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Astron. Astrophys. 363, 493-506 (2000)

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The near-infrared view of SBS 0335-052 *

L. Vanzi 1, L.K. Hunt 2, T.X. Thuan 3 and Y.I. Izotov 4

1 European Southern Observatory (ESO), Alonso de Cordova 3107, Santiago, Chile (lvanzi@eso.org)
2 CAISMI-CNR, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3 University of Virginia, Astronomy Department, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA
4 National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Main Astronomical Observatory, Goloseevo, Kiev-127 03680, Ukraine

Received 29 May 2000 / Accepted 4 September 2000


We present near-infrared (NIR) spectra, deep J, H and K low-resolution images, and high-resolution images in J and Ks of the low-metallicity blue dwarf galaxy SBS 0335-052. These new NIR data, together with optical and mid-infrared data from the literature, are used to constrain the properties and the star formation history of the galaxy. The NIR spectral characteristics and broadband colors of this galaxy are those of an extremely young starburst. We find that the NIR emission is dominated by star formation occuring in clusters younger than 5 Myr; no optically hidden star formation is revealed in our data. We also find that a warm-dust component is necessary to explain the [FORMULA] color, and is consistent with the mid-infrared spectral energy distribution. Finally, we quantify the possible contribution from an evolved stellar population.

Key words: galaxies: compact – galaxies: dwarf – galaxies: individual: SBS 0335-052 – galaxies: starburst

* Based on data obtained at ESO-NTT in La Silla, Chile and at UKIRT on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Send offprint requests to: L. Vanzi

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 11, 2000