Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 457, 64-73 (2016/March-3)
Near-infrared spectroscopy of a large sample of low-metallicity blue compact dwarf galaxies.
IZOTOV Y.I. and THUAN T.X.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations in the wavelength range 0.90-2.40 µm of 18 low-metallicity blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies and six H ii regions in spiral and interacting galaxies. Hydrogen and helium emission lines are detected in all spectra, while H2 and iron emission lines are detected in most spectra. The NIR data for all objects have been supplemented by optical spectra. In all objects, except perhaps for the highest metallicity ones, we find that the extinctions A(V) in the optical and NIR ranges are similar, implying that the NIR hydrogen emission lines in low-metallicity BCDs do not reveal more star formation than seen in the optical. We conclude that emission-line spectra of low-metallicity BCDs in the ∼0.36-2.40 µm wavelength range are emitted by a relatively transparent ionized gas. The H2 emission-line fluxes can be accounted for by fluorescence in most of the observed galaxies. We find a decrease of the H2 2.122 µm emission line relative to the Brγ line with increasing ionization parameter. This indicates an efficient destruction of H2 by the stellar ultraviolet radiation. The intensities of the [Fe ii] 1.257 and 1.644 µm emission lines in the spectra of all galaxies, but one, are consistent with the predictions of cloudystellar photoionization models. There is thus no need to invoke shock excitation for these lines, and they are not necessarily shock indicators in low-metallicity high-excitation BCDs. The intensity of the He i 2.058 µm emission line is lower in high-excitation BCDs with lower neutral gas column densities and higher turbulent motions.