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J. L. Rosenberg, M. L. N. Ashby (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), J. J. Salzer (Wesleyan University), J. -S. Huang (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
We present Spitzer observations of a complete sample of low mass, low metallicity, star-forming dwarf galaxies. These galaxies were selected from the KPNO International Spectroscopic Survey in the Boötes field. The galaxies are found to span a wide range of mid-infrared properties and, contrary to expectations, all of the galaxies show significant dust emission in the mid-infrared. This emission is much better correlated with star-formation rate than it is with metallicity or the optical reddening. We present the mid-infrared properties of the galaxies and the SEDs. An unexpected outcome of our study is the discovery that local star-forming dwarf galaxies have stellar masses and infrared colors similar to those of a subsample of z=3 Lyman Break galaxies (LBGs; Huang etal 2006, in press). The implication is that some of the Lyman-break galaxies may be the low mass, low metallicity systems that are the building blocks of the galaxies that we see today.
This work has been supported through NASA Spitzer contract 1407, NSF/AST-0302049, NSF/AST 95-53020, NSF/AST 00-71114, and NSF/AST 03-07766.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.