Constraints on star-forming regions and starburst galaxies from SWS spectroscopy

M. D. Thornley, D. Lutz, H. W.W. Spoon, D. Kunze, F. Bertoldi, A. Sternberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on recent starburst modeling results which utilize Short Wavelength Spectrometer (SWS) observations of starbursts, taken as part of the MPE Central Programme on Bright Galactic Nuclei. This project aims to produce a general model for starbursts which is consistent with the observed properties of nearby star-forming regions as well as those of the nuclei of more distant starburst galaxies. Atomic fine-structure line emission is a sensitive tracer of the most massive stars in star-forming regions. Our study of both star-forming regions and starburst nuclei suggest that stars form up to high masses, greater than 50M.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number419
StatePublished - 1997


  • HII regions
  • Massive stars
  • Photoionization models
  • Starburst galaxies


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