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K. O'Neil (NRAO - Green Bank), M. S. Oey (U. Michigan), G. Bothun (U. Oregon)
Using the Lowell 1.8m Perkins telescope we looked at 20 massive (W20,corr \ge 400 km s-1) galaxies with low surface brightness disks through B, R, and H-\alpha filters to determine the galaxies' overall morphology, color, and star formation. Morphologically, the galaxies range Sa/b through Sd and include galaxies with and without nuclear bars. The colors of the galaxies range from B-R=0.5 through B-R=1.5. In some cases a steep color gradient is seen, with the nucleus of the galaxy as much as one magnitude redder than the outer edge of the disk, while in other cases the color of the bulge and disk is the same. Curiously, there appears to be no association between the morphological type and the slope of the color gradient. The h-\alpha images of these galaxies show a low star formation rate than would typically be expected for higher surface brightness galaxies of similar morphologies, with star formation rates ranging from 0.003 through 0.04 M\odot/year within individual regions, and from <0.002 through 0.07 M\odot/year across an entire galaxy. In sum, our observations show that while the average low surface brightness galaxy evolves more slowly when compared to a similar high surface brightness galaxy, low surface brightness galaxies in fact cover a similar range of colors, morphologies, etc. as their high surface brightness counterparts.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.