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Interpretation of deep counts of radio sources
Danese, L.; de Zotti, G.; Franceschini, A.; Toffolatti, L.
AA(Padova, Università, Padua, Italy), AB(Padova, Università, Padua, Italy), AC(Padova, Università, Padua, Italy), AD(Osservatorio Astronomico, Padua, Italy)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters to the Editor (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 318, July 1, 1987, p. L15-L20. Research supported by the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione and CNR. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Galactic Evolution, Luminosity, Radiant Flux Density, Radio Sources (Astronomy), Spiral Galaxies, Astronomical Spectroscopy, Hubble Constant, Interacting Galaxies, Radio Galaxies, Starburst Galaxies
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A new determination of the local radio luminosity function of galaxies allows it to be concluded that unevolving low-luminosity sources cannot account for the observed flattening of the normalized differential source counts below mJy levels. Nor can this feature be produced by the evolving populations that dominate the counts at higher flux densities. The local radio luminosities of spiral galaxies are too low to contribute significantly to the counts above 1 mJy, even in the presence of evolution consistent with the observational constraints; thus the blue galaxy population observed by Kron, Koo, and Windhorst (1985) up to greater than or equal to 10 mJy can hardly be identified with normal spiral galaxies. On the other hand, it is shown that evolving starburst/interacting galaxies can easily account for all the data available so far. The inferred evolution time scale (about 20-25 percent of the Hubble time) is within the expected range for gas consumption in starburst galaxies.

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