A test of arm-induced star formation in spiral galaxies from near-infrared and Hα imaging

Marc S. Seigar, Phil A. James

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42 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have imaged a sample of 20 spiral galaxies in Hα and in the near-infrared K band (2.2 μm), in order to determine the location and strength of star formation in these objects with respect to perturbations in the old stellar population. We have found that star formation rates are significantly enhanced in the vicinity of K-band arms. We have also found that this enhancement in star formation rate in arm regions correlates well with a quantity that measures the relative strengths of shocks in arms. Assuming that the K-band light is dominated by emission from the old stellar population, this shows that density waves trigger star formation in the vicinity of spiral arms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1117
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume337
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2002

Keywords

  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: stellar content
  • Infrared: galaxies

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