NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-03-26 T08:12:56 PDT
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For refcode 1994ApJ...425...57E:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
1994ApJ...425...57E ON THE SIZE AND FORMATION MECHANISM OF THE LARGEST STAR-FORMING COMPLEXES IN SPIRAL AND IRREGULAR GALAXIES DEBRA MELOY ELMEGREEN, BRUCE G. ELMEGREEN, CORNELIA LANG, AND CARNELLA STEPHENS Received 1993 July 26; accepted 1993 October 14 ABSTRACT The average diameters of the largest star complexes in most of the spiral and irregular galaxies in the Sandage and Bedke Atlas of Galaxies were measured from the Atlas photographs. The complex diameters D_c_ correlate with galaxy magnitude as D_c_ = 0.18 - 0.14 M_B_, which has about the same slope as the correlation for the largest H II regions studied by Kennicutt. There is no obvious correlation between D_c_ and either Hubble type or spiral arm class at a given magnitude. The variation of D_c_ with M_B_ closely matches the expected variation in the characteristic length of the gaseous gravitational instability considering that the rotation curve varies with M_B_ and that the stability parameter Q is about 1 in the outer regions of the disk. This match corresponds to an effective velocity dispersion of 6.1 km s^-1^ that is about the same for all spiral and irregular galaxies. Subject headings: galaxies: spiral - galaxies: stellar content - H Ii regions stars: formation
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