Volume 523, November-December 2010
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||18 November 2010|
Predicted UV properties of very metal-poor starburst galaxies⋆
European Southern Observatory,
Garching bei München,
2 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, 51, chemin des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, UMR 5572, 14 Avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
4 ST-ECF, Karl-Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Accepted: 11 August 2010
Aims. We study the expected properties of starburst galaxies in order to provide the point of reference for interpretation of high-z galaxy surveys and of very metal-poor galaxies. We concentrate mainly on the UV characteristics such as the ionizing spectra, the UV continuum, the Lyα and He ii λ1640 line and two-photon continuum emission.
Methods. We use evolutionary synthesis models covering metallicities from Pop III to solar and a wide range of IMFs. We also combine the synthetic SEDs with the CLOUDY photoionization code for more accurate predictions of nebular emission, and to study possible departures from case B assumed in the synthesis models.
Results. The ionizing fluxes, UV continuum properties, and predicted Lyα and He ii λ1640 line strengths are presented for synthesis models covering a wider range of parameter space than our earlier calculations. Strong departures from case B predictions are obtained for Lyα and 2γ continuum at low metallicities. At low nebular densities both are shown to be enhanced proportionally to the mean energy carried by the Lyman continuum photons emitted by the ionizing source. Larger Lyα equivalent widths are therefore predicted at low metallicity. The He ii λ1640 line can be weaker than case B predicts (in terms of flux as well as the equivalent width) due to its ionization parameter dependence and to the enhanced underlying 2γ continuum.
Conclusions. Our results have implications for the interpretation of star-forming metal-poor and/or high redshift galaxies, for galaxies among the Lyα emitters (LAE) and Lyman Break galaxy (LBG) populations, and for searches of Population III stars in the distant Universe.
Key words: galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: starburst / early Universe
The full set of model results is available at CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/523/A64
© ESO, 2010
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