Star Formation in HI Selected Galaxies I: Sample Characteristics
J. F. Helmboldt, R.A.M. Walterboss, G.D. Bothun, K. O'Neil, W.J.G. de Blok
2004, ApJ, 613, 914

ABSTRACT: A sample of 69 galaxies with radial velocities less than 2500 km/s was selected from the HI Parkes All Sky Survey (HIPASS) and imaged in broad band B and R and narrow band H-alpha to deduce details about star formation in nearby disk galaxies while avoiding surface brightness selection effects. The sample is dominated by late-type, dwarf disks (mostly Sc and Sm galaxies) with exponential disk scale lengths of about 1 to 5 kpc. The HIPASS galaxies on average have lower star formation rates (SFRs) and are bluer and lower surface brightness than an optically selected sample. HII regions were detected in all but one of the galaxies. Many galaxies had as few as two to five HII regions. The galaxies' H-alpha equivalent widths, colors, and SFRs per unit HI mass are best explained by young mean ages (about 3 to 5 Gyr according to Schmidt Law models) with star formation histories where the SFRs were higher in the past. Comparison of the surface brightness coverage of the HIPASS galaxies with that of an optically selected sample shows that such a sample may miss about 10% of the local galaxy number density and could possibly miss as much as 3 to 4% of the SFR density. The amount lower surface brightness galaxies contribute to the total luminosity density may be insignificant, but this conclusion is somewhat dependent on how the fluxes of these objects are determined.

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