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Astron. Astrophys. 343, 64-80 (1999)

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Kinematical analysis of the ionized gas in the nuclear region of NGC 4214

J. Maíz-Apellániz 1,2, C. Muñoz-Tuñón 3, G. Tenorio-Tagle 4 and J.M. Mas-Hesse 1

1 Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental - INTA, POB 50727, E-28080 Madrid, Spain
2 Departamento de Matemáticas y Física Aplicada, Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio, E-28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
3 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
4 Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, Apartado Postal 51, 72000 Puebla, México

Received 10 August 1998 / Accepted 1 December 1998


We present in this paper a detailed study of the kinematical properties of the ionized gas around the young massive star clusters in the nucleus of NGC 4214. The analysis is based on bidimensional spectroscopical data, allowing to derive the spatial variation of different properties (intensity, velocity and width / line splitting) of the emission lines H[FORMULA] and [O III[FORMULA]5007 along the nuclear region. We have found that the Giant H II region around the two most massive clusters in NGC 4214 (A and B) is resolved into two clearly separated regions. We have not detected superbubbles with the properties we would expect according to the evolutionary state of the stellar clusters, but just a partial ring feature around the most massive one and two expanding shells around cluster B. The first expanding shell seems to have experienced blowout, whereas the second one is still complete. A possible explanation to this phenomenon is that the most massive stars in a starburst spend a large fraction of their lives buried inside their original molecular clouds. Champagne flows might have formed at the borders of the regions, especially on the SE complex, explaining the existence of the diffuse ionized gas around the galaxy. As a consequence of these results we postulate that NGC 4214 is indeed a dwarf spiral galaxy, with a thin ([FORMULA] pc) disk that inhibits the formation of large scale structures in the ISM. The mechanical input deposited by the star formation complexes, in a variety of physical processes that include the free expanding bubbles liberated after blowout and photoevaporation of the parent clouds, have succeeded in generating the structures now detected far from the disk, giving place to the large-scale structure which now enriches the optical appearance of the galaxy.

Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 4214 – galaxies: ISM – galaxies: irregular – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – galaxies: starbust

Send offprint requests to: J. Maíz-Apellániz (jma@laeff.esa.es)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 1, 1999