“Counterpart” method for abundance determinations in HII regions

L.S. Pilyugin (1,2), E.K. Grebel (2), L. Mattsson (3) ((1) Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 27 Zabolotnogo str., 03680 Kiev, Ukraine; (2) Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstr. 12–14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; (3) DARK Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark)

We suggest a new way of the determining abundances and electron temperatures in HII regions from strong emission lines. Our approach is based on the standard assumption that HII regions with similar intensities of strong emission lines have similar physical properties and abundances. A “counterpart” for a studied HII region may be chosen among HII regions with well-measured abundances (reference HII regions) by comparison of carefully chosen combinations of strong line intensities. Then the abundances in the investigated HII region can be assumed to be the same as that in its counterpart. In other words, we suggest to determine the abundances in HII regions “by precedent”. To get more reliable abundances for the considered HII region, a number of reference HII regions is selected and then the abundances in the target HII region is estimated through extra-/interpolation. We will refer to this method of abundance determination as the counterpart method or, for brevity, the C method. We define a sample of reference HII regions and verify the validity of the C method. We find that this method produces reliable abundances. Finally, the C method is used to obtain the radial abundance distributions in the extended discs of the spiral galaxies M83, NGC4625 and NGC 628.

See complete preprint ==> http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.5716

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