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The Diverse Properties of the Most Ultraviolet-Luminous Galaxies Discovered by GALEX

Hoopes, Charles G. and Heckman, Timothy M. and Salim, Samir and Seibert, Mark and Tremonti, Christy A. and Schiminovich, David and Rich, R. Michael and Martin, D. Christopher and Charlot, Stéphane and Kauffmann, Guinevere and Forster, Karl and Friedman, Peter G. and Morrissey, Patrick and Neff, Susan G. and Small, Todd and Wyder, Ted K. and Bianchi, Luciana and Donas, José and Lee, Young-Wook and Madore, Barry F. and Milliard, Bruno and Szalay, Alex S. and Welsh, Barry Y. and Yi, Sukyoung K. (2007) The Diverse Properties of the Most Ultraviolet-Luminous Galaxies Discovered by GALEX. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 173 (2). pp. 441-456. ISSN 0067-0049.

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We report on the properties of a sample of ultraviolet-luminous galaxies (UVLGs) selected by matching the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) All-Sky Imaging and Medium Imaging Surveys with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey third data release. The overlap between these two surveys is roughly 450 deg^2. Of 25,362 galaxies (with SDSS spectroscopy) in the range 0.0 < z < 0.3 detected by GALEX, there are 215 galaxies with L > 2 × 10^(10) L_☉ at 1530 Å (observed wavelength). The properties of this population are well correlated with ultraviolet surface brightness. We find that the galaxies with low UV surface brightness are primarily large spiral systems with a mixture of old and young stellar populations, while the high surface brightness galaxies consist primarily of compact starburst systems, with an approximate boundary at a surface brightness of I_(1530) = 10^8 L_☉ kpc^(−2). The large galaxies appear to be the high-luminosity tail of the galaxy star formation function and owe their large luminosity to their large surface area. In terms of the behavior of surface brightness with luminosity, size with luminosity, the mass-metallicity relation, and other parameters, the compact UVLGs clearly depart from the trends established by the full sample of galaxies. The subset of compact UVLGs with the highest surface brightness (I_(1530) > 10^9 L_☉ kpc^(−2); "supercompact UVLGs") have characteristics that are remarkably similar to Lyman break galaxies at higher redshift. They are much more luminous (and thus have much higher star formation rates) than typical local ultraviolet-bright starburst galaxies and blue compact dwarf galaxies. They have metallicities that are systematically lower than normal galaxies of the same stellar mass, indicating that they are less chemically evolved. In all these respects, they are the best local analogs for Lyman break galaxies.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Salim, Samir0000-0003-2342-7501
Seibert, Mark0000-0002-1143-5515
Rich, R. Michael0000-0003-0427-8387
Martin, D. Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Morrissey, Patrick0000-0001-8177-1023
Bianchi, Luciana0000-0001-7746-5461
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Additional Information:© 2007 American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 June 6; accepted 2006 September 7. We thank the referee, Michael Strauss, for providing very helpful comments that greatly improved the paper. GALEX is a NASA Small Explorer launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA’s support for construction, operation, and scientific analysis for the GALEX mission. Funding for the creation and distribution of the SDSS Archive has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the participating institutions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, and the Max Planck Society. Facilities: GALEX, Sloan
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: starburst; ultraviolet: galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100423-135206576
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Official Citation:Charles G. Hoopes et al 2007 ApJS 173 441 doi: 10.1086/516644
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18057
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:27 Apr 2010 18:42
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 21:03

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