Outflow or galactic wind: the fate of ionized gas in the halos of dwarf galaxies*
Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44780 Bochum, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Lise Meitner Fellowship
Accepted: 16 August 2007
Context.Hα images of star bursting irregular galaxies reveal a large amount of extended ionized gas structures, in some cases at kpc-distance away from any place of current star forming activity. A kinematic analysis of especially the faint structures in the halo of dwarf galaxies allows insights into the properties and the origin of this gas component. This is important for the chemical evolution of galaxies, the enrichment of the intergalactic medium, and for the understanding of the formation of galaxies in the early universe.
Aims.We want to investigate whether the ionized gas detected in two irregular dwarf galaxies (NGC 2366 and NGC 4861) stays gravitationally bound to the host galaxy or can escape from it by becoming a freely flowing wind.
Methods.Very deep Hα images of NGC 2366 and NGC 4861 were obtained to detect and catalog both small and large scale ionized gas structures down to very low surface brightnesses. Subsequently, high-resolution long-slit echelle spectroscopy of the Hα line was performed for a detailed kinematic analysis of the most prominent filaments and shells. To calculate the escape velocity of both galaxies and to compare it with the derived expansion velocities of the detected filaments and shells, we used dark matter halo models.
Results.We detected a huge amount of both small scale (up to a few hundred pc) and large scale (about 1–2 kpc of diameter or length) ionized gas structures on our Hα images. Many of the fainter ones are new detections. The echelle spectra reveal outflows and expanding bubbles/shells with velocities between 20 and 110 km s-1. Several of these structures are in accordance with filaments in the Hα images. A comparison with the escape velocities of the galaxies derived from the NFW dark matter halo model shows that all gas features stay gravitationally bound.
Key words: galaxies: irregular / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: structure
© ESO, 2007