Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in Alfalfa Dwarf Galaxies. Huang, S., Haynes, M., P., Giovanelli, R., Brinchmann, J., Stierwalt, S., & Neff, S., G. The Astronomical Journal, 143(6):133, 6, 2012.
Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in Alfalfa Dwarf Galaxies [pdf]Paper  Gas, Stars, and Star Formation in Alfalfa Dwarf Galaxies [link]Website  abstract   bibtex   
We examine the global properties of the stellar and H I components of 229 low H I mass dwarf galaxies extracted from the ALFALFA survey, including a complete sample of 176 galaxies with H I masses <107.7 M sun and H I line widths <80 km s-1. Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data are combined with photometric properties derived from Galaxy Evolution Explorer to derive stellar masses (M *) and star formation rates (SFRs) by fitting their UV-optical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). In optical images, many of the ALFALFA dwarfs are faint and of low surface brightness; only 56% of those within the SDSS footprint have a counterpart in the SDSS spectroscopic survey. A large fraction of the dwarfs have high specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and estimates of their SFRs and M * obtained by SED fitting are systematically smaller than ones derived via standard formulae assuming a constant SFR. The increased dispersion of the SSFR distribution at M * <~ 108 M sun is driven by a set of dwarf galaxies that have low gas fractions and SSFRs; some of these are dE/dSphs in the Virgo Cluster. The imposition of an upper H I mass limit yields the selection of a sample with lower gas fractions for their M * than found for the overall ALFALFA population. Many of the ALFALFA dwarfs, particularly the Virgo members, have H I depletion timescales shorter than a Hubble time. An examination of the dwarf galaxies within the full ALFALFA population in the context of global star formation (SF) laws is consistent with the general assumptions that gas-rich galaxies have lower SF efficiencies than do optically selected populations and that H I disks are more extended than stellar ones. Based on observations made with the Arecibo Observatory and the NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana and the Universities Space Research Association. GALEX is operated for NASA by the California Institute of Technology under NASA contract NAS5-98034.

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