The effects of starbursts and low surface brightness galaxies on faint galaxy models

B. A. McLeod, M. J. Rieke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present models predicting the magnitude, redshift, and color distributions of field galaxies. We explore whether a fading starburst scenario can account for the observations of faint blue galaxies. We marginally rule out a starburst scenario with a local initial mass function (IMF) because the models predict too many nearby faint galaxies that are not observed. A burst model with a truncated IMF reproduces the counts and redshift distributions well but produces too blue a population. We show that surface brightness selection has a significant effect on the distributions. In particular, adding a population of low-surface brightness galaxies, known to exist locally, can explain the counts for BJ < 23. They do not, however, account for the steepness of the counts at fainter magnitudes. Finally, we show that the colors of galaxies in a K-band-selected sample are too blue to be consistent with a constant star formation rate, passive-evolution model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-622
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Galaxies: stellar content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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