Stellar populations with MEGARA: The inner regions of NGC 7025

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Gil de Paz, Armando
Castillo Morales, África
Dullo, Bililign T.
Carrasco, E.
Iglesias Páramo, J.
Cedazo, R.
García Vargas, M. L.
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Context. This paper aims to determine the capabilities of the MEGARA spectrograph at the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), which is an optical integral-field unit, for studying stellar populations. We also aim to exploit its combination of high spectral (Rx2004;similar to 6000,12000 and 20 000) and spatial (0.62 '') resolution within its 12 '' .5 x 11 '' .3 field of view. We do this by analysing the commissioning data of the nearby S0a galaxy NGC 7025. Aims. We establish a systematic method through which we can determine the properties of the stellar populations in the observations made with MEGARA, more specifically, within the MEGADES legacy project. For this paper in particular, we determine the properties of the stellar populations of NGC 7025. Methods. We used MEGARA observations of galaxy NGC 7025 that were taken during the commissioning phase of the instrument. We applied different approaches to estimate the properties of the stellar populations with the highest possible certainty. In addition to the specific study of NGC 7025 and in the context of the MEGADES survey, we have carried out a number of tests to determine the expected errors (including potential biases) in these star formation history (SFH) derivations as a function of these parameters, namely spectral setup, signal-to-noise ratio, sigma, and the SFH itself. Results. All the studies we conduct (both full spectral fitting and absorption line indices) of the stellar populations of NGC 7025 indicate that the stars that form its bulge have supersolar metallicity and considerably old ages (similar to 10 Gyr) in general. Using three different combinations of MEGARA spectral setups, we determined that the bulge of NGC 7025 has smild negative mass-weighted age gradient. For the more detailed SFH, our results indicate that in addition to a rather constant star formation at early epochs, a peak in the formation history of the stars in the bulge is also found 3.5-4.5 Gyr ago. This partly explains the mass-weighted age gradients we measured. Conclusions. The scenario presented in NGC 7025 is that of an isolated galaxy under secular evolution that about 3.5-4.5 Gyr ago likely experienced a minor merger (mass ratio 1/10) that induced an increase in star formation and also perturbed the morphology of its outer disc. In addition to these specific results for NGC 7025, we report different lessons learned for the ongoing exploitation of the MEGADES survey with the GTC, such as the need to obtain combined observations in the LR-B + LR-V setups and a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 20 per angstrom.
© ESO 2022. Based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), installed in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, in the island of La Palma. IRAF is distributed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. This project used data obtained with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which was constructed by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) collaboration. The Legacy Surveys imaging of the DESI footprint is supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of High Energy Physics of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH1123, by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a DOE O ffice of Science User Facility under the same contract; and by the US National Science Foundation, Division of Astronomical Sciences under Contract No. AST-0950945 to NOAO. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database, which is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and operated by the California Institute of Technology. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This work has been supported by MINECO-FEDER grants AYA2016-75808-R and RTI2018-096188-B-I00. J.I.P. acknowledges financial support from the State Agency for Research of the Spanish MCIU through the Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa award to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709). J.I.P. acknowledges finantial support from projects Estallidos6 AYA2016-79724-C4 (Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad), Estallidos7 PID2019-107408GB-C44 (Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación), grant P18-FR-2664 (Junta de Andalucía), and grant SEV-2017-0709 "Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa Program" (Spanish Science Ministry).
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