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The Astrophysical Journal




A spectroscopic analysis of 10 intergalactic star-forming objects (ISFOs) and a photometric analysis of 67 ISFOs in a sample of 14 interacting systems is presented. The majority of the ISFOs have relative polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) band strengths similar to those of nearby spiral and starburst galaxies. In contrast to what is observed in blue compact dwarfs (BCDs) and local giant H ii regions in the Milky Way (NGC 3603) and the Magellanic Clouds (30 Doradus and N 66), the relative PAH band strengths in ISFOs correspond to models with a significant PAH ion fraction (3.7, i.e., enhanced non-stellar emission, most likely due to PAHs, relative to normal spirals, dwarf irregulars, and BCD galaxies. The relative strength of the 8μm emission compared to that at 3.6μm or 24μm separates ISFOs from dwarf galaxies in Spitzer two-color diagrams. The infrared power in two-thirds of the ISFOs is dominated by emission from grains in a diffuse interstellar medium. One in six ISFOs have significant emission from PDRs, contributing ∼30%–60% of the total power. ISFOs are young knots of intense star formation.


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