AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 129. Formation and Distribution of Galaxies
Oral, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 2:00-3:30pm, Regency VI

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[129.05] Exploring the Star Formation Histories of Spiral Galaxies

E. F. Bell (University of Durham, UK - Present address: Steward Observatory, USA)

I present an in-depth study of the star formation histories of spiral galaxies with a wide range of properties. Optical and near-infrared colors are used in conjunction with up-to-date stellar population synthesis models to constrain the ages and metallicities of my sample galaxies.

I find that age and metallicity gradients are common in spiral galaxies of all types. The age of a spiral galaxy correlates mainly with its surface brightness, and its metallicity correlates strongly with both its surface brightness and absolute magnitude. Using simple models, I demonstrate that these correlations suggest that the star formation history of a region within a galaxy depends primarily on its surface density, and possibly on the dynamical time. Metal-enriched outflow from low mass galaxies seems to be required to reproduce a reasonably strong metallicity-magnitude correlation.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://pollux.as.arizona.edu/~ebell/res.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ebell@as.arizona.edu

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