The kinematics of the diffuse ionized gas in NGC 4666
1 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr−Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2 CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science, PO Box 76, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia
3 Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France
Received: 25 January 2013
Accepted: 11 April 2013
Context. The global properties of the interstellar medium with processes such as infall and outflow of gas and a large scale circulation of matter and its consequences for star formation and chemical enrichment are important for the understanding of galaxy evolution.
Aims. In this paper we studied the kinematics and morphology of the diffuse ionized gas (DIG) in the disk and in the halo of the star forming spiral galaxy NGC 4666 to derive information about its kinematical properties. Especially, we searched for infalling and outflowing ionized gas.
Methods. We determined surface brightness, radial velocity, and velocity dispersion of the warm ionized gas via high spectral resolution (R ≈ 9000) Fabry-Pérot interferometry. This allows the determination of the global velocity field and the detection of local deviations from this velocity field. We calculated models of the DIG distribution and its kinematics for comparison with the measured data. In this way we determined fundamental parameters such as the inclination and the scale height of NGC 4666, and established the need for an additional gas component to fit our observed data.
Results. We found individual areas, especially along the minor axis, with gas components reaching into the halo which we interpret as an outflowing component of the DIG. As the main result of our study, we were able to determine that the vertical structure of the DIG distribution in NGC 4666 is best modeled with two components of ionized gas, a thick and a thin disk with 0.8 kpc and 0.2 kpc scale height, respectively. Therefore, the enhanced star formation in NGC 4666 drives an outflow and also maintains a thick ionized gas layer reminiscent of the Reynold’s layer in the Milky Way.
Key words: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: halos / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: individual: NGC 4666 / techniques: radial velocities
© ESO, 2013