Volume 637, May 2020
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||05 May 2020|
VV 655 and NGC 4418: Implications of an interaction for the evolution of a LIRG⋆
Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 475 N. Charter St., Madison, WI 53706, USA
2 Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, USA
3 Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, 11F of Astronomy-Mathematics Building, AS/NTU, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC
4 Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Manchester, Alan Turing Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
5 Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, 439 92 Onsala, Sweden
6 Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3H8, Canada
Accepted: 5 March 2020
Context. VV 655, a dwarf irregular galaxy with HI tidal debris, is a companion to the lenticular luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) NGC 4418. NGC 4418 stands out among nearby LIRGs due to its dense central concentration of molecular gas and the dusty, bi-polar structures along its minor axis suggestive of a wind driven by a central starburst and possible nuclear activity.
Aims. We seek to understand the consequences of the ongoing minor interaction between VV 655 and NGC 4418 for the evolution of the LIRG. Specifically, we consider the origin of the gas supply responsible for the unusual nuclear properties of NGC 4418.
Methods. We investigate the structural, kinematic, and chemical properties of VV 655 and NGC 4418 by analyzing archival imaging data and optical spectroscopic observations from the SDSS-III and new spectra from SALT-RSS. We characterize their gas-phase metal abundances and spatially resolved, ionized gas kinematics to better understand whether gas transfer between VV 655 and NGC 4418 resulted in the highly obscured nucleus of the LIRG.
Results. The gas-phase metallicity in NGC 4418 significantly exceeds that in VV 655. No kinematic disturbances in the ionized gas are observed along the minor axis of NGC 4418, but we see evidence for ionized gas outflows from VV 655 that may increase the cross-section for gas stripping in grazing collisions. A faint, asymmetric outer arm is detected in NGC 4418 of the type normally associated with galaxy-galaxy interactions.
Conclusions. The simplest model suggests that the minor interaction between VV 655 and NGC 4418 produced the unusual nuclear properties of the LIRG via tidal torquing of the interstellar medium of NGC 4418 rather than through a significant gas transfer event. In addition to inducing a central concentration of gas in NGC 4418, this interaction also produced an enhanced star formation rate and an outer tidal arm in the LIRG. The VV 655-NGC 4418 system offers an example of the potential for minor collisions to alter the evolutionary pathways of giant galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 4418 / galaxies: individual: VV 655 / galaxies: ISM / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: jets and outflows / galaxies: interactions
© ESO 2020
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