Lyman Continuum Escape from z = 2.2 Hα-emitting Galaxies

    2015. Sandberg Andreas (et al.). Astrophysical Journal Letters 814 (1)


    The leakage of Lyman continuum (LyC) photons from star-forming galaxies is an elusive parameter. When observed, it provides a wealth of information on star formation in galaxies and on the geometry of the interstellar medium, and puts constraints on the role of star-forming galaxies in the reionization of the universe. Hα-selected galaxies at  trace the highest star formation population at the peak of cosmic star formation history, providing a base for directly measuring LyC escape. Here we present this method and highlight its benefits as well as caveats. We also use the method on 10 Hα emitters in the Chandra Deep Field South at  also imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope in the ultraviolet. We find no individual LyC detections, and our stack puts a 5σ upper limit on the average absolute escape fraction of <24%, consistent with similar studies. With future planned observations, the sample sizes should rapidly increase and the method presented here should provide very robust constraints on the escape fraction.

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  • VLT/MUSE view of the highly ionized outflow cones in the nearby starburst ESO338-IG04

    2015. Adrianus Bik (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 576


    Context. The Lya line is an important diagnostic for star formation at high redshift, but interpreting its flux and line profile is difficult because of the resonance nature of Lya. Trends between the escape of Lya photons and dust and properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) have been found, but detailed comparisons between Lya emission and the properties of the gas in local high-redshift analogs are vital for understanding the relation between Lya emission and galaxy properties. Aims. For the first time, we can directly infer the properties of the ionized gas at the same location and similar spatial scales of the extended Lya halo around the local Lya emitter and Lyman-break galaxy analog ESO338-IG04. Methods. We obtained VLT/MUSE integral field spectra. We used ionization parameter mapping of the [S II]/[O III] line ratio and the kinematics of Ha to study the ionization state and kinematics of the ISM of ESO 338-IG04. Results. The velocity map reveals two outflows, one toward the north, the other toward the south of ESO338. The ionization parameter mapping shows that the entire central area of the galaxy is highly ionized by photons leaking from the HII regions around the youngest star clusters. Three highly ionized cones have been identified, of which one is associated with an outflow detected in the Ha. We propose a scenario where the outflows are created by mechanical feedback of the older clusters, while the highly ionized gas is caused by the hard ionizing photons emitted by the youngest clusters. A comparison with the Lya map shows that the (approximately bipolar) asymmetries observed in the Lya emission are consistent with the base of the outflows detected in Ha. No clear correlation with the ionization cones is found. Conclusions. The mechanical and ionization feedback of star clusters significantly changes the state of the ISM by creating ionized cones and outflows. The comparison with Lya suggests that especially the outflows could facilitate the escape of Lya photons.

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  • The discovery of a very massive star in W49

    2014. S. -W Wu (et al.). Astronomy and Astrophysics 568, L13


    Context. Very massive stars (M > 100 M-circle dot) are very rare objects, but have a strong influence on their environment. The formation of this kind of objects is of prime importance in star formation, but observationally still poorly constrained. Aims. We report on the identification of a very massive star in the central cluster of the star forming region W49. Methods. We investigate near infrared K-band spectroscopic observations of W49 from VLT/ISAAC together with JHK images obtained with NTT/SOFI and LBT/LUCI. We derive the spectral type of W49nrl, the brightest star in the dense core of the central cluster of W49. Results. On the basis of its K-band spectrum, W49nrl is classified as an O2-3.5If* star with a K-band absolute magnitude of -6.27 +/- 0.10 mag. The effective temperature and bolometric correction are estimated from stars of similar spectral type. After comparison to the Geneva evolutionary models, we find an initial mass between 100 M-circle dot and 180 M-circle dot. Varying the extinction law results in a larger initial mass range of 90-250 M-circle dot

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