Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of NGC4214: the hot ISM and the luminosity function of dwarf starburst galaxies

Joanna Hartwell, Ian Stevens, David Strickland, TM Heckman, Lesley Summers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


We present results from Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observations of NGC 4214, a nearby dwarf starburst galaxy containing several young regions of very active star-formation. Starburst regions are known to be associated with diffuse X-ray emission, and in this case the X-ray emission from the galaxy shows an interesting morphological structure within the galaxy, clearly associated with the central regions of active star formation. Of the two main regions of star formation in this galaxy, X-ray emission associated with the older is identified whereas little is detected from the younger, providing an insight into the evolutionary process of the formation of superbubbles around young stellar clusters. The spectra of the diffuse emission from the galaxy can be fitted with a two-temperature-component thermal model with kT= 0.14 keV and 0.52 keV, and analysis of this emission suggests that NGC 4214 will suffer a blow-out in the future. The point source population of the galaxy has an X-ray luminosity function with a slope of -0.76. This result, together with those for other dwarf starburst galaxies (NGC 4449 and NGC 5253), was added to a sample of luminosity functions for spiral and starburst galaxies. The slope of the luminosity function of dwarf starbursts is seen to be similar to that of their larger counterparts and clearly flatter than those seen in spirals. Further comparisons between the luminosity functions of starbursts and spiral galaxies are also made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-420
Number of pages15
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2004


  • galaxies : starburst
  • X-rays : galaxies
  • ISM : jets and outflows
  • galaxies : individual : NGC 5253


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