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Astron. Astrophys. 335, 152-160 (1998)

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CO in blue compact and star burst galaxies

P.M. Gondhalekar 1, L.E.B. Johansson 2, N. Brosch 3, I.S. Glass 4 and E. Brinks 5

1 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, OXON, OX11 0QX, UK
2 Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala Space Observatory, S-439 92 Onsala, Sweden
3 Department of Physics & Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
4 South African Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 9, Observatory 7935, Cape Town, South Africa
5 Departamento de Astronomia, Universidad de Guanajuato, Apdo. Postal 144, Guanajuato, Mexico

Received 16 February 1998 / Accepted 18 March 1998


12 CO(J=1 [FORMULA] 0) observations of 34 blue compact and star burst galaxies are presented. Although these galaxies are experiencing vigorous star formation at the current epoch, CO has been detected in only five of them. The five detections reported in this paper are all in galaxies with relatively red colours, [FORMULA] 0.4.

The new observations, when combined with previously published data on CO in BCGs, indicate that CO luminosity decreases with absolute luminosity of BCGs. Since the absolute luminosity of a galaxy is correlated with its metallicity, these results confirm that low metallicity BCGs have low abundances of CO gas. We also show that the star formation rate determined from the [FORMULA] luminosity is lower than that determined from the far infrared luminosity.

Key words: galaxies: compact – galaxies: ISM – galaxies: starbust – radio lines:ISM

Send offprint requests to: P.M. Gondhalekar

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 12, 1998