A comparative study of star-forming and quiescent dwarf galaxies.
SIMPSON C.E. and GOTTESMAN S.T.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results from a comparative study of the atomic hydrogen (H I) and optical properties of a sample of 16 dwarf galaxies, chosen to investigate the effects of star formation on the properties of low-mass systems. The violent star formation bursts believed to occur in these low-mass systems suggest a possible connection between the actively star-forming blue compact dwarfs (BCDs), and the quiescent low surface brightness dwarfs (LSBDs). It has been suggested that LSBDs, upon undergoing a burst of star formation, will evolve into BCDs and then back into LSBDs when the star formation slows or stops as the H I column density falls below the critical threshold necessary to support it. We have examined the location and kinematics of H I in eight BCDs and eight LSBDs of similar H I masses and a range of color indices to investigate this ``evolutionary'' sequence. The starburst episodes in these low-mass galaxies should lead to (1) a dispersal/depletion of the H I seen in the eight LSB dwarfs and (2) more centrally concentrated and agitated H I in the eight BCDs. The results of this project indicate that the quiescent LSBD galaxies have more diffuse H I distributions and often show a ringlike structure, while the active galaxies have more highly centrally concentrated H I reservoirs. The bluer, more recently active systems of both types also have higher internal H I velocity dispersions, indicating that energy has been pumped into the interstellar medium of these galaxies. These observations are consistent with an evolutionary scheme wherein the H I reservoirs in these galaxies take on different characteristics depending upon their star formation histories.
Galaxies: Dwarf - Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Fundamental Parameters - ISM: H I