Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2010
As part of the GEFE collaboration, observations of star-forming regions with high spectral resolution and long-slit sampling are being undertaken. 2D maps of physical parameters like density, excitation, extinction…etc. have been produced with 1″ spatial resolution and 2″ spatial sampling. Some preliminary results on the giant HII Region NGC 5471 and the irregular galaxy NGC 4214 are presented. Very high velocity components have been detected at some particular positions on the nebulae, as well as other peculiar kinematical structures (redshifted secondary emission peaks, line splitting etc.). The whole emitting area of NGC 5471 behaves as a unique entity with respect to excitation, with no correlation with the emitting knots. On the other hand, differentiated star-forming regions can be identified on NGC 4214. Finally, the distribution of dust particles seems to be rather inhomogeneous and anticorrelated with the distribution of emission-line intensities.
Introduction: aim and targets
The ultimate aim of the GEFE collaboration is to determine which are the physical parameters that control the formation of a violent burst of star formation. Within this framework and in order to fulfil this main objective it is important to know the physical properties of star-forming regions with high enough spatial resolution as to determine variations of the measurable parameters within the emitting nebulae. We aim to use measurements of age, excitation degree, velocity dispersion and chemical composition to know whether we are dealing with single star-forming regions or with well differentiated physical entities within a patch of ionized gas, which cause misinterpretation in our understanding of the “physical object” (Muñoz-Tuñón et al. 1993).