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Published by: European Southern Observatory on May 06, 2009
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02/01/2013

N o.2 2 -
Decem ber 1980
T h e D w a r f B lu e C o m p a c t G a la x ie s
J e a n A u d o u z e , M ic h e l D e n n e fe ld a n d O a n ie l K u n th ,
In s titu t d 'A s tr o p h y s iq u e d u C N R S , P a ris
1 .
In tro d u c tio n
A m ong
th e
v e ry
d iffe re n t ty p e s
o f g a la x ie s
w hic h
c a n
b e
a n a ly s e d ,
th e
d w a r f b lu e
c o m p a c t g a la x ie s
h a v e
b e e n
firs t
re c o g n iz e d a s a c la s s b y S a rg e n t a n d S e a rle (1 9 7 0 :A s tro p h y s -
ic a l J o u r n a l.1 6 2 ,4 5 5 ) . S o m e im p o rta n t p ro p e rtie s le t th e m
b e
p r ic e le s s
to o ls
to
e n lig h te n
m any
b a s ic

a s tro p h y s ic a l p ro b \ue000 le m s , s u c h a s th e p r im o r d ia l n u c le o s y n th e s is a n d c o s m o lo g y , th e

c h e m ic a l e v o lu tio n
o f g a la x ie s
a n d
th e
th e o rie s
o f s ta r

fo rm a tio n . T h e s e g a la x ie s a re g e n e r a lly d w a r f ir r e g u la r o b je c ts w ith lo w m a s s b u t th e b u lk o f th e lu m in o s ityisinth e b lu e ra n g e . T h e ir s p e c tr a lo o k s tr ik in g ly lik e th o s e o f a g ia n t H1Ire g io n . T h a t is

w hy
th e y
h a v e
b e e n
c a lle d
e x tra g a la c tic
HII
re g io n
b y
S a rg e n t
a n d
S e a rle .
F ro m
th e ir
e m is s io n
lin e s
it
is
ra th e r
s tra ig h tfo rw a rd
to
d e r iv e
th e ir H e ,N ,0 , N e
a n d
p o s s ib ly S
c o n te n !. S o m e
o f th e s e
a b u n d a n c e s , in c lu d in g
som e
of our
o w n re s u lts o b ta in e d a tL aS illa , a re s u m m a r iz e din S e c tio n3 .
F in a lly
w e
w ill
s h o w
th e
m ost
im p o rta n t
im p lic a tio n s
o f
re s u lts d e d u c e d fro m
th e s tu d y o f th e s e g a la x ie s :
( i)T h e ir w e a k
m e ta liic ity c a n
b e c o rre la te d
w ith
th e ir h ig h
a to m ic
h y d ro g e n
c o n te n t
a n d
th e ir
b lu e
lu m in o s ity .
T h e s e
o b je c ts a re e s p e c ia lly im p o r ta n t fo r g a la c tic e v o lu tio n m o d e ls ,
b e c a u s e
th e y a p p e a rtob e
m uch
le s se v o lv e d
g a la x ie s th a n
o u rs
a n d
b e c a u s e
th e y
a ls o
s h o w
o b v io u s
s ig n s
o f re c e n t
b u rs ts o f s ta r fo rm a tio n .
( ii)
F ro m
th e
c o m p a r is o n
b e tw e e n
th e ir h e liu m
a n d
th e ir
m e ta l c o n te n t w e
c a n
d e d u c e
th e
p rim o rd ia l a b u n d a n c e
in
h e liu m . T h isis o n e o f th e b a s ic p a r a m e te r sto s e le c t a m o n g th e
m any
p o s s ib le
c o s m o lo g ic a l
m o d e ls
d e s c r ib in g
th e
e a rly

p h a s e s o f th e U n iv e r s e .M o re o v e ra n d w ith in th e c a n o n ic a l B ig Bang m odelitc o u ld p r o v id e s o m e in s ig h t o n a fe w c h a r a c te r is \ue000 tic s o f th e p h y s ic s o f e le m e n ta r y p a r tic le s , s u c h a s th e n u m b e r o f d iffe re n t c la s s e s o f n o t y e t o b s e r v e d le p to n s .

2 .
T h e M o r p h o lo g y o f th e
B lu e C o m p a c t G a la x ie s
T w o re c e n t k in d s o f s u rv e y sh a v e b e e n p e rfo rm e d . O n e o f
s p e c tro s c o p ic n a tu re b y K u n th a n d S a rg e n t (1 9 7 9 :A s tro n o m y
a n d A s tro p h y s ic s S u p p l..3 6 ,2 5 9 ;1980: ESO
p re p rin tn o . 9 9 )
a n d
a p h o to g ra p h ic o n e
b y
B a rb ie rie ta l.(1 9 7 9 :A s tro n o m y
a n d A s tr o p h y s ic s S u p p l.,3 7 , 5 4 1 ).
T h e s e
o b je c ts , w h ic h
do not seem
to
b e lo n g
to

a s p e c ific c a te g o r y o f th e H u b b le c la s s ific a tio n (th e re a re a fe w e llip tic a l\ue000 lik e

g a la x ie s
w h ic h
c a n
b e
c o n s id e r e d
a s
b lu e
com pact

o b je c ts ) , a re m a in ly c h a r a c te r iz e d b y th e ir r e la tiv e ly s m a ll s iz e - th e s iz e o f th e e m ittin g r e g io niso n ly a fra c tio n o f a k p c . T h e y s h o w s tr o n g e m is s io n lin e s (s e e e .g . a ty p ic a l s p e c tr u m

of Tol
1 1 6inF ig .1 ) a n dh a v e q u ite a fa in t a b s o lu te v is u a l m a g n itu d e
T O l1 1 6
--[0 1 1 I)
" '-
H o
H Jl
" -
[O ll)
/
H r
j
~
.
~
'
\
1;9111)
H el
[S ll)
!
~
3 7 2 7
4 7 5 3
5 7 7 9
6 8 0 5
F ig .1 :T h isisa s p e e lr u m
o fT o lo lo
1 1 6la k e nb yJ . A u d o u z e a n dM .
O e n n e fe lda l L a S illa w ilh Ih e1 0 5a l Ih e C a s s e g r a in fo e u so f Ih e3.6 m
le le s e o p e .
1
(M v~
-
1 7 ). T h e ir c o lo u r in d ic e s U -B a n d B -V ra n g e re s p e c \ue000
tiv e ly b e tw e e n
- 0.4
a n d
- 0 .7 5 a n d 0 .4 a n d 0 .0 .
T h e
to ta l m a s s
o f th e s e
o b je c ts
c a n
b e
e s tim a te d
b y th e
c la s s ic a l (b u t n o t v e ry a c c u r a te ) m e th o d o f th e v e lo c ity d is p e r\ue000
s io n s .
F o r in s ta n c e
in
th e
c a s e
of I Zw
1 2 9
a n d
II
Z w
7 0 .
O 'C o n n e ll a n d
K ra ft (1 9 7 2 :A s lr o p h y s ic a l J o u rn a l, 1 7 5 , 3 3 5 )
fo u n d
q u ite
lo w
v e lo c ity
d is p e r s io n s
(2 5 -3 0k m /s ),
n o
e v i\ue000
d e n c e
fo r u n u s u a l g a s
m o tio n
a n d
d e d u c e d
m asses
o f th e
o r d e r o f a fe w
1 0
9
M 0.
T h e s e
g a la x ie s
h a v e
b e e n
th o ro u g h ly
a n a ly s e d
in
2 1
c m
(s e e
fo r
in s ta n c e
B a lk o w s k i
e t
a l.
1 9 7 8 :
A s lr o n o m y
a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s .6 9 , 2 6 3 ). T h e ir g a s c o n te n t c o m p a re d
to
th e ir

to ta l m a s s c a n b ea sh ig h a s0 .2 2in th e c a s e o fI1 Z w7 0 . T h e y r e a lly a p p e a rtob e a m o n g th e m o s t g a s ric h g a la x ie s . A c a r e fu l m a p p in g o fIIZ w7 0 -7 1

r e v e a le d th a t th e s e tw o g a la x ie s fo rm a nin te r a c tin g s y s te m . B y c o m b in in g in fra re d w ith ra d io o b s e r\ue000 v a tio n s

J a ffe
e ta l.
(1 9 7 8 :A s tro p h y s ic a l J o u rn a l.
224, 808)
s e e m
top r o p o s e th a tII Z w4 0 h a s a g a s /d u s t ra tio s im ila r toth a t
o f o u r g a la x y . T h is ty p e o f c o n c lu s io nisa b it s u r p r is in g w h e n
o n e c o n s id e r s th e a p p a r e n t lo w
m e ta liic ity o f th e s e o b je c ts .
T o
s u m m a r iz e , a lth o u g h
th e ir o p tic a l m o r p h o lo g y
is
fa irly
h e te ro g e n e o u s , a la rg e fra c tio n
o f th e s e g a la x ie s a re a m o n g
th e
lig h te s t,
th e
m ost
irre g u la r
a n d
b lu e s t
g a la x ie s .
T h e ir

ir r e g u la r ity a n d s m a ll m a s s s u g g e s t th a t th e y s h o u ldb ea p rio ri le s sa H e c te d b y d y n a m ic a l e ffe c ts , s u c ha s s p ira l s tru c tu re , a n d s h o u ld a c c r e te v e r y little e x tr a g a la c tic m a te r ia l. W e a ls o p o in t o u t th a t u pton o w th e r eis n o c le a r e v id e n c e o fa n u n d e r ly in g s te lla r o ld p o p u la tio n w h ic h w o u ld h a v e a d ir e c t im p lic a tio no n th e n a tu re o f th e s e o b je c ts (s e e

S e c tio n 4 .2 ).
3 .
T h e C o m p o s itio n o f th e
B lu e C o m p a c t G a la x ie s
T h e a n a ly s e s o f th e c o m p o s itio no f th e s e r a th e r u n e v o lv e d
g a la x ie s a re
p e rfo rm e d
in
th e s a m e w a ya s th o s e o f th e H1I
r e g io n s .
W e
h a v e
o b s e rv e d
s u c h
o b je c ts
o u r s e lv e s ,
lik e
M a rk 7 5 0 , C P G
2 1 7 a n d T o lo lo 1 1 6 , b y u s in g th e E S O
3.6 m
te le s c o p eo n
L a
S illa , e q u ip p e d
w ith
th e
B o ile r a n d
C h iv e n s
s p e c tro g ra p h
a n d
th e
Im a g e
D is s e c to r
S c a n n e r.
F ro m
th e
[0 1 1 1 ]lin e s o n e c a n d e d u c e th e te m p e r a tu r e o f th e e m ittin g g a s ,
w h ic h
is
a b o u t 1 0 'K , w h ile
th e
e le c tro n
d e n s ity , a s d e d u c e d
fro m
th e[S11]lin e s . a m o u n tsto a fe w h u n d r e d e le c tr o n sc m
3 .
T h e io n iz e d m a s siso f th e o r d e r o f 1 06M 0.
S in c e th e p r o b le m o f lin e tr a n s fe ris n o t c r u c ia l, th e d e r iv a tio n
o f c o s m ic a b u n d a n c e s fro m
o b s e r v e d in te n s itie siss tra ig h tfo r\ue000
w a rd . T h e m a jo r p ro b le m
ing iv in g th e fin a l a b u n d a n c e sis th e
c o rre c tio n
m adetoa c c o u n t fo r u n s e e n io n iz a tio n s ta g e s .
F ro m
v a rio u s a u th o rs o n e m a y s tre s s th a t th e m e ta l c o n te n t
o f
th e s e
o b je c ts
is
s tr ik in g ly
d e fic ie n t
a s
c o m p a re d
to
th e
S ta n d a rd A b u n d a n c e s .
Inth e c a s e o f I Z w 1 8 th e O /H d e fic ie n c yisa s h ig ha s 3 7 . T h e
le s s
d e fic ie n t o b je c ts
s h o w
u n d e ra b u n d a n c e s
b y
fa c to rs
o f
a b o u t3 . T h e s a m e tre n dis o b s e r v e d fo rN e, N a n dS a n d a ls o
th e
h e liu m
c o n te n t,w hic h
m ake
th e s e o b je c ts s u ita b le
for a
d is c u s s io n o f th e p r im o r d ia l h e liu m .
N o tic e
th a t
th e
a b u n d a n c e s
o f M a g e lla n ic
ty p e
irre g u la r
g a la x ie s
(L M C ,
S M C ,
N G C ,
6 8 2 2 )
a re
w ith in
th e
ra n g e
o f
a b u n d a n c e s fo u n d fo r th e s e c o m p a c t g a la x ie s , a lth o u g h n e v e r
s oe x tre m e .
4 .
A s tr o p h y s ic a l Im p lic a tio n s
T h e im p lic a tio n s o f th e s e o b s e r v a tio n s c o n c e rn :

( i)th e e v o lu tio n o f th e s e o b je c ts .In th is r e s p e c t o n e w o u ld lik e to k n o wifth e y u n d e r w e n t b u rs ts o f s te lla r fo rm a tio n , w h e n th e s e b u rs ts o c c u rre d a n d w h a t trig g e re d th e m .

(ii) th e p r im o r d ia l h e liu m
c o n te n t.
2
4 .1 .
C h e m ic a l E v o lu tio no f th e B lu e C o m p a c l G a la x ie s
B e c a u s e
o fth e
h ig h
g a s e o u s c o n te n t a n d
th e
lo w
m e ta l\ue000

lic itie s o f b lu e c o m p a c t g a la x ie s ,itisim p o r ta n tto a n a ly s e th e e v o lu tio n o f th e s e o b je c ts ,w hic his fa ir ly e a s ily a c c o u n te dfo r, th e o r e tic a lly .

A sn o te d b y A u d o u z e a n d T in s le y (1 9 7 6 :A n n u a l R e v ie wo f
A s lr o n o m y a n d A s tro p h y s ic s ,14,43), w hen the gas contentis
s till h ig h , th e s o - c a lle d In s ta n t R e c y c lin g A p p r o x im a tio n h o ld s ,
i.e .o n e c a n n e g le c t th e life tim e o f th e s ta r s w ith r e s p e c tto th e

e v o lu tio n tim e s c a le o f th e s y s te m , th e r e la tio n s d e s c r ib in g th e e v o lu tio n o f th e g a s d e n s ity a n d th e m e ta llic ity c a n b e s o lv e d a lg e b r a ic a lly .In

p a rtic u la r, o n e c a n

d e fin e th e y ie ld o f m e ta l p ro d u c tio n ,i.e .th e a m o u n t o f m e ta l p r o d u c e d p e r u n it o f m a s s lo c k e d in to s ta r s .

Inth e s o - c a lle d " s im p le m o d e ls " w h e r e th is a p p r o x im a tio nis
m a d e , th e r e la tio n b e tw e e n th e m e ta liic ityZ , th e g a s c o n te n t
a n d th e y ie ld
pisZ
=
p ln
(M ,o t/M g a s )'

T h is r e la tio n h a s b e e n w e il v e r ifie din th e c a s eo f th e s a m p ie s tu d ie d b y L e q u e u xe ta l.(1 9 7 9 :A s lr o n o m y a n d A s lr o p h y s ic s . 8 0 , 1 5 5 ) . W ith a lin e a r le a s t s q u a r efito nth e ir d a ta th e y fin d :

Z
=
( -0 .0 3
\u00b1
0 .1 6 )1 0 -
2
+
(3 .9
\u00b1
0 .1 0 )1 O -3 1 n
M
IO I
Mg a,
w h ic h m e a n s th a t th e y ie ldin b lu e c o m p a c t g a la x ie sis -
1 0
3
T h is im p lie s th a t th e

p r im o r d ia l m e ta liic ity to r th e s e g a la x ie s m ig h t h a v e b e e n z e r o a n d th a t th e v a lu e o f th e y ie ld d e d u c e d fro m

th is r e la tio nisth e r e fo r e q u ite c o n s is te n t w ith th e v a lu e s
d e d u c e d
b y
P a g e l
(1 9 7 8 :
M o n th ly
N o tic e s
o f
Ih e
R oyal
A s lr o n o m ic a l S o c ie ty .1 8 3 , 1 8 ) a n d P a g e l a n d P a tc h e tt (1 9 7 5 :
M .
N
R .A
S .1 7 2 , 1 3 ) fo r th e
s o la r n e ig h b o u r h o o d
( p
=
5
\u00b1
11 0 -3). T h is
y ie ld
c a n
o n ly
b e
re p ro d u c e d
in
m o d e ls o f
c h e m ic a l e v o lu tio n
ifo n e ta k e s in to a c c o u n t im p o r ta n t s te lla r
m a s s lo s s e ffe c ts ( C h io s i a n d C a im m i, 1 9 7 9 :A s tro n o m y a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s .
8 0 , 2 3 4 ): th e o re tic a l m o d e ls
le a d
to
y ie ld sa s
h ig h
a s
1 .3
1 0
2
w ith o u t m a s s lo s s a n d
21 0
4
to
1 0
3 w ith
m ass
lo s s e s .
T h e
m ass
lo s s
p ro c e s s e s ,
w hic h
m ig h t
b e
re la te d
to
th e
b lu e
c o lo u r o f th e s e
o b je c ts
a n d
to
th e ir h ig h
io n iz a tio n ra te s , a re n e c e s s a r ytoa c c o u n t fo r th e ir e v o lu tio n .
O n e c a n n o tic e a ls o th a t th e re m a yb ea re la tio n b e tw e e n th e
to ta l m a s s o f th e
g a la x ie s a n d
th e ir m e ta llic ity . A c c o r d in g
to
L e q u e u x
e t
a l.:
L o g
MT o t
=
8 .1 8
+
2 3 0
Z
w h e re
MT o l
is
e x p r e s s e din s o la r m a s s e s . W e b e lie v e th a t th is r e la tio nis ju s t
a nin d ic a tiv e tr e n d , th e lo w e r lim it o f 1 0 8 M O s h o u ld b e c o n s i\ue000
d e r e d w ith m u c h c a u tio n .
F in a lly , th e N e /O

ra tioisn o r m a l,w h ic h m e a n s th a tN eisa s p r im a r ya sO . B y c o n tra s t, N /Ois a b o u t tw ic ea s s m a llin th e s e g a la x ie s

a s
it
is
fo r
O rio n
o r
th e
S u n .
T h e
s c a tte r o f th e
o b s e rv e d
N /O
r a lio s ,
h o w e v e r,
c le a r ly
in d ic a te s
th a t
N
is
n e ith e r p u r e ly p r im a r y n o r p u r e ly s e c o n d a r y ; th is c o n c lu s io n
w o u ld a g r e e w ith th e fin d in g s o f A llo ine ta l.(1 9 7 9 :A s lr o n o m y
a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s ,
7 8 ,
2 0 0 )
fro m
HII
re g io n s
o b s e rv e d
in
s p ir a ls .
4 .2 .
S ie lla r B u r s tsin B /u e C o m p a c t G a /a x ie s

T h e b lu e c o lo u r o f th e s e o b je c tsisd u eto a p r e s e n tly in te n s e ra te o f s ta r fo rm a tio n . T h e c o n c e p t o f b u rs t s e e m stoa p p ly v e ry w e iltoth is c la s s o f g a la x ie s , s in c e th e ir lo w m e ta llic ity in d ic a te s th a t

th e
p re s e n t
ra te
o f s ta r
fo rm a tio n
e x c e e d s
m uch
th e
a v e ra g e ra teinth e p a s t. T h e b a s ic q u e s tio n (w h ic h m a y b e a
p u re
s e m a n tic
o n e )
is
to
k n o w
w h e th e r th e s e
g a la x ie s
a re
y o u n g a n d e x p e r ie n c e th e ir firs t b u rs t, o rifth e s e o b je c ts a re
o ld , h a v e
a lre a d y fo rm e d
s ta rs
a n d
a re ju s t s u ffe rin g
a new
b u rs t.
T h is
q u e s tio n
h a s
not yet
r e c e iv e d
c o n v in c in g
a n s w e rs .
S e a rle a n d S a rg e n t (1 9 7 2 :A s lr o p h y s ic a l J o u rn a l, 1 7 3 ,2 5 ),o n
s ta tis tic a l g ro u n d s , a rg u e d
th a t th e s e
g a la x ie s
m ustb e
o ld .
A llm e e tin g s
w ill ta k e
p la c e
a tE S O
in
G a r c h in g , u n le s s
s ta te d
o th e rw is e .
T e n ta tiv e T im e -ta b le o f C o u n c il S e s s io n s
a n d
C o m m itte e M e e tin g sin1 9 8 1
H o w e v e r,
L e q u e u x
a n d
V ia lle lo n d
(1 9 8 1 :
A s tro n o m y
a n d
A s tro p h y s ic s ,
in
p re s s )
h a v e
b e e n
a b le
to
in v e s tig a te
th is
p ro b le minth e c a s e o f I Z w1 8 . F o r th is o b je c t, th e y c o m p a r e th e
lu m in o s ity d u e
to
io n iz in g
L y m a n c o n tin u u m

p h o to n s , th e la r U Vflu x a r o u n d 1 7 0 0A , w h ic his m a in ly d u eto th e B 0 ,8 5 s ta rs , th e

b lu e
lu m in o s ity a n d
th e
a b u n d a n c e
0 1

o x y g e n .B y u s in g c u rre n t m o d e ls0 1c h e m ic a l e v o lu tio n 0 1g a la x ie s , s u c h a s th o s e w h ic h d e s c r ib e th e e v o lu tio n0 1th e ir lu m in o s ity , th e y s h o w th a t th e lu m in o s ityinth e L y m a n c o n tin u u m a n d th e lu m in o s ity inth e la r

U V
e v o lv e
d iffe re n tly
w ith
tim e .
T h e
Lym an
c o n tin u u m
lu m in o s ity d e p e n d s o n m o r e m a s s iv e s ta r s th a n th e la r U V a n d
th e v is ib le lu m in o s ity . F ro m
th e o b s e rv e d p ro p e rtie s0 1IZw 18
th e y a rg u e th a t a r e c e n t b u rs t o f d u ra tio n 4 -6 1 0
6
y e a rs m ig h tb e
r e s p o n s ib le
lo r th e
m a jo r p a rt o f th e o b s e rv e d
oxygen. They
w o u ld
c o n c lu d e
th a t I Z w
1 8 , w h ic h a p p e a r stob efo rm e d
0 1
a b o u t s ix d e b r is in te r a c tin g
g r a v ita tio n a lly ,is ju s t s ta rtin g
it s
firs t b u rs t0 1s ta r fo rm a tio n .
M ay 4
M ay7 -8
M ay 7
M ay 8
M ay2 1 -2 2
June 4
N ovem ber1 0
N ovem ber1 1 -1 2
N ovem ber1 3
N ov.3 0 -D e c .1 -2
D ecem ber3 -4
C o m m itte e
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F in a n c e C o m m itte e
S c ie n tilic T e c h n ic a l C o m m itte e
U s e rs C o m m itte e
O b s e r v in g
P ro g ra m m e s C o m m itte e
C o u n c il, S to c k h o lm
S c ie n tilic T e c h n ic a l C o m m itte e
F in a n c e C o m m itte e
C o m m itte e0 1C o u n c il
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F ig .2 :T h is isa b lu e p ie tu r eo f11Z w4 0 ta k e na t th e p r im e fo e u so f th e5 m te le s e o p e a t P a lo m a r a n d le n ttoO . K u n thb yW .L . W . S a rg e n t. N o r th -
E a s t is a t th e to p le ft c o r n e r . T h e s e a le s h o w s Ih e d is ta n e e in k ilo p a r s e c .
3

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