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Astron. Astrophys. 323, 323-336 (1997)

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Star formation histories in H II galaxies

I. Optical and radio observations

Hans-Jörg Deeg 1, 2, Nebojsa Duric 2 and Elias Brinks 3, 4

1 Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, c/ Via Lactea s/n, E-38200 La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain (e-mail: hdeeg@iac.es)
2 Institute for Astrophysics, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA (e-mail: duric@phys.unm.edu)
3 National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box O, Socorro, NM 87131, USA (e-mail: ebrinks@andromeda.cimat.mx)
4 Universidad de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Gto. 36000, Mexico

Received 15 March 1996 / Accepted 18 October 1996


In this paper we report CCD photometry in broad band B, R, and I colors, as well as in the H [FORMULA], for a sample of eight H II galaxies with strong radio emission. In addition, we present new radio continuum observations in the frequency range between 8 and 15 GHz. For seven of these galaxies, previous radio continuum observations have been reported by Deeg et al. (1993); data on Haro 1 are presented here for the first time. Their unusual radio spectra, according to Deeg et al., are a consequence of rapidly changing star formation rates in their past. An independent verification of this conclusion is the motivation for the optical observations reported here. Their interpretation is the subject of the next article in this series. The new radio measurements confirm the interpretation of the radio spectra by Deeg et al. In combination with extinction corrected H [FORMULA] fluxes, the new radio measurements allow the determination of thermal radio fluxes - a fundamental parameter for star formation rates - with higher reliability than is possible from one wavelength domain alone. Overlays of optical observations at different colors with radio maps, as well as a search of the literature, indicates that all sample galaxies are in interacting environments, which is a possible prerequisite for the strength of the radio emission and star formation observed in these galaxies.

Key words: galaxies: starburst – radio continuum: galaxies – galaxies: interactions

Send offprint requests to: H.J. Deeg at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998