Stellar populations in local star-forming galaxies - II. Recent star formation properties and stellar masses



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Pérez González, Pablo Guillermo and Gil de Paz, Armando and Zamorano Calvo, Jaime and Gallego Maestro, Jesús and Alonso Herrero, A. and Aragón Salamanca, A. (2003) Stellar populations in local star-forming galaxies - II. Recent star formation properties and stellar masses. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 338 (2). pp. 525-543. ISSN 0035-8711

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We present the integrated properties of the stellar populations in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) Survey galaxies. Applying the techniques described in the first paper of this series, we derive ages, burst masses and metallicities of the newly formed stars in our sample galaxies. The population of young stars is responsible for the Halpha emission used to detect the objects in the UCM Survey. We also infer total stellar masses and star formation rates in a consistent way taking into account the evolutionary history of each galaxy. We find that an average UCM galaxy has a total stellar mass of ∼10^10 M_⨀, of which about 5 per cent was formed in an instantaneous burst that occurred about 5 Myr ago, and subsolar metallicity. Less than 10 per cent of the sample shows massive starbursts involving more than half of the total mass of the galaxy. Several correlations are found among the derived properties. The burst strength is correlated with the extinction and with the integrated optical colours for galaxies with low obscuration. The current star formation rate is correlated with the gas content. A stellar mass-metallicity relation is also found. Our analysis indicates that the UCM Survey galaxies span a broad range in properties between those of galaxies completely dominated by current/recent star formation and those of normal quiescent spirals. We also find evidence indicating that star formation in the local Universe is dominated by galaxies considerably less massive than L^*.

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© 2003 RAS. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) and the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which are operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication has also made use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. PGPG wishes to acknowledge the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture for the receipt of a Formación de Profesorado Universitario fellowship. AGdP acknowledges financial support from NASA through a Long Term Space Astrophysics grant to B. F. Madore. During the course of this work AAH has been supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration grant NAG 5-3042 through the University of Arizona and Contract 960785 through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. AAS acknowledges generous financial support from the Royal Society. We are grateful to the anonymous referee for her/his helpful comments and suggestions. The present work was supported by the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grant AYA2000-1790.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Emission-line galaxies; Band surface photometry; Disk dominated galaxies; Blue compact galaxies; Hubble deep field; UCM list-I; Formation history; Starburst galaxies; Optical photometry; Spiral galaxies
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:34301
Deposited On:16 Nov 2015 14:58
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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