Aperture corrections for disk galaxy properties derived from the CALIFA survey Balmer emission lines in spiral galaxies

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This work investigates the effect of the aperture size on derived galaxy properties for which we H alpha ve spatially-resolved optical spectra. We focus on some indicators of star formation activity and dust attenuation for spiral galaxies that have been widely used in previous work on galaxy evolution. We investigated 104 spiral galaxies from the CALIFA survey for which 2D spectroscopy with complete spatial coverage is available. From the 3D cubes we derived growth curves of the most conspicuous Balmer emission lines (H alpha, H beta) for circular apertures of different radii centered at the galaxy's nucleus after removing the underlying stellar continuum. We find that the H alpha flux (f(H alpha)) growth curve follows a well-defined sequence with aperture radius that shows a low dispersion around the median value. From this analysis, we derived aperture corrections for galaxies in different magnitude and redshift intervals. Once stellar absorption is properly accounted for, the f (H alpha)/f(H beta) ratio growth curve shows a smooth decline, pointing toward the absence of differential dust attenuation as a function of radius. Aperture corrections as a function of the radius are provided in the interval [0.3, 2.5]R-50. Finally, the H alpha equivalent-width (EW(H alpha)) growth curve increases with the size of the aperture and shows a very high dispersion for small apertures. This prevents us from using reliable aperture corrections for this quantity. In addition, this result suggests that separating star-forming and quiescent galaxies based on observed EW(H alpha) through small apertures will probably result in low EW(H alpha) star-forming galaxies begin classified as quiescent.
© ESO 2013. This study made use of the data provided by the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area (CALIFA) survey ( The CALIFA collaboration would like to thank the IAA-CSIC and MPIA-MPG as major partners of the observatory, and CAHA itself, for the unique access to telescope time and support in manpower and infrastructures. The CALIFA collaboration also thanks the CAHA staff for the dedication to this project. Based on observations collected at the Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto, operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). We thank the Viabilidad, Diseño, Acceso y Mejora funding program ICTS-2009-10, for supporting the initial developement of this project. J.I.-P., J.V.M., C. K. and A. M. I. thank the Spanish PNAYA projects Estallidos AYA2010-21887-C04-01. R. A. M. was funded by the Spanish programme of International Campus of Excellence Moncloa (CEI). J.F.-B. acknowledges support from the Ramón y Cajal programme by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO). This work has been supported by the Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica of MINECO, under grants AYA2010-21322-C03-01 and AYA2010-21322-C03-02. L. G. and V. S. acknowledge financial support from Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (FCT) under program Ciencia 2008 and the research grant PTDC/CTE-AST/112582/2009. The Dark Cosmology Centre is funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. A. G. acknowledges funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement No. 267251. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
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