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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-08-22 T12:00:11 PDT
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For refcode 2008A&A...485..657B:
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Copyright by European Southern Observatory (ESO). Reproduced by permission
2008A&A...485..657B Galaxies with Wolf-Rayet signatures in the low-redshift Universe. A survey using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Brinchmann, J.; Kunth, D.; Durret, F. Abstract. Context: The availability of large spectroscopic datasets has opened up the possibility of constructing large samples of rare objects in a systematic manner. Aims: The goal of this study is to analyse the properties of galaxies showing Wolf-Rayet features in their optical spectrum using spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Release 6. With this unprecedentedly large sample we aim to constrain the properties of the Wolf-Rayet phase and its impact on the surrounding interstellar medium. Methods: We carried out very careful continuum subtraction on all galaxies with equivalent widths of H{beta}>2 Angstrom in emission and identify Wolf-Rayet features using a mixture of automatic and visual classification. We combined this with spectroscopic and photometric information from the SDSS and derive metal abundances using a number of methods. Results: We find a total of 570 galaxies with significant Wolf-Rayet (WR) features and a further 1115 potential candidates, several times more than even the largest heterogeneously assembled catalogues. We discuss in detail the properties of galaxies showing Wolf-Rayet features with a focus on their empirical properties. We are able to accurately quantify the incidence of Wolf-Rayet galaxies with metal abundance and show that the likelihood of otherwise similar galaxies showing Wolf-Rayet features increases with increasing metallicity, but that WR features are found in galaxies of a wide range in morphology. The large sample allows us to show explicitly that there are systematic differences in the metal abundances of WR and non-WR galaxies. The most striking result is that, below EW(H{beta}) = 100 Angstrom, Wolf-Rayet galaxies show an elevated N/O relative to non-WR galaxies. We interpret this as a rapid enrichment of the ISM from WR winds. We also show that the model predictions for WR features strongly disagree with the observations at low metallicity; while they do agree quite well with the data at solar abundances. We discuss possible reasons for this and show that models incorporating binary evolution reproduce the low-metallicity results reasonably well. Finally we combine the WR sample with a sample of galaxies with nebular He II {lambda} 4686 to show that, at 12 + log O/H< 8, the main sources of He II ionising photons appears to be O stars, arguing for a less dense stellar wind at these metallicities, while at higher abundances WN stars might increasingly dominate the ionisation budget. Key words: stars: Wolf-Rayet, galaxies: abundances, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: starburst, galaxies:, fundamental parameters
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