Volume 590, June 2016
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Published online||02 May 2016|
Star-forming dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster: the link between molecular gas, atomic gas, and dust⋆,⋆⋆
Observatório do Valongo, Universidade Federal do Rio de
Janeiro, Ladeira Pedro Antônio
43, Rio de Janeiro,
2 INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
3 Center for Astrochemical Studies, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), Giessenbachstraße 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
4 Astronomical Institute of the Ruhr-University Bochum (AIRUB), Universitätstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
5 Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium
6 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
7 Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço, Universidade de Lisboa, OAL, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa, Portugal
8 Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
9 Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot, IRFU/Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Received: 13 January 2016
Accepted: 19 February 2016
We present 12CO(1−0) and 12CO(2−1) observations of a sample of 20 star-forming dwarfs selected from the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey, with oxygen abundances ranging from 12 + log (O / H) ~ 8.1 to 8.8. CO emission is observed in ten galaxies and marginally detected in another one. CO fluxes correlate with the FIR 250 μm emission, and the dwarfs follow the same linear relation that holds for more massive spiral galaxies extended to a wider dynamical range. We compare different methods to estimate H2 molecular masses, namely a metallicity-dependent CO-to-H2 conversion factor and one dependent on H-band luminosity. The molecular-to-stellar mass ratio remains nearly constant at stellar masses ≲ 109 M⊙, contrary to the atomic hydrogen fraction, MHI/M∗, which increases inversely with M∗. The flattening of the MH2/M∗ ratio at low stellar masses does not seem to be related to the effects of the cluster environment because it occurs for both Hi-deficient and Hi-normal dwarfs. The molecular-to-atomic ratio is more tightly correlated with stellar surface density than metallicity, confirming that the interstellar gas pressure plays a key role in determining the balance between the two gaseous components of the interstellar medium. Virgo dwarfs follow the same linear trend between molecular gas mass and star formation rate as more massive spirals, but gas depletion timescales, τdep, are not constant and range between 100 Myr and 6 Gyr. The interaction with the Virgo cluster environment is removing the atomic gas and dust components of the dwarfs, but the molecular gas appears to be less affected at the current stage of evolution within the cluster. However, the correlation between Hi deficiency and the molecular gas depletion time suggests that the lack of gas replenishment from the outer regions of the disc is lowering the star formation activity.
Key words: galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: clusters: individual: Virgo / galaxies: evolution
Based on observations carried out with the IRAM 30-m telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain).
The reduced CO spectra are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/590/A27
© ESO, 2016
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