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Conference Papers Year : 2014

A Rare Encounter with Very Massive Stars in NGC~3125-A1

C. Leitherer
  • Function : Author
R. Chandar
  • Function : Author


Super star cluster A1 in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC~3125 shows broad He II λ1640 emission (FWHM ~ 1200 km/s) of unprecedented strength (equivalent width, EW = 7.1+/-0.4 angstroms). Previous attempts to characterize A1's massive star content were hampered by the low resolution of the UV spectrum and the lack of co-spatial panchromatic data. We obtained far-UV to near-IR spectroscopy of the two principal emitting regions in the galaxy with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space Telescope. We use these data to derive the ages, reddenings, masses, and Wolf-Rayet (WR) to O star ratios of three compact clusters in the galaxy. We rule out that the extraordinary HeII lambda 1640 emission and OV lambda 1371 absorption in A1 are due to an extremely flat upper Initial Mass Function (IMF), and suggest that they originate in the winds of Very Massive Stars ( > 120 Msun, VMS). In order to reproduce the properties of peculiar clusters such as A1, the stellar evolution tracks implemented in Starburst99 need to be extended to masses >120 Msun.
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Dates and versions

insu-03645312 , version 1 (19-04-2022)



A. Wofford, C. Leitherer, R. Chandar, J. C. Bouret. A Rare Encounter with Very Massive Stars in NGC~3125-A1. Massive Young Star Clusters Near and Far: From the Milky Way to Reionization. 2013 Guillermo Haro Conference, 2014, à renseigner, Unknown Region. pp.165-169. ⟨insu-03645312⟩
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