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Starbursts are finite periods of intense star formation (SF) that can dramatically impact the evolutionary state of a galaxy. Recent results suggest that starbursts in dwarf galaxies last longer and are distributed over more of the galaxy than previously thought, with star formation efficiencies (SFEs) comparable to spiral galaxies, much higher than those typical of non-bursting dwarfs. This difference might be explainable if the starburst mode is externally triggered by gravitational interactions with other nearby systems. We present new, sensitive neutral hydrogen observations of 18 starburst dwarf galaxies, which are part of the STARburst IRregular Dwarf Survey (STARBIRDS) and each were mapped with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and/or Parkes Telescope in order to study the low surface brightness gas distributions, a common tracer for tidal interactions.
Recent UV absorption line studies suggest that a large fraction of missing baryons are in the warm ionized and neutral phases, with about half of Milky Way-mass galaxies containing absorption systems with HI column densities of 1018 cm−2 or greater. This HI gas, which would have been difficult to detect with previous instruments, could be a significant contributor to the missing baryons. The Green Bank Telescope (GBT) presents a unique opportunity to detect this emission. We present results from GBT 21 cm observations of a sample of ten nearby optically luminous spirals, which reveal extended HI gas in half of our sample. The column densities of this extended HI are typically ~ 1 × 1019 cm−2, as measured at distances of 100 kpc from the center of the galaxies.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
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