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      Stellar population synthesis at the resolution of 2003

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          Abstract

          We present a new model for computing the spectral evolution of stellar populations at ages between 100,000 yr and 20 Gyr at a resolution of 3 A across the whole wavelength range from 3200 to 9500 A for a wide range of metallicities. These predictions are based on a newly available library of observed stellar spectra. We also compute the spectral evolution across a larger wavelength range, from 91 A to 160 micron, at lower resolution. The model incorporates recent progress in stellar evolution theory and an observationally motivated prescription for thermally-pulsing stars on the asymptotic giant branch. The latter is supported by observations of surface brightness fluctuations in nearby stellar populations. We show that this model reproduces well the observed optical and near-infrared colour-magnitude diagrams of Galactic star clusters of various ages and metallicities. Stochastic fluctuations in the numbers of stars in different evolutionary phases can account for the full range of observed integrated colours of star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. The model reproduces in detail typical galaxy spectra from the Early Data Release (EDR) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We exemplify how this type of spectral fit can constrain physical parameters such as the star formation history, metallicity and dust content of galaxies. Our model is the first to enable accurate studies of absorption-line strengths in galaxies containing stars over the full range of ages. Using the highest-quality spectra of the SDSS EDR, we show that this model can reproduce simultaneously the observed strengths of those Lick indices that do not depend strongly on element abundance ratios [abridged].

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          Low-temperature Rosseland opacities

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            Evolution of low- and intermediate-mass stars to the end of the asymptotic giant branch with mass loss

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              Maps of Dust IR Emission for Use in Estimation of Reddening and CMBR Foregrounds

              We present a full sky 100 micron map that is a reprocessed composite of the COBE/DIRBE and IRAS/ISSA maps, with the zodiacal foreground and confirmed point sources removed. Before using the ISSA maps, we remove the remaining artifacts from the IRAS scan pattern. Using the DIRBE 100 micron and 240 micron data, we have constructed a map of the dust temperature, so that the 100 micron map can be converted to a map proportional to dust column density. The result of these manipulations is a map with DIRBE-quality calibration and IRAS resolution. To generate the full sky dust maps, we must first remove zodiacal light contamination as well as a possible cosmic infrared background (CIB). This is done via a regression analysis of the 100 micron DIRBE map against the Leiden- Dwingeloo map of H_I emission, with corrections for the zodiacal light via a suitable expansion of the DIRBE 25 micron flux. For the 100 micron map, no significant CIB is detected. In the 140 micron and 240 micron maps, where the zodiacal contamination is weaker, we detect the CIB at surprisingly high flux levels of 32 \pm 13 nW/m^2/sr at 140 micron, and 17 \pm 4 nW/m^2/sr at 240 micron (95% confidence). This integrated flux is ~2 times that extrapolated from optical galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field. The primary use of these maps is likely to be as a new estimator of Galactic extinction. We demonstrate that the new maps are twice as accurate as the older Burstein-Heiles estimates in regions of low and moderate reddening. These dust maps will also be useful for estimating millimeter emission that contaminates CMBR experiments and for estimating soft X-ray absorption.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                04 September 2003
                Article
                10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06897.x
                astro-ph/0309134
                dc598573-c905-4ca8-b76b-736c745b9f94
                History
                Custom metadata
                Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc.344:1000,2003
                35 pages, 22 figures, to appear in MNRAS; version with full resolution figures available at http://www.iap.fr/~charlot/bc2003/paper
                astro-ph

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