The recent stellar archeology of M31 - The nearest red disk galaxy

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/751/1/74
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN0004-637X
Volume751
Issue1
Article number74
AbstractWe examine the star-forming history of the M31 disk during the past few hundredMyr. The luminosity functions (LFs) of main-sequence stars at distances R GC > 21kpc (i.e., >4 disk scale lengths) are matched by models that assume a constant star formation rate (SFR). However, at smaller R GC the LFs suggest that during the past 10Myr the SFR was 2-3 times higher than during the preceding 100Myr. The rings of cool gas that harbor a significant fraction of the current star-forming activity are traced by stars with ages 100Myr, indicating that (1) these structures have ages of at least 100Myr and (2) stars in these structures do not follow the same relation between age and random velocity as their counterparts throughout the disks of other spiral galaxies, probably due to the inherently narrow orbital angular momentum distribution of the giant molecular clouds in these structures. The distribution of evolved red stars is not azimuthally symmetric, in the sense that the projected density along the northeast segment of the major axis is roughly twice that on the opposite side of the galaxy. The northeast arm of the major axis thus appears to be a fossil star-forming area that dates to intermediate epochs. Such a structure may be the consequence of interactions with a companion galaxy. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA-IHA)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269349
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Record identifierb1138abf-7d18-4772-982a-4d62b2bac8c7
Record created2013-12-12
Record modified2016-07-18
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