We present a spectroscopic study of 51 compact field galaxies with redshifts z < 1.4 and apparent magnitudes I < 23.74 in the flanking fields of the Hubble Deep Field. These galaxies are compact in the sense that they have small apparent half-light radii (r ≤ 0″.5) and high surface brightnesses (μ ≤ 22.2 mag arcsec ). The spectra, taken at the Keck telescope, show emission lines in 88% of our sample, and only absorption lines in the remaining 12%. Emission-line profiles are roughly Gaussian with velocity widths that range from the measurement limit of σ ∼ 35 km s to 150 km s . Rest frame [O II] λ3727 equivalent widths range from 5 to 94 Å, yielding star formation rates (SFRs) of ∼0.1 to 14 M yr . The analysis of various line diagnostic diagrams reveals that ∼60% of compact emission-line galaxies have velocity widths, excitations, Hβ luminosities, SFRs, and mass-to-light ratios characteristic of young star-forming H II galaxies. The remaining 40% form a more heterogeneous class of evolved starbursts, similar to local starburst disk galaxies. We find that, although the compact galaxies at z > 0.7 have similar SFRs per unit mass to those at z < 0.7, they are on average ∼10 times more massive. Our sample implies a lower limit for the global comoving SFR density of ∼0.004 M yr Mpc at z = 0.55, and ∼0.008 M yr Mpc at z = 0.85 (assuming Salpeter IMF, H = 50 km s Mpc , and q = 0.5). These values, when compared to estimates for a sample of local compact galaxies selected in a similar fashion, support a history of the universe in which the SFR density declines by a factor ∼10 from z = 1 to today. From the comparison with the SFR densities derived for magnitude-limited samples of field galaxies, we conclude that compact emission-line galaxies, though only ∼20% of the general field population, may contribute as much as ∼45% to the global SFR of the universe at 0.4 < z < 1. © 1997. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. 814 1/2 I814 ⊙ ⊙ ⊙ 0 o -2 -1 -1 -1 -1 -3 -1 -3 -1 -1
Cosmology: observations, Galaxies: compact, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: fundamental parameters
2 PART I
Guzmán, Rafael; Gallego, Jesús; Koo, David C.; Phillips, Andrew C.; Lowenthal, James D.; Faber, S. M.; Illingworth, Garth D.; and Vogt, Nicole P., "The Nature of Compact Galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field. II. Spectroscopic Properties and Implications for the Evolution of the Star Formation Rate Density of the Universe" (1997). Astronomy: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.