On the Fractal Distribution of HII Regions in Disk Galaxies

Sánchez, Néstor; Alfaro, Emilio J.
Highlights of Spanish Astrophysics V, Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings. ISBN 978-3-642-11249-2. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2010, p. 353


In this work we quantify the degree to which star-forming events are clumped. We apply a precise and accurate technique to calculate the correlation dimension D c of the distribution of HII regions in a sample of disk galaxies. Our reliable results are distributed in the range 1.5 ≾ D c ≾ 2.0. We get significant variations in the fractal dimension among galaxies, contrary to a universal picture sometimes claimed in literature. The faintest galaxies tend to distribute their HII regions in more clustered (less uniform) patterns. Moreover, the fractal dimension for the brightest HII regions within the same galaxy seems to be smaller than for the faintest ones suggesting some kind of evolutionary effect.