Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 429, 3390-3401 (2013/March-2)
Properties of free-free, dust and CO emissions in the starbursts of blue compact dwarf galaxies.
Abstract (from CDS):
The central star-forming regions in three blue compact dwarf galaxies (He 2-10, NGC 5253 and II Zw 40) were observed in the 340GHz (880µm) band at ∼ 5arcsec resolution with the Submillimetre Array (SMA). Continuum emission associated with the central star-forming complex was detected in all these galaxies. The SMA 880µm flux is decomposed into free-free emission and dust emission by using centimetre-wavelength data in the literature. We find that free-free emission contributes half or more of the SMA 880µm flux in the central starbursts in those three galaxies. In spite of the dominance of free-free emission at 880µm, the radio-to-far-infrared (FIR) ratios in the central star-forming regions are not significantly higher than those of the entire systems, showing the robustness of radio-FIR relation. Based on the robustness of the radio-FIR relation, we argue that the free-free fraction in the 880µm emission is regulated by the dust temperature. We also analyse the CO (J = 3-2) emission data. We find that CO is a good tracer of the total gas mass in solar-metallicity object He 2-10. Low-metallicity objects, NGC 5253 and II Zw 40, have apparently high star formation efficiencies; however, this may be an artefact of significant dissociation of CO in the low-metallicity environments. We also point out a potential underestimate of dust mass, since the dust traced by emission is biased to the most luminous high-temperature regions, particularly when a system hosts a compact star-forming region where the dust temperature is high.