Volume 425, Number 2, October II 2004
|Page(s)||417 - 427|
|Published online||21 September 2004|
Spectroscopic study of blue compact galaxies *
IV. Star formation rates and gas depletion timescales
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, 230026, PR China
3 National Astronomical Observatory, 2–21–1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181–8588, Japan
Accepted: 28 May 2004
This is the fourth paper in a series studying star formation rates, stellar components, metallicities, and star formation histories of a blue compact galaxy (BCG) sample. Using , , infrared (IR), radio (1.4 GHz) luminosities and neutral hydrogen () gas masses, we estimated star formation rates and gas depletion timescales of 72 star-forming BCGs. The star formation rates of the BCGs in our sample span nearly four orders of magnitude, from approximately 10-2 to yr-1, with a median star formation rate of about 3 yr-1. The typical gas depletion timescale of BCGs is about one billion years. Star formation could be sustained at the current level only on a timescale significantly lower than the age of the universe before their neutral gas reservoir is completely depleted. To assess the possible systematic differences among different star formation rate indicators, we compared the star formation rates derived from , , IR, and radio luminosities, and investigated the effects from underlying stellar absorption and dust extinction. We found that subtracting underlying stellar absorption is very important to calculate both dust extinction and star formation rate of galaxies. Otherwise, the intrinsic extinction will be overestimated, the star formation rates derived from and will be underestimated (if the underlying stellar absorption and the internal extinction were not corrected from the observed luminosity) or overestimated (if an overestimated internal extinction were used for extinction correction). After both the underlying stellar absorption and the dust extinction were corrected, a remarkably good correlation emerges among , , IR and radio star formation rate indicators. Finally, we find a good correlation between the measured star formation rate and the absolute blue magnitude, metallicity, interstellar extinction of BCGs. Our results indicate that faint, low-mass BCGs have lower star formation rates.
Key words: galaxies: general / ISM: dust, extinction / galaxies: starburst / galaxies: formation
© ESO, 2004
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.