Stellar Populations and the Star Formation Histories of LSB Galaxies: I. Optical and H-alpha Imaging

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics – Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics

Scientific paper

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33 pages, 17 figures, 2 tables, accepted for Advances in Astronomy/Hindawi

Scientific paper

This paper presents optical and H-alpha imaging for a large sample of LSB galaxies selected from the PSS-II catalogs (Schombert et. al 1992). As noted in previous work, LSB galaxies span a range of luminosities (-10 > M_V > -20) and sizes (0.3 kpc < R_V25 < 10 kpc), although they are consistent in their irregular morphology. Their H-alpha luminosities (L(H-alpha) range from 10^36 to 10^41 ergs s^-1 (corresponding to a range in star formation, using canonical prescriptions, from 10^-5 to 1 M_solar yr^-1). Although their optical colors are at the extreme blue edge for galaxies, they are similar to the colors of dwarf galaxies (van Zee 2001) and gas-rich irregulars (Hunter & Elmegreen 2006). However, their star formation rates per unit stellar mass are a factor of ten less than other galaxies of the same baryonic mass, indicating that they are not simply quiescent versions of more active star forming galaxies. This paper presents the data, reduction techniques and new philosophy of data storage and presentation. Later papers in this series will explore the stellar population and star formation history of LSB galaxies using this dataset.

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