EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 371, Number 2, May IV 2001
Page(s) 429 - 432
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010326

A&A 371, 429-432 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010326

Research Note

Is SBS 0335-052 a young galaxy?

G. Östlin1 and D. Kunth2

1  Stockholm Observatory, 13336 Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
2  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), 98 bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
    e-mail: kunth@iap.fr

(Received 30 November 2000 / Accepted 2 March 2001 )

The metal-poor blue compact galaxy SBS 0335-052 has been put forward as a local primeval galaxy candidate, with a proposed age less than 108 years. If true, this would imply that galaxy formation was not confined to high red-shifts, but is still occurring in the local Universe, albeit at a slower rate. In this paper we show that some of the available data in the literature on SBS 0335-052 indicate an age significantly greater than 108 years. In view of this, the conclusion that SBS 0335-052 is a newly formed galaxy appears premature. We point out that single burst models in general give lower limits on age estimates, which should be borne in mind when assessing ages for distant galaxies.

Key words: galaxies: compact -- galaxies: starburst -- galaxies: formation -- galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: star clusters -- galaxies: individual: SBS 0335-052

Offprint request: G. Östlin, ostlin@astro.su.se

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© ESO 2001