Delayed photoionization feedback in a super star cluster in SBS 0335-052E

Rodger I. Thompson, Marc Sauvage, Robert C. Kennicutt, Charles W. Engelbracht, Leonardo Vanzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


SBS 0335-052 is a well-studied blue compact dwarf galaxy with one of the lowest metallicities of any known galaxy. It also contains six previously identified super star clusters. We combine archival HST NICMOS images in the Paα line and the 1.6 μm continuum of the eastern component, SBS 0335-052E, with other space- and ground-based data to perform a multiwavelength analysis of the super star clusters. We concentrate on the southernmost clusters, designated S1 and S2, which appear to be the youngest clusters and are the strongest emitters of Paα, radio, and X-ray flux. Our analysis leads to a possible model for S1 and perhaps S2 as a cluster of very young, massive stars with strong stellar winds. The wind density can be high enough to absorb the majority of ionizing photons within less than 1000 AU of the stars, creating very compact H II regions that emit optically thick radiation at radio wavelengths. These winds would then effectively quench the photoionizing flux very close to the stars. This can delay the onset of negative feedback by photoionization and photodissociation on star formation in the clusters. This is significant since SBS 0335-052E resembles the conditions that were probably common for high-redshift star formation in galaxies near the epoch of reionization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-182
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Feb 10 2006


  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: individual (SBS 0335-052E)
  • Galaxies: star clusters
  • Galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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