H α Dots: Direct-method Metal Abundances of Low-luminosity Star-forming Systems

Alec S. Hirschauer, John J. Salzer, Nathalie Haurberg, Caryl Gronwall, Steven Janowiecki

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7 Scopus citations


Utilizing low-luminosity star-forming systems discovered in the Hα Dots survey, we present spectroscopic observations undertaken using the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4 m telescope for 26 sources. With determinations of robust, "direct"-method metal abundances, we examine the properties of these dwarf systems, exploring their utility in characterizing starburst galaxies at low luminosities and stellar masses. We find that the Hα Dots survey provides an effective new avenue for identifying star-forming galaxies in these regimes. In addition, we examine abundance characteristics and metallicity scaling relations with these sources, highlighting a flattening of both the luminosity-metallicity (L-Z) and stellar mass-metallicity (M ∗-Z) relation slopes in these regimes as compared with those utilizing samples covering wider respective dynamic ranges. These local, accessible analogs to the kinds of star-forming dwarfs common at high redshift will help shed light on the building blocks that assembled into the massive galaxies common today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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