Mapping the star formation history of Mrk 86 - I. Data and models

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Gil de Paz, Armando
Domínguez, F. de B.
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We have obtained optical (BVR, [O III]ƛ 5007 Å and H_α), near infrared (JHK) imaging and long-slit optical spectroscopy for the Blue Compact Dwarf galaxy Mrk 86 (NGC 2537). In this paper, the first of two, we present optical-near-infrared colors and emission-line fluxes for the currently star-forming regions, intermediate aged starburst and underlying stellar population. We also describe the evolutionary synthesis models used in Paper II. The R and H_α luminosity distributions of the galaxy star-forming regions show maxima at M-R = -9.5^m and L_H_α = 10^37.3 ergs^-l. The underlying stellar population shows an exponential surface brigthness profile with central value, μ_E,0 = 21.5 mag arcsec^-2, and scale, α=0.88 kpc, both measured in the R-band image. In the galaxy outer regions, dominated by this component, no significant color gradients are observed. Finally, a complete set of evolutionary synthesis models have been developed, covering a wide range in metallicity, 1/50 Z_⨀< Z < 2 Z_⨀, and burst strength, 1-10^-4. These models include nebular continuum and recombination and forbidden-line emission.
© EDP Sciences. Based on observations at the Jacobus Kapteyn, Isaac Newton and Willian Herschel telescopes operated on the island of La Palma by the Royal Greenwich Observatory in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto Astrofísico de Canarias and from International Ultraviolet Explorer archive at the ESA VILSPA observatory. Based also on observations collected at the GermanSpanish Astronomical Center, Calar Alto, Spain, operated by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA), Heidelberg, jointly with the spanish ’Comisión Nacional de Astronomía’. We are grateful to Carme Jordi and D. Galadí for obtaining the V -band image. We would like to thank C. Sánchez Contreras and L.F. Miranda for obtaining the high resolution spectra, N. Cardiel for providing the reduceme package and C.E. García Dabó for the PlateAstrom routine. We also thank A. Alonso Herrero for her help in the acquisition and reduction of the nIR images. We also acknowledge the anonymous referee for several helpful comments. Finally, we thank to C.E. García Dabó and J. Cenarro for stimulating conversations, and M. Sharina for providing a reprint copy of her article. This research has been supported in part by the grants PB93-456 and PB96-0610 from the Spanish ’Programa Sectorial de Promoción del Conocimiento’. A. Gil de Paz acknowledges the receipt of a ’Formación del Profesorado Universitario’ fellowship from the spanish ’Ministerio de Educación y Cultura’.
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