Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 373, 793-798 (2006/December-1)
The CO content of the Local Group dwarf irregular galaxies IC5152, UGCA438 and the Phoenix dwarf.
BUYLE P., MICHIELSEN D., DE RIJCKE S., OTT J. and DEJONGHE H.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present a search for CO(1 ⟶ 0) emission in three Local Group dwarf irregular galaxies: IC5152, the Phoenix dwarf and UGCA 438, using the ATNF Mopra radio telescope. Our scans largely cover the optical extent of the galaxies and the stripped Hi cloud west of the Phoenix dwarf. Apart from a tentative but non-significant emission peak at one position in the Phoenix dwarf, no significant emission was detected in the CO spectra of these galaxies. For a velocity width of 6km/s, we derive 4σ upper limits of 0.03, 0.04 and 0.06Kkm/s for IC5152, the Phoenix dwarf and UGCA438, respectively. This is an improvement of over a factor of 10 compared with previous observations of IC5152; the other two galaxies had not yet been observed at millimetre wavelengths. Assuming a Galactic CO-to-H2conversion factor, we derive upper limits on the molecular gas mass of 6.2x104,3.7x103 and 1.4 x105M☉for IC5152, the Phoenix dwarf and UGCA438, respectively. We investigate two possible causes for the lack of CO emission in these galaxies. On the one hand, there may be a genuine lack of molecular gas in these systems, in spite of the presence of large amounts of neutral gas. However, in the case of IC5152 which is actively forming stars, molecular gas is at least expected to be present in the star-forming regions. On the other hand, there may be a large increase in the CO-to-H2conversion factor in very low-metallicity dwarfs (-2 ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ -1), making CO a poor tracer of the molecular gas content in dwarf galaxies.
2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 RAS
galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: individual: IC5152 - galaxies: individual: Phoenix dwarf - galaxies: individual: UGCA438 - galaxies: ISM - Local Group
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