Stellar populations of HII galaxies
A tale of three bursts
Observatório Nacional, Rua José Cristino,
Rio de Janeiro
2 European Southern Observatory, Av. Alonso de Córdova 3107, Santiago, Chile
Accepted: 4 March 2018
Aims. We present a UV to mid-IR spectral energy distribution (SED) study of a large sample of SDSS DR13 HII galaxies. These galaxies are selected as starbursts (EW(Hα) > 50Å) and for their high-excitation locus in the upper left region of the BPT diagram. Their photometry was derived from the cross-matched GALEX, SDSS, UKDISS, and WISE catalogs.
Methods. We used CIGALE modeling and a SED fitting routine with the parametrization of a three-burst star formation history, and a comprehensive analysis of all other model parameters. We were able to estimate the contribution of the underlying old stellar population to the observed equivalent width of Hβ, and allow for more accurate burst age determination.
Results. We found that the star formation histories of HII Galaxies can be reproduced remarkably well by three major eras of star formation. In addition, the SED fitting results indicate that in all cases the current burst produces a small percent of the total stellar mass, i.e., the bulk of stellar mass in HII galaxies has been produced by the past episodes of star formation, and also indicate that at a given age the Hβ luminosity depends only on the mass of young stars favoring a universal IMF for massive stars. Most importantly, the current star formation episodes are maximum starbursts that produce stars at the highest possible rate.
Key words: galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: starburst / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: star formation
© ESO 2018