Diverging UV and Halpha fluxes of star forming galaxies predicted by the IGIMF theory

Pflamm-Altenburg, J.
Weidner, C.
Kroupa, P.
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Although the stellar initial mass function (IMF) has only been directly determined in star clusters it has been manifoldly applied on galaxy-wide scales. But taking the clustered nature of star formation into account the galaxy-wide IMF is constructed by adding all IMFs of all young star clusters leading to an integrated galactic initial mass function (IGIMF). The IGIMF is top-light compared to the canonical IMF in star clusters and steepens with decreasing total star formation rate (SFR). This discrepancy is marginal for large disk galaxies but becomes significant for SMC-type galaxies and less massive ones. We here construct IGIMF-based relations between the total FUV and NUV luminosities of galaxies and the underlying SFR. We make the prediction that the Halpha luminosity of star forming dwarf galaxies decreases faster with decreasing SFR than the UV luminosity. This turn-down of the Halpha-UV flux ratio should be evident below total SFRs of 10^-2 M_sun/yr.
Comment: accepted by MNRAS
Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies