We study the global properties of 51 compact field galaxies with redshifts z ~ 0.2 - 1.3 and apparent magnitudes I814 < 23.74 in the flanking fields of the Hubble Deep Field. All these galaxies have angular half-light radii re < 0.5 arcsec. Keck spectra covering ~4000-9000 Å, combined with HST І814 images and Keck V-band images, were used to derive redshifts, V606 - I814 colors, absolute blue magnitudes (MB), linear half-light radii (Re
), blue average surface brightnesses within Re (SBe
), velocity widths (σ), virial masses (M), mass-to-light ratios (M/L), excitations (O[III]/Hβ), and star formation rates (SFR). The results of this study can be summarized as follows:
(i):Only 12% of the 51 compact galaxies have absorption-line dominated spectra, while 88% show strong, narrow emission lines, similar to the so-called CNELGs (e.g., Koo, this volume).
(ii):Despite being very luminous (i.e., LB ~ L*; see figure la), compact emission-line galaxies are low-mass stellar sytems (i.e., M ≤ 1010 Mʘ, typically; see figure lb).
(iii):Roughly 60% of the compact emission-line galaxies have colors, sizes, surface brightnesses, luminosities, velocity widths, excitations, star formation rates, and mass-to-light ratios characteristic of young, star-forming HII galaxies (see figures 1 and 2). The remaining 40% form a more heterogeneous class of evolved starbursts, similar to local disk starburst galaxies.
(iv):Without additional star formation, galaxy evolution models predict that HII-like distant compacts will fade to resemble today’s spheroidal galaxies such as NGC 205 (Koo, this volume).