Star Formation in Distant Galaxies
High redshift galaxies are at present time detected along distance (up to z ≥3) and time scales so extended that the look-back times reach until 90% of the age of the Universe. Among the striking facts, evidences of an intense stellar activity appear in most galaxies whatever their types or their environments. Signs of activity are essentially strong far-UV /optical /infrared stellar emissions and nebular emission lines. These spectral signatures of star formation processes are observed in extremely distant radiogalaxies as well as in clusters or in quasar environments: one of the firstly analysed effect (Butcher and Oemler, 1984) consists of an increasing number of blue galaxies with the redshift in distant cluster cores. The high density of blue galaxies in the cluster Abell 370 is interpreted as an excess of star formation activity stimulated by a ram-pressure effect (Mellier et al, 1987). Dressier and Gunn, 1983 observed strong absorption Balmer lines in spectra of elliptical galaxies. These so-called E+A galaxies are witnesses of a recent star formation activity. More recently, from a large sample of distant clusters (Gunn, Hoessel and Oke, 1986), Gunn, 1988 confirms a strong evolution of star formation for cluster galaxies until z~ 1.
KeywordsStar Formation Equivalent Width Star Formation Rate Elliptical Galaxy Galaxy Formation
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