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Title: A rare encounter with very massive stars in NGC 3125-A1

Super star cluster A1 in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 3125 is characterized by broad He II λ1640 emission (FWHM ∼ 1200 km s{sup –1}) of unprecedented strength (equivalent width, EW = 7.1 ± 0.4 Å). Previous attempts to characterize the massive star content in NGC 3125-A1 were hampered by the low resolution of the UV spectrum and the lack of co-spatial panchromatic data. We obtained far-UV to near-IR spectroscopy of the two principal emitting regions in the galaxy with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We use these data to study three clusters in the galaxy, A1, B1, and B2. We derive cluster ages of 3-4 Myr, intrinsic reddenings of E(B – V) = 0.13, 0.15, and 0.13, and cluster masses of 1.7 × 10{sup 5}, 1.4 × 10{sup 5}, and 1.1 × 10{sup 5} M {sub ☉}, respectively. A1 and B2 show O V λ1371 absorption from massive stars, which is rarely seen in star-forming galaxies, and have Wolf-Rayet (WR) to O star ratios of N(WN5-6)/N(O) = 0.23 and 0.10, respectively. The high N(WN5-6)/N(O) ratio of A1 cannot be reproduced by models that use a normal initial massmore » function (IMF) and generic WR star line luminosities. We rule out that the extraordinary He II λ1640 emission and O V λ1371 absorption of A1 are due to an extremely flat upper IMF exponent, and suggest that they originate in the winds of very massive (>120 M {sub ☉}) stars. In order to reproduce the properties of peculiar clusters such as A1, the present grid of stellar evolution tracks implemented in Starburst99 needs to be extended to masses >120 M {sub ☉}.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. UPMC-CNRS, UMR7095, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France)
  2. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  3. University of Toledo, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)
  4. Aix Marseille Universite, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388 Marseille (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22348083
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 781; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; EMISSION; GALAXIES; INFRARED SPECTRA; MASS; RESOLUTION; SPACE; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; TELESCOPES; ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION; ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRA