The stellar content and star formation rates of dwarf irregular galaxies [electronic resource] /Show full item record
|Title||The stellar content and star formation rates of dwarf irregular galaxies [electronic resource] /|
|Author||Dunn, Jacqueline Michelle|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Dec. 10, 2007).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Texas Christian University, 2007.
Department of Physics & Astronomy; advisor, Pamela M. Marcum.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
The star formation histories and evolution of 70 dwarf irregular galaxies that reside in differing local and global environments are investigated. Local environment is defined by the local galaxy number density, where high indicates at least one neighbor within 200 kpc and low indicates no neighbors within 1 Mpc. Global environment is classified as either the field or a galaxy group / cluster. The shallow gravitational potentials of these galaxies are more susceptible to changes in morphology and dynamics by external perturbations, making dwarf irregular galaxies ideal candidates for a study on the role of environment in galaxy evolution. Absolute magnitudes, colors, central surface brightnesses, and star formation rates were compared using UBVRIJHK and Halpha photometry.^With a high degree of statistical significance, galaxies in local high density environments have brighter central and effective surface brightnesses, while those in global high density environments have brighter absolute magnitudes, central and effective surface brightnesses, and higher star formation rates.However, no difference is seen among the different environments when considering star formation rates normalized by HI mass. Sersic profiles were fit to the V and R band surface brightness profiles of the galaxies. No correlation exists between structural characteristics and environment. Spectral energy distribution models were generated by varying the rate of stellar formation and amplitude to replicate periodic burst and constant star formation rate scenarios. Of the 28 galaxies for which star formation history analysis was performed, roughly half were well fit by one of the models.^Periodic burst systems account for roughly half of those galaxies, with the remaining galaxies being better represented by continuously star forming systems. The star formation histories are uncorrelated with both local and global environmental classifications.Numerical simulations provide insight into the effects of differing gravitational environments, and indicate global environment having a larger influence on the physical properties of a dwarf galaxy. The star formation histories and structural properties of dwarf irregular galaxies were found to be independent of environment, indicating that cluster membership and proximity to a neighboring galaxy have no systematic long-term effects on the evolution of the objects in this study.
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