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A peculiar stellar complex in NGC 6946 or the blue compact galaxy in front of this galaxy?

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The origin of the peculiar stellar complex in the outskirts of the spiral galaxy NGC 6946 is discussed. The complex hosts a superstar cluster, two dozen smaller bright clusters and many high-luminosity stars 5-30 Myears old. In spite of this, no features in H I or CO are associated with the complex. The most simple explanation is that the complex is a foreground blue compact galaxy, a member of the NGC 6946 group. The arc of high light absorption along the complex rim could then be the result of the ram pressure of the intergalactic medium gas. The existing velocity data cannot prove or disprove this hypothesis.

Keywords: Blue compact galaxies; NGC 6946 galaxy; Star formation; Stellar complexes; Young massive clusters

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Sternberg Astronomical Institute Universitetskij Prospekt 13 Moscow 119992 Russia 2: Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia Granada Spain 3: University of Washington Seattle Washington USA 4: European Southern Observatory Garching Germany 5: Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias La Laguna Spain

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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