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Astron. Astrophys. 336, 103-115 (1998)

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On the oxygen abundance deficiency in spiral galaxies

L.S. Pilyugin 1 and F. Ferrini 2

1 Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Goloseevo, 252650 Kiev-22, Ukraine (pilyugin@mao.kiev.ua)
2 Department of Physics, Section of Astronomy, University of Pisa, Piazza Torricelli 2, I-56100 Pisa, Italy (federico@astr2pi.difi.unipi.it)

Received 10 March 1998 / Accepted 12 May 1998


The observed radial distributions of oxygen abundance in twelve spiral galaxies of various Hubble types from Sab to Sd have been compared with predictions of the closed-box model for chemical and photometric evolution of galaxies, with the purpose of searching for the deficiency of oxygen abundance in galaxies: this is an indicator of gas exchange between galaxy and its environments or/and redistribution of gas (heavy elements) within disk.

It has been found that among high luminosity spiral galaxies, only NGC3031 (M81) - a well known interacting galaxy - has a large oxygen abundance deficiency. Other high luminosity galaxies have no, or have a moderate deficiency of oxygen abundance.

All the low luminosity Scd and Sd galaxies show a significant deficiency of oxygen abundance. This can be considered as an evidence in favor of that these galaxies lost a part of the heavy elements content in the course of their evolution. By considering the definition of late-type giant galaxies versus late-type dwarf galaxies dichotomy by Binggeli: "dwarf galaxies did, classical (giant) galaxies did not, suffer global mass loss by galactic winds", the present result leads to the conclusion that the transition from late-type giants to late-type dwarfs occurs within the class Scd.

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

Send offprint requests to: L.S. Pilyugin

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: July 7, 1998