EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 414, Number 1, January IV 2004
Page(s) 23 - 43
Section Galactic structure and dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031568


A&A 414, 23-43 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031568

The H $\mathsf{\alpha}$ galaxy survey

I. The galaxy sample, H $\mathsf{\alpha}$ narrow-band observations and star formation parameters for 334 galaxies
P. A. James1, N. S. Shane1, J. E. Beckman2, A. Cardwell2, C. A. Collins1, J. Etherton1, R. S. de Jong3, K. Fathi4, J. H. Knapen5, 6, R. F. Peletier4, S. M. Percival1, D. L. Pollacco7, M. S. Seigar8, S. Stedman5 and I. A. Steele1

1  Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead CH41 1LD, UK
    e-mail: paj,nss,cac,je,smp,ias@astro.livjm.ac.uk
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, C. Vía Láctea s/n 38200-La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
    e-mail: jeb,cardwell@ll.iac.es
3  Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
    e-mail: dejong@stsci.edu
4  School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
    e-mail: ppxkf,Reynier.Peletier@nottingham.ac.uk
5  Department of Physical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB, UK
    e-mail: knapen,stedman@star.herts.ac.uk
6  Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Apartado 321, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Spain
7  Department of Pure and Applied Physics, Queen's University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK
    e-mail: D.Pollacco@qub.ac.uk
8  UKIRT, Joint Astronomy Centre, 660 North A'ohoku Place, University Park, Hilo, HI96720, USA
    e-mail: m.seigar@jach.hawaii.edu

(Received 25 November 2002 / Accepted 1 October 2003)

Abstract
We discuss the selection and observations of a large sample of nearby galaxies, which we are using to quantify the star formation activity in the local Universe. The sample consists of 334 galaxies across all Hubble types from S0/a to Im and with recession velocities of between 0 and 3000 km s -1. The basic data for each galaxy are narrow band H $\alpha +$[NII] and R-band imaging, from which we derive star formation rates, H $\alpha +$[NII] equivalent widths and surface brightnesses, and R-band total magnitudes. A strong correlation is found between total star formation rate and Hubble type, with the strongest star formation in isolated galaxies occurring in Sc and Sbc types. More surprisingly, no significant trend is found between H $\alpha +$[NII] equivalent width and galaxy R-band luminosity. More detailed analyses of the data set presented here will be described in subsequent papers.


Key words: galaxies: general -- galaxies: spiral -- galaxies: irregular -- galaxies: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: photometry -- galaxies: statistics

Offprint request: P. A. James, paj@astro.livjm.ac.uk

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