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Title: The panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury. VI. The reliability of far-ultraviolet flux as a star formation tracer on subkiloparsec scales

We have used optical observations of resolved stars from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury to measure the recent (<500 Myr) star formation histories (SFHs) of 33 far-UV (FUV)-bright regions in M31. The region areas ranged from ∼10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} pc{sup 2}, which allowed us to test the reliability of FUV flux as a tracer of recent star formation on subkiloparsec scales. The star formation rates (SFRs) derived from the extinction-corrected observed FUV fluxes were, on average, consistent with the 100 Myr mean SFRs of the SFHs to within the 1σ scatter. Overall, the scatter was larger than the uncertainties in the SFRs and particularly evident among the smallest regions. The scatter was consistent with an even combination of discrete sampling of the initial mass function and high variability in the SFHs. This result demonstrates the importance of satisfying both the full-IMF and the constant-SFR assumptions for obtaining precise SFR estimates from FUV flux. Assuming a robust FUV extinction correction, we estimate that a factor of 2.5 uncertainty can be expected in FUV-based SFRs for regions smaller than 10{sup 5} pc{sup 2} or a few hundred parsecs. We also examined ages and masses derived from UV flux under themore » common assumption that the regions are simple stellar populations (SSPs). The SFHs showed that most of the regions are not SSPs, and the age and mass estimates were correspondingly discrepant from the SFHs. For those regions with SSP-like SFHs, we found mean discrepancies of 10 Myr in age and a factor of 3-4 in mass. It was not possible to distinguish the SSP-like regions from the others based on integrated FUV flux.« less
;  [1] ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, University of Minnesota, 116 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy, University of California, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States)
  6. Raytheon, 1151 E. Hermans Road, Tucson, AZ 85756 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States