AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 179 Evolution of Galaxies, and Galaxies Surveys at Low Redshift
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[179.02] The Most Ultraviolet Luminous Galaxies Discovered by GALEX in the Local Universe

C. G. Hoopes, T. M. Heckman (JHU), S. Salim (UCLA), C. Tremonti (Steward Obs.), M. Seibert (Caltech), D. Schiminovich (Columbia), R. M. Rich (UCLA), D. C. Martin (Caltech), G. Kauffmann, S. Charlot (MPA), GALEX Science Team

We describe the properties of a sample of ultraviolet luminous galaxies (UVLGs) selected by matching the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) All-sky Imaging and Medium Imaging Surveys with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Third Data Release. The properties of this population are well correlated with ultraviolet surface brightness. We find that the galaxies with low UV surface brightness are primarily large spiral systems with a mixture of old and young stellar populations, while the high surface brightness galaxies consist primarily of compact starburst systems. The large galaxies appear to be the high-luminosity tail of the galaxy star formation function, and owe their large luminosity to their large surface area. In terms of the behavior of surface brightness with luminosity, size with luminosity, the mass-metallicity relation, and other parameters, the compact UVLGs clearly depart from the trends established by the full sample of galaxies. The compact systems with very high surface brightness have characteristics that are remarkably similar to Lyman Break Galaxies at higher redshift. They are more luminous (and thus have higher star formation rates) than local ultraviolet-bright starbursts, blue compact dwarf galaxies, and luminous blue galaxies, and may be the best local analogs for Lyman Break Galaxies.

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