AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 6. Interactions, Mergers and Starbursts
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[6.09] The Origin of the Soft X-ray Emission in the Starforming Galaxy NGC 3310

A. Prestwich, R. Kilgard, J. Hayes (SAO)

We use archival optical, infrared and X-ray data to investigate the origin of the soft X-ray emssion in NGC 3310. Our goal is to use models of star formation to test the hypothesis that the soft X-ray emission in starburst galaxies is due to a ``superwind'' from the star forming regions. We find that the soft X-ray emission in NGC 3310 is extended and the spectrum is consistent with a thermal plasma (kT=0.8 KeV; see also Zezas et al 1998, MNRAS 301, 1998). Analysis of the HST WFPC images reveals the presence of massive star clusters. Comparision of the optical colors of these clusters with the starburst models of Leitherer et al. (1999, www.stsci.edu/science/starburst99/), indicates a range of ages suggesting that star formation is ongoing. We find that the far-infrared luminosity of NGC 3310 is consistent with a star formation rate of 1-5 solar masses/year. Using the models of Leitherer et al. (1999) we find that the mechanical luminosity from supernova explosions and stellar winds in the star forming regions is sufficient to power the observed soft X-ray emission. We compare these results to other starburst galaxies.

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