AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 42 GALEX: A Year Exploring the UV Universe
Special Session, Monday, January 10, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Royal Palm 1-3

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[42.05] Ultraviolet-Luminous Galaxies in the Local Universe

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

We have used the first matched set of Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data to investigate the properties of a sample of ultraviolet-luminous galaxies (UVLGs) in the local universe (z=0 to 0.3). These galaxies have far-UV luminosities and implied star formation rates similar to the range of typical Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs). We find a strong inverse correlation between galaxy mass and far-UV surface brightness, and on this basis divide the sample into "large" and "compact" UVLGs. The large UVLGs are metal-rich, relatively massive late type disk galaxies forming stars at a rate similar to their past average. These galaxies have intermediate optical-UV colors and about a third host a Type 2 Active Galactic Nucleus. In contrast, the compact UVLGs are relatively low-mass, blue galaxies with a wide range in metallicity, and are forming stars at a rate sufficient to build the present galaxy in 1 to 2 Gyr. In all these respects they appear similar to the LBG population, and may therefore provide an opportunity for detailed investigation of the physical processes occurring in typical star-forming galaxies in the early universe.

We gratefully acknowledge NASA's support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.