The ionized gas at the centre of IC10: A possible localized chemical pollution by Wolf-Rayet stars

Á R. López-Sánchez*, A. Mesa-Delgado, L. López-Martín, C. Esteban

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We present results from integral field spectroscopy with the Potsdam Multi-Aperture Spectrograph at the 3.5-m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory of the intense star-forming region [HL90] 111 at the centre of the starburst galaxy IC10. We have obtained maps with a spatial sampling of 1 × 1arcsec2= 3.9× 3.9pc2 of different emission lines and analysed the extinction, physical conditions, nature of the ionization and chemical abundances of the ionized gas, as well determined locally the age of the most recent star formation event. By defining several apertures, we study the main integrated properties of some regions within [HL90] 111. Two contiguous spaxels show an unambiguous detection of the broad Heiiλ4686 emission line, this feature seems to be produced by a single late-type WN star. We also report a probable N and He enrichment in the precise spaxels where the Wolf-Rayet (WR) features are detected. The enrichment pattern is roughly consistent with that expected for the pollution of the ejecta of a single or a very small number of WR stars. Furthermore, this chemical pollution is very localized (∼2arcsec ∼7.8pc) and it should be difficult to detect in star-forming galaxies beyond the Local Volume. We also discuss the use of the most common empirical calibrations to estimate the oxygen abundances of the ionized gas in nearby galaxies from 2D spectroscopic data. The ionization degree of the gas plays an important role when applying these empirical methods, as they tend to give lower oxygen abundances with increasing ionization degree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2076-2092
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: individual: IC10
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Stars: Wolf-Rayet


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