Stellar population models in the Near-Infrared

Sofia Meneses-Goytia

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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The study of early-type elliptical and lenticular galaxies provides important information about the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early Universe. These distant systems cannot be studied by looking at their individual stars but information can still be obtained by studying their unresolved spectrum in detail.

During my PhD I have constructed accurate unresolved stellar population models for populations of a single age and metallicity in the near-infrared range. The extension to the NIR is important for the study of early-type galaxies, since these galaxies are predominantly old and therefore emit most of their light in this wavelength range. The models are based on the NASA IRTF library of empirical stellar spectra. Integrating these spectra along theoretical isochrones, while assuming an initial mass function, we have produced model spectra of single age-metallicity stellar populations at an intermediate resolution.

Comparison to literature results show that our models are well suited for studying stellar populations in unresolved galaxies. They are particularly useful for studying the old and intermediate-age stellar populations in galaxies, relatively free from contamination of young stars and extinction by dust. Subsequently, we use the models to fit the observed spectra of globular clusters and galaxies, to derive their age distribution, chemical abundances and IMF properties. We show that the contribution of AGB stars to the galaxy spectrum is clearly larger in the field than it is in the Fornax cluster. This implies that the environment plays an important role in driving the evolutionary histories of the galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Peletier, Reynier, Supervisor
  • Trager, Scott, Supervisor
Award date20-Nov-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8350-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8351-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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