Astron. J., 138, 1203-1229 (2009/November-0)
Bright ultraviolet regions and star formation characteristics in nearby dwarf galaxies.
MELENA N.W., ELMEGREEN B.G., HUNTER D.A. and ZERNOW L.
Abstract (from CDS):
We compare star formation in the inner and outer disks of 11 dwarf irregular galaxies (dIm) within 3.6 Mpc. The regions are identified on Galaxy Evolution Explorer near-UV images, and modeled with UV, optical, and near-IR colors to determine masses and ages. A few galaxies have made 105-106 M☉ complexes in a starburst phase, while others have not formed clusters in the last 50 Myr. The maximum region mass correlates with the number of regions as expected from the size-of-sample effect. We find no radial gradients in region masses and ages, even beyond the realm of Hα emission, although there is an exponential decrease in the luminosity density and number density of the regions with radius. Hα is apparently lacking in the outer parts only because nebular emission around massive stars is too faint to see. The outermost regions for the five galaxies with H I data formed at average gas surface densities of 1.9-5.9 M☉/pc2. These densities are at the low end of commonly considered thresholds for star formation and imply either that local gas densities are higher before star formation begins or subthreshold star formation is possible. The first case could be explained by supernovae triggering and other local processes, while the second case could be explained by gravitational instabilities with angular momentum loss in growing condensations. The distribution of regions on a log(mass) - log(age) plot is examined. The distribution is usually uniform along log(age) for equal intervals of log(mass) and this implies a region count that varies as 1/age. This variation results from either an individual region mass that varies as 1/age or a region disruption probability that varies as 1/age. A correlation between fading-corrected surface brightness and age suggests the former. The implied loss of mass is from fading of region envelopes below the surface brightness limit.
galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: irregular - galaxies: star clusters
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/AJ/138/1203): table1.dat table3.dat>
Table 3: [MEH2009] DDO NNN NNN N=139+46+119+25, [MEH2009] IC 1613 NNN (Nos 1-342), [MEH2009] LGS 3 N (Nos 1-5), [MEH2009] M81dwA N (Nos 1-2), [MEH2009] NGC NNNN NNN N=58+713, [MEH2009] WLM NNN (Nos 1-164).
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