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Pre-supernova stellar feedback in nearby starburst dwarf galaxies

McLeod, Anna F.; Fattahi, Azadeh; Belfiore, Francesco; Rowland, Lucie E.; Cresci, Giovanni; Hunt, Leslie; Krumholz, Mark; Kumari, Nimisha; Marasco, Antonino; Venturi, Giacomo

Pre-supernova stellar feedback in nearby starburst dwarf galaxies Thumbnail


Francesco Belfiore

Lucie E. Rowland

Giovanni Cresci

Leslie Hunt

Mark Krumholz

Nimisha Kumari

Antonino Marasco

Giacomo Venturi


Context. Stellar feedback in dwarf galaxies remains, to date, poorly explored, yet is crucial to understanding galaxy evolution in the early Universe. In particular, pre-supernova feedback has recently been found to play a significant role in regulating and disrupting star formation in larger spiral galaxies, but it remains uncertain if it also plays this role in dwarfs.
Aims. We study the ionised gas properties and stellar content of individual star-forming regions across three nearby, low-metallicity (12 + log(O/H)∼7.5), dwarf (M* ∼ 40 × 106 M⊙), starburst (log(SFR)∼ − 2.8) galaxies (J0921, KKH046, and Leo P) to investigate how massive stars influence their surroundings and how this influence changes as a function of environment.
Methods. We extracted integrated spectra of 30 HII regions from archival VLT/MUSE integral field spectroscopic observations of these three dwarf starburst galaxies. We fitted the HII regions’ main emission lines with Gaussian profiles to derive their oxygen abundances, electron densities, and luminosities, and we used the Stochastically Lighting Up Galaxies (SLUG) code to derive the stellar mass, age, and bolometric luminosity of the stellar populations driving the HII regions. We quantified two pre-supernova stellar feedback mechanisms, namely the direct radiation pressure and photoionisation feedback, and explored how feedback strength varies with HII region properties.
Results. Our findings suggest that stellar feedback has less of an impact on evolved regions, with both the pressure of the ionised gas and the direct radiation pressure decreasing as a function of HII region size (i.e. the evolutionary stage). We find that these stellar feedback mechanisms are also dependent on the metallicity of the HII regions. These findings extend results from stellar feedback studies of more massive star-forming galaxies to the low-mass, low-metallicity regime. In addition, we conclude that the use of stochastic stellar population models significantly affects the relationships found between feedback-related pressure terms and HII region properties, and in particular that non-stochastic models can severely underestimate the bolometric luminosity of low-mass stellar populations.


McLeod, A. F., Fattahi, A., Belfiore, F., Rowland, L. E., Cresci, G., Hunt, L., …Venturi, G. (2024). Pre-supernova stellar feedback in nearby starburst dwarf galaxies. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 685, Article A46.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 30, 2024
Online Publication Date May 6, 2024
Publication Date 2024-05
Deposit Date Jul 1, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 1, 2024
Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Electronic ISSN 1432-0746
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 685
Article Number A46
Public URL


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