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Astron. Astrophys. 358, 72-76 (2000)


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On the origin of the luminosity-metallicity relation for late-type galaxies

Spirals to irregulars transition

L.S. Pilyugin 1 and F. Ferrini 2

1 Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Goloseevo, 03680 Kiev-127, Ukraine (pilyugin@mao.kiev.ua)
2 Department of Physics, Section of Astronomy, University of Pisa, piazza Torricelli 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy (federico@astr2pi.difi.unipi.it)

Received 29 October 1999 / Accepted 22 December 1999

Abstract

We consider the roles of two widely invoked mechanisms for the metallicity-luminosity correlation among late-type galaxies: higher astration level and decreasing efficiency of heavy-element loss with increasing luminosity. We find that both mechanisms contribute about equally to the range in oxygen abundance between low ([FORMULA]) and high ([FORMULA]) luminosity galaxies.

We also consider the transition from spirals to irregulars, finding that both the oxygen abundance deficiency (indicating the degree of mass exchange between a galaxy and its environment) and the gas fraction vary smoothly along the sequence. Thus we find no "irregular versus spiral dichotomy".

Key words: galaxies: abundances – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: ISM

Send offprint requests to: L.S. Pilyugin

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 26, 2000

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