Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 448, 2687-2703 (2015/April-2)
Uncovering blue diffuse dwarf galaxies.
JAMES B.L., KOPOSOV S., STARK D.P., BELOKUROV V., PETTINI M. and OLSZEWSKI E.W.
Abstract (from CDS):
Extremely metal poor (XMP) galaxies are known to be very rare, despite the large numbers of low-mass galaxies predicted by the local galaxy luminosity function. This paper presents a subsample of galaxies that were selected via a morphology-based search on Sloan Digital Sky Survey images with the aim of finding these elusive XMP galaxies. By using the recently discovered XMP galaxy, Leo P, as a guide, we obtained a collection of faint, blue systems, each with isolated H ii regions embedded in a diffuse continuum, that have remained optically undetected until now. Here we show the first results from optical spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 of ∼ 100 of these blue diffuse dwarf (BDD) galaxies yielded by our search algorithm. Oxygen abundances were obtained via the direct method for eight galaxies, and found to be in the range 7.45 < 12 + log(O/H) < 8.0, with two galaxies being classified as XMPs. All BDDs were found to currently have a young star-forming population (<10 Myr) and relatively high ionization parameters of their H ii regions. Despite their low luminosities (-11 ≲ MB ≲ -18) and low surface brightnesses ( ∼ 23-25 mag/arcsec2), the galaxies were found to be actively star forming, with current star formation rates between 0.0003 and 0.078 M☉/yr. From our current subsample, BDD galaxies appear to be a population of non-quiescent dwarf irregular galaxies, or the diffuse counterparts to blue compact galaxies and as such may bridge the gap between these two populations. Our search algorithm demonstrates that morphology-based searches are successful in uncovering more diffuse metal-poor star-forming galaxies, which traditional emission-line-based searches overlook.
© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015)
galaxies: abundances - galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: irregular - galaxies: star formation
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/MNRAS/448/2687): galaxy.dat tablea1.dat>
Fig. 1, Table 1: JKB NN N=12 among (Nos 1-80).
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