We present low-resolution (R ∼ 450) K-band spectroscopy for 16 of the 43 circumnuclear star-forming knots in M100 identified by Ryder & Knapen. We compare our measurements of equivalent widths for the Bry emission line and CO 2.29-μm absorption band in each knot with the predictions of starburst models from the literature, and derive ages and burst parameters for the knots. The majority of these knots are best explained by the result of short, localized bursts of star formation between 8 and 10 Myr ago. By examining both radial and azimuthal trends in the age distribution, we present a case for sequential triggering of star formation, most likely resulting from the action of a large-scale shock. In an appendix, we draw attention to the fact that the growth in the CO spectroscopic index with decreasing temperature in supergiant stars is not as regular as is commonly assumed.
- Galaxies: evolution
- Galaxies: individual: M100
- Galaxies: individual: NGC 4321
- Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
- Galaxies: structure
- Infrared: galaxies