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Low-mass dwarf irregular galaxies are subject to outflows, in which cosmic rays may play a very important role; they can be traced via their electron component, the cosmic ray electrons (CRe), in the radio continuum as non-thermal synchrotron emission. With the advent of sensitive low-frequency observations, such as with the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), we can trace CRe far away from star formation sites. Together with GHz-observations, such as with the Very Large Array (VLA), we can study spatially resolved radio continuum spectra at matched angular resolution and sensitivity. Here, we present results from our 6-GHz VLA survey of 40 nearby dwarf galaxies and our LOFAR study of the nearby starburst dwarf irregular galaxy IC 10. We explore the relation of RC emission with star formation tracers and study in IC 10 the nature of a low-frequency radio halo, which we find to be the result of a galactic wind.
We analyse nine galaxies taken from the THINGS survey to investigate the H I extent of spiral galaxy disks. We exploit the high spatial and velocity resolution, and the sensitivity of THINGS to investigate where the atomic gas disks end and what might shape their outskirts. We find that the atomic gas surface density across most of the disk is constant at 5 to 10 M⊙ pc−2 and declines at large radius. The shape of the H I distribution can be described by a Sérsic–type function with a slope index n = 0.18 – 0.36. The H I column density at which radial profiles turn over is found to be at too high a level for it to be caused by ionisation by a meta–galactic UV field. Instead we suggest the H I extent is rather set by how galaxy disks form.
Studies of the atomic phase of the interstellar medium, via the 21–cm spectral line of neutral hydrogen (H I), play a key rôle in our attempts to understand the structure and evolution of disk galaxies. We present here results from The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS) and focus on the mass distribution as derived from the observed kinematics, and on the link between gas and star formation rate surface density, i.e., the Schmidt–Kennicutt law. Also, we briefly dwell on the wealth and wide variety of structures, often outlining what seem to be expanding shells surrounding sites of recent, massive star formation.
We present several results from our analysis of dwarf irregular galaxies culled from The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS). We analyse the rotation curves of two galaxies based on “bulk” velocity fields, i.e. velocity maps from which random non–circular motions are removed. We confirm that their dark matter distribution is best fit by an isothermal halo model. We show that the star formation properties of dIrr galaxies resemble those of the outer parts of larger, spiral systems. Lastly, we study the large scale (3–D) distribution of the gas, and argue that the gas disk in dIrrs is thick, both in a relative, as well as in an absolute sense as compared to spirals. Massive star formation through subsequent supernova explosions is able to redistribute the bulk of the ISM, creating large cavities. These cavities are often larger, and longer–lived than in spiral galaxies.
Recent VLA observations pointed at dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies in the M 81 group reveal a hitherto hidden population of extremely low mass (~ 105 M⊙) HI clouds with no obvious optical counterparts. We have searched 10 fields in the M 81 group totalling 2.2 square degree, both targeting known dwarf spheroidal galaxies and blank fields around the central triplet. Our observations show that the new population of low–mass HI clouds appears to be confined to a region toward the south–east of the central triplet (at distances of ~ 100 kpc from M 81). Possible explanations for these free–floating HI clouds are that they are related to the dSphs found to the South–East of M 81, that they belong to the galaxies of the M 81 triplet (equivalent to HVCs), that they are of primordial nature and provide fresh, unenriched material falling into the M 81 group, or that they are tidal debris from the 3–body interaction involving M 81–M 82–NGC 3077. Based on circumstantial evidence, we currently favour the latter explanation.
Debris sent into the intergalactic medium during tidal collisions has received much attention as it can tell us about several fundamental properties of galaxies, in particular their missing mass, both in the form of cosmological Dark Matter and so-called Lost Baryons.
High velocity encounters, which are common in clusters of galaxies, are able to produce faint tidal debris that may appear as star–less, free floating HI clouds. These may be mistaken for Dark Galaxies, a putative class of gaseous, dark matter (DM) dominated, objects which for some reason never managed to form stars. VirgoHI21, in the Virgo Cluster, is by far the most spectacular and most discussed Dark Galaxy candidate so far detected in HI surveys. We show here that it is most likely made out of material expelled 750 Myr ago from the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4254 during its fly–by at about 1000 km s−1 by a massive intruder. Our numerical model of the collision is able to reproduce the main characteristics of the system: in particular the absence of stars, and its prominent velocity gradient. Originally attributed to the gas being in rotation within a massive dark matter halo, we find it instead to be consistent with a combination of simple streaming motion plus projection effects (Duc & Bournaud, 2007).
Based on our multi-wavelength and numerical studies of galaxy collisions, we discuss several ways to identify a tidal origin in a Dark Galaxy candidate such as optical and millimetre–wave observations to reveal a high metallicity and CO lines, and more importantly, kinematics indicating the absence of a prominent Dark Matter halo. We illustrate the method using another HI system in Virgo, VCC 2062, which is most likely a Tidal Dwarf Galaxy (Duc et al., 2007).
Now, whereas tidal debris should not contain any dark matter from the halo of their parent galaxies, it may exhibit missing mass in the form of dark baryons, unaccounted for by classical observations, as recently found in the collisional ring of NGC 5291 (Bournaud et al., 2007) and probably in the TDG VCC 2062. These “Lost Baryons” must originally have been located in the disks of their parent galaxies.
Numerous instances of intergalactic star forming regions have been recently reported (see Duc et al. in this proceedings book). They are fueled by gaseous material expelled from parent galaxies. One spectacular example is the HI ring-like structure around the interacting system NGC 5291 (Malphrus et al. 1997) which hosts numerous HII regions (Duc & Mirabel 1998). In order to study how star formation proceeds in this specific environment, we have combined ultraviolet (Galex), Hα, 8 μm (Spitzer) and HI (VLA B-array) images of this system.
We present an analysis of the fine–scale structure of the neutral ISM as traced via the 21-cm line of atomic hydrogen (HI) in the nearby galaxy M 81. The data show a stunning amount of detail in the form of 330 expanding shells and holes in the neutral ISM of M 81. A comparison with similar structures found in two other spirals and two dwarf galaxies (M 31, M 33, IC 2574 and Holmberg II) reveals that the ISM in M 81 shares a lot of similarities with the two spirals, whereas the structure of its ISM is different to that in dwarf galaxies. The sizes of the HI holes in M 81 range from 80 pc (close to the resolution limit) to 600 pc; the expansion velocities can reach 20 km s−1; estimated ages are 2.5 to 35 Myrs and the energies involved range from 1050 to 3.5 x 1052 ergs. The amount of neutral gas involved is of order 104 to 106 solar masses.
The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS), is a 21–cm HI line survey of a sample of 34 nearby (3–10 Mpc) galaxies (Walter et al. 2005). The observations were carried out with the VLA and have a velocity resolution of 5 km s−1 or better and an angular resolution of 7″ which at this distance range corresponds to a linear resolution of 100–300 pc. One of the primary goals of THINGS is to look at the fine–scale structure of the Interstellar Medium (ISM) and examine how it varies as a function of Hubble type, star formation rate, galaxy mass, metallicity, etc. We present one of the first science results from this project, an inventory of HI shells in the galaxies NGC 628, NGC 3184, and NGC 6946.
HI observations at sufficiently high spatial and velocity resolution have revealed a wealth of structures such as shells and bubbles in the ISM of late–type galaxies. These structures are filled with metal–enriched, coronal gas from SNe which, through overpressure, powers their expansion. Material swept up by these expanding shells can go “critical” and form subsequent (secondary or propagating) star formation. Shells that grow larger than the thickness of the gas layer will blow out of the disk, spilling enriched material into the halo (or in the case of violent starbursts, the Intergalactic Medium). We review what has been achieved to date and present some first results of a major project based on THINGS (The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey), which aims to extend studies of the ISM in galaxies to 34 nearby systems (<10 Mpc), all observed to the same exacting standards (resolution 6″ × 5 km s−1, or better; typical detection threshold of ~5 × 1019 atom cm−2).
We obtained X-ray observations for a sample of eight nearby dwarf starburst galaxies from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Five galaxies of our sample show extended (size: 1-10 kpc), diffuse X-ray emission which can be attributed to a hot thermal plasma. This phase of the interstellar medium purportedly drives the expansion of supergiant shells. A comparison of the derived gas parameters with theoretical models reveals that the hot gas in principle is capable to escape from the gravitational potential of the host galaxy. However, the outflows appear to be contained in those cases where an extended envelope or massive tidal features of neutral gas exist.
We present high resolution interferometric observations of the cool atomic and cold molecular ISM of the TDG candidate Arp 245N, an object resembling a dwarf galaxy in the northern tidal tail of the interacting system NGC 2992/3. We observed the HI line with the NRAO VLA and the CO(1→0) transition with the OVRO millimeter interferometer at 5“ – 6” angular resolution (750 pc linear resolution). These datacubes offer the required spatial and velocity resolution to determine whether the mass concentration near the tip of the tail is a genuine feature, and hence a good TDG candidate, or an artefact caused by a fortuitous alignment of our line of sight with the direction of the tail. A preliminary analysis seems to confirm that Arp 245N is a self-gravitating entity.
Neutral hydrogen (H I) is a magnificent tool when studying the structure of the interstellar medium (ISM) as it is relatively easily observable and can be mapped at good spatial and velocity resolution with modern instruments. Moreover, it traces the cool (∼ 100 K) and warm (∼ 5000 K) neutral gas which together make up about 60%, or the bulk, of the ISM. The currently accepted picture is that stellar winds and subsequent supernovae are the origin for the clearly defined holes or bubbles within the more or less smooth neutral medium. The H I can therefore serve indirectly as a tracer of the hot interstellar medium (HIM) left behind after the most massive stars within an OB association have gone off as supernovae. A splendid example is the dwarf galaxy IC 2574 for which we discuss H I, optical and X-ray observations.
II Zw 33 is a gas-rich Wolf-Rayet galaxy with a low surface-brightness companion galaxy. Neither II Zw 33 nor its companion need any dark matter in order to explain the observed rotation curves. The available observations support a scenario in which the companion has triggered the current burst of star formation in II Zw 33.
HI observations are an excellent tool to probe the conditions of the ISM, giving information on the distribution and velocity structure of the cool and warm atomic gas in galaxies, and how that is affected by violent star formation. Currently, more distant galaxies have come within reach, allowing HI studies of galaxies of different Hubble types. In this talk I will review some of the work on the nearest galaxies and draw comparisons with our own. I will use the example of Holmberg II, a dwarf galaxy, to show how much can be learnt regarding violent star formation and its effects on the ISM by going to low-mass systems. Lastly, I will introduce some of the new and exciting projects which are under way.
Carl Heiles' pioneering work on the structure of the Interstellar Medium (ISM) of our Galaxy confirmed the picture of it being a violent environment. His HI observations showed a wealth of structure in the form of shells and supershells, many of them expanding (Heiles 1979, 1984). His observations agreed, in general, with the prediction by Cox and Smith (1974) who, argued that supernovae create cavities of hot, coronal gas and play a significant rôle in the shaping of the ISM. Although some work was done on the Magellanic Clouds, it wasn't until the mid-80's that Heiles' results were dramatically confirmed by high-resolution (aperture synthesis) HI maps of the nearest galaxies, M31 and M33, enabling studies of the distribution and characteristics of HI shells across entire galaxies.
Using the VLA in A-configuration we have obtained λ21cm absorption spectra of 12 Seyfert galaxies with bright, extended continuum radio emission. Currently, we have completed the data reduction for three galaxies: NGC 1068, Markarian 3, and NGC 3079. No absorption is detected in Mrk 3, but multiple and broad absorption lines were detected in NGC 1068 and NGC 3079. Here we present the preliminary analysis for these galaxies.
The radio continuum emission from NGC 1068 is dominated by a 13″ radio triple extending SW–NE (e.g., Wilson and Ulvestad 1987). We have detected HI absorption over the entire SW radio lobe and the southern half of the central source. Three kinematically distinct regions are apparent: the radio nucleus, the linear radio structure 1–2″ SW of the nucleus (the SW “jet”), and the SW radio lobe. Using the technique of Dickey, Brinks, and Puche (1992), we extracted optical depth spectra for each of these regions (Fig. 1). Broad (FWHM = 130 ± 25 km s-1), double absorption lines are present in the nuclear region. Adopting usys(HI)= 1137 km s-1 (de Vaucouleurs et al. 1991, RC3), the lines are offset by +55 ± 11 and -283 ±11 km s-1. We suspect that these lines may arise in a region of rapid rotation and streaming near the active nucleus. In the SW “jet” multiple absorption lines centered at usys are apparent. Since this region lies along the 2.2 μm stellar bar (Thronson et al. 1989), these multiple absorption lines may be due to gas streaming in the bar potential.
Surprisingly few Seyfert galaxies have been mapped at near optical resolution in the 21–cm line of neutral atomic hydrogen, despite the fact that studies of the gaseous component hold out the possibility of identifying the cause of infall of gas to or outflow from the central region. We therefore decided to observe the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 with the NRAO–Very Large Array. The spatial resolution of the final images is about 8 ″ or 700 parsec at a distance of 18 Mpc; the velocity resolution is 5.2 km s−1.
TAURUS observations in the line of Hα and VLA HI mapping of the HII complex No. 722 in M31, reveal what seems to be a spherical cavity 330 pc in diameter blown out by a stellar association of over 20 × 106 year old. Evidence of induced star formation which was initiated less than 5 × 106 years ago is present in the form of bright HII emission and numerous O, B and Wolf-Rayet stars which are found within the shell surrounding the cavity. The energy necessary to create the HI shell is estimated to be about 5 × 1051 erg.
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