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Advances in Astronomy
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 143698, 18 pages
Research Article

Stellar Populations and the Star Formation Histories of LSB Galaxies—Part I: Optical and Hα Imaging

1Department of Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
2Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

Received 3 June 2011; Revised 19 July 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: Elias Brinks

Copyright © 2011 James Schombert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents optical and Hα imaging for a large sample of LSB galaxies selected from the PSS-II catalogs (Schombert et al., 1992). As noted in previous work, LSB galaxies span a range of luminosities ( 1 0 > 𝑀 𝑉 > 2 0 ) and sizes ( 0 . 3 k p c < 𝑅 𝑉 2 5 < 1 0 k p c ), although they are consistent in their irregular morphology. Their Hα luminosities (L(Hα)) range from 1036 to 1041 ergs s−1 (corresponding to a range in star formation, using canonical prescriptions, from 10−5 to 1  𝑀  yr−1). Although their optical colors are at the extreme blue edge for galaxies, they are similar to the colors of dwarf galaxies (Van Zee, 2001) and gas-rich irregulars (Hunter and Elmegreen, 2006). However, their star formation rates per unit stellar mass are a factor of ten less than other galaxies of the same baryonic mass, indicating that they are not simply quiescent versions of more active star-forming galaxies. This paper presents the data, reduction techniques, and new philosophy of data storage and presentation. Later papers in this series will explore the stellar population and star formation history of LSB galaxies using this dataset.