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Calibrating Nebular Diagnostics of T_* and Abundance (Review)

M.S. Oey, J.C. Shields, M.A. Dopita, & R.C. Smith

We obtained nebular spectroscopy of LMC HII regions having classified stellar populations, thereby strongly constraining the ionization input parameters. Using photoionization models, we then evaluate the performance of nebular diagnostics of T_* and abundance. We introduce [Ne III]/H-beta as a nebular diagnostic of the ionizing stellar T_*. In contrast to the widely-used \eta-prime parameter, [Ne III]/H-beta has greater sensitivity to mid and early O-stars, and is robust to nebular morphology and the presence of shocks. We present a preliminary calibration of both T_* diagnostics for LMC metallicity. We also introduce S234 = ([S II] + [S III] + [S IV])/H-beta as a diagnostic of S abundance. S234 is much less sensitive to the nebular ionization parameter than is S23 or R23. The intensity of [S IV] 10.5 microns is easily estimated from the optical and near-IR line ratios. We present calibrations of S23 and S234 that are reliable at metallicities Z < 0.5 Z_sol.

2001, Rev.Mex.A&A, Ser. de Conf., 12, 77

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