Dwarf Galaxies (dwarf + galaxy)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The Millennium Galaxy Catalogue: a census of local compact galaxies

J. Liske
ABSTRACT We use the Millennium Galaxy Catalogue (MGC) to study the effect of compact galaxies on the local field galaxy luminosity function (LF). Here, we observationally define as ,compact' galaxies that are too small to be reliably distinguished from stars using a standard star,galaxy separation technique. In particular, we estimate the fraction of galaxies that are misclassified as stars due to their compactness. We have spectroscopically identified all objects to Bmgc= 20 mag in a 1.14-deg2 subregion of the MGC, regardless of morphology. From these data we develop a model of the high surface brightness (SB) incompleteness and estimate that ,1 per cent of galaxies with Bmgc < 20 mag are misclassified as stars, with an upper limit of 2.3 per cent at 95 per cent confidence. However, since the missing galaxies are preferentially sub- L* their effect on the faint end of the LF is substantially amplified: we find that they contribute ,6 per cent to the total LF in the range ,17 < MB < ,14 mag, which raises the faint end slope , by 0.03+0.02,0.01. Their contribution to the total B -band luminosity density is ,2 per cent. Roughly half of the missing galaxies have already been recovered through spectroscopy of morphologically stellar targets selected mainly by colour. We find that the missing galaxies mostly consist of intrinsically small, blue, star forming, sub- L* objects. In combination with the recent results of Driver et al. we have now demonstrated that the MGC is free from both high- and low-SB selection bias for giant galaxies (MB,,17 mag). Dwarf galaxies, on the other hand, are significantly affected by these selection effects. To gain a complete view of the dwarf population will require both deeper and higher-resolution surveys. [source]

Dwarf elliptical galaxies: structure, star formation and colour,magnitude diagrams

Giovanni Carraro
The aim of this paper is to cast light on the formation and evolution of elliptical galaxies by means of N -body hydrodynamical simulations that include star formation, feedback and chemical evolution. Particular attention is paid to the case of dwarf spheroidals of the Local Group which, thanks to their proximity and modern ground-based and space instrumentation, can be resolved into single stars so that independent determinations of their age and star formation history can be derived. Indeed, the analysis of the colour,magnitude diagram of their stellar content allows us to infer the past history of star formation and chemical enrichment, thus setting important constraints on galactic models. Dwarf galaxies are known to exhibit complicated histories of star formation ranging from a single very old episode to a series of bursts over most of the Hubble time. By understanding the physical process driving star formation in these objects, we might be able to infer the mechanism governing star formation in more massive elliptical galaxies. Given these premises, we start from virialized haloes of dark matter, and follow the infall of gas into the potential wells and the formation of stars. We find that in objects of the same total mass, different star formation histories are possible, if the collapse phase started at different initial densities. We predict the final structure of dwarf spheroidal galaxies, their kinematics, their large-scale distribution of gas and stars, and their detailed histories of the star formation and metal enrichment. Using a population synthesis technique, star formation and metal enrichment rates are then adopted to generate the present colour,magnitude diagrams of the stellar populations hosted by dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The simulations are made assuming the redshift of galaxy formation and varying the cosmological parameters H0 and q0. The resulting colour,magnitude diagrams are then compared with the observational ones for some dwarf spheroidals of the Local Group. [source]

Stellar populations of seven early-type dwarf galaxies and their nuclei,

S. Paudel
Abstract Dwarf galaxies are the numerically dominating population in the dense regions of the universe. Although they seem to be simple systems at first view, the stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies (dEs) might be fairly complex. Nucleated dEs are of particular interest, since a number of objects exhibit different stellar populations in their nuclei and host galaxy. We present stellar population parameters obtained from integrated optical spectra using a Lick index analysis of seven nucleated dwarf elliptical galaxies and their nuclei. After subtracting the scaled galaxy spectra from the nucleus spectra, we compared them with one another and explore their stellar populations. As a preliminary result, we find that the luminosity weighted ages of the nuclei slightly lower than those of galaxies, however, we do not see any significant difference in metallicity of the host galaxies and their nuclei (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Dwarf galaxies prove persistent

Article first published online: 29 MAY 200
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

On the interstellar medium and star formation demographics of galaxies in the local universe

Matthew S. Bothwell
ABSTRACT We present a demographic analysis of integrated star formation and gas properties for a sample of galaxies representative of the overall population at z, 0. This research was undertaken in order to characterize the nature of star formation and interstellar medium (ISM) behaviour in the local Universe, and test the extent to which global star formation rates (SFRs) can be seen as dependent on the interstellar gas content. Archival 21-cm derived H i data are compiled from the literature, and are combined with CO (J =1 , 0) derived H2 masses to calculate and characterize the total gas content for a large sample of local galaxies. The distribution in stellar mass-normalized H i content is found to exhibit the noted characteristic transition at stellar masses of ,3 × 1010 M,, turning off towards low values, but no such transition is observed in the equivalent distribution of molecular gas. H, based SFRs and specific star formation rates (SSFRs) are also compiled for a large (1110) sample of local galaxies. We confirm two transitions as found in previous work: a turnover towards low SFRs at high luminosities, indicative of the quenching of SF characteristic of the red sequence; and a broadening of the SF distribution in low-luminosity dwarf galaxies, again to extremely low SFRs of <10,3 M, yr,1. However, a new finding is that while the upper luminosity transition is mirrored by the turnover in H i content, suggesting that the low SFRs of the red sequence result from a lack of available gas supply, the transition towards a large spread of SFRs in the least luminous dwarf galaxies is not matched by a prominent increase in scatter in gas content. Possible mass-dependent quenching mechanisms are discussed, along with speculations that in low-mass galaxies, the H, luminosity may not faithfully trace the SFR. [source]

Life in the last lane: star formation and chemical evolution in an extremely gas rich dwarf

Ayesha Begum
ABSTRACT We present an analysis of H i, H, and oxygen abundance data for NGC 3741. This galaxy has a very extended gas disc (,8.8 times the Holmberg radius), and a dark-to-luminous (i.e. stellar) mass ratio of ,149, which makes it one of the ,darkest' dwarf irregular galaxies known. However, its ratio of baryon (i.e. gas + stellar) mass to dark mass is typical of that in galaxies. Our new high-resolution H i images of the galaxy show evidence for a large-scale (purely gaseous) spiral arm and central bar. From our H i data, a rotation curve can be derived out to ,37,44 disc scalelengths in the J and B bands, respectively. This is just slightly short of the radius at which one would expect a Navarro,Frenk,White type rotation curve to start falling. The galaxy has an integrated star formation rate (SFR) of ,0.0034 M, yr,1, while the average SFR within the optical disc is ,0.0049 M, yr,1 kpc,2. Despite the gaseous spiral feature and the ongoing star formation, we find that the global gas density in NGC 3741 is significantly lower than the Toomre instability criterion. This is consistent with the behaviour seen in other dwarf galaxies. We also find that the SFR is consistent with that expected from the observed correlations between H i mass and SFR and the global Kennicutt,Schmidt law, respectively. We measure the oxygen abundance to be 12 + log(O/H) = 7.66 ± 0.10, which is consistent with that expected from the metallicity,luminosity relation, despite its extreme gas mass ratio. We also examine the issue of chemical evolution of NGC 3741 in the context of the closed-box model of chemical evolution. The effective oxygen yield of NGC 3741 is consistent with recent model estimates of closed-box yields, provided one assumes that the gas has been efficiently mixed all the way to the edge of the H i disc (i.e. greater than eight times the optical radius). This seems a priori unlikely. On the other hand, using a sample of galaxies with both interferometric H i maps and chemical abundance measurements, we find that the effective yield is anticorrelated with the total dynamical mass, as expected in leaky box models. [source]

On the morphologies, gas fractions, and star formation rates of small galaxies

Tobias Kaufmann
ABSTRACT We use a series of N -body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations and analytic arguments to show that the presence of an effective temperature floor in the interstellar medium at TF, 104 K naturally explains the tendency for low-mass galaxies to be more spheroidal, more gas rich, and less efficient in converting baryons into stars than larger galaxies. The trend arises because gas pressure support becomes important compared to angular momentum support in small dark matter haloes. We suggest that dwarf galaxies with rotational velocities , 40 km s,1 do not originate as thin discs, but rather are born as thick, puffy systems. If accreted on to larger haloes, tenuous dwarfs of this kind will be more susceptible to gas loss or tidal transformation than scaled-down versions of larger spirals. For a constant temperature floor, pressure support becomes less important in large haloes, and this produces a tendency for massive isolated galaxies to have thinner discs and more efficient star formation than their less-massive counterparts, as observed. [source]

The star formation law in a multifractal ISM

Konstantinos Tassis
ABSTRACT The surface density of the star formation rate in different galaxies, as well as in different parts of a single galaxy, scales non-linearly with the surface density of the total gas. This observationally established relation is known as the Kennicutt,Schmidt star formation law. The slope of the star formation law has been shown to change with the density of the gas against which the star formation rate is plotted. This dependence implies a non-linear scaling between the dense gas and the total gas surface densities within galaxies. Here, we explore a possible interpretation of this scaling as a property of the geometry of the interstellar medium (ISM), and we find that it arises naturally if the topology of the ISM is multifractal. Under the additional assumption that, at very high densities, the star formation time-scale is roughly constant, the star formation law itself can also be recovered as a consequence of the multifractal geometry of the ISM. The slope of the scaling depends on the width of the global probability density function (PDF), and is between 1.5 and 1.6 for wide PDFs relevant to high-mass systems, while it is higher for narrower PDFs appropriate for lower mass dwarf galaxies, in agreement with observations. [source]

Searches for ultracompact dwarf galaxies in galaxy groups

E. A. Evstigneeva
ABSTRACT We present the results of a search for ultracompact dwarf galaxies (UCDs) in six different galaxy groups: Dorado, NGC 1400, 0681, 4038, 4697 and 5084. We searched in the apparent magnitude range 17.5 ,bJ, 20.5 (except NGC 5084: 19.2 ,bJ, 21.0). We found one definite plus two possible UCD candidates in the Dorado group and two possible UCD candidates in the NGC 1400 group. No UCDs were found in the other groups. We compared these results with predicted luminosities of UCDs in the groups according to the hypothesis that UCDs are globular clusters formed in galaxies. The theoretical predictions broadly agree with the observational results, but deeper surveys are needed to fully test the predictions. [source]

Structural parameters of Mayall II = G1 in M31

J. Ma
ABSTRACT Mayall II = G1 is one of the most luminous globular clusters (GCs) known in M31. New deep, high-resolution observations with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope are used to provide accurate photometric data to the smallest radii yet. In particular, we present the precise variation of ellipticity and position angle, and of surface brightness for the core of the object. Based on these accurate photometric data, we redetermine the structural parameters of G1 by fitting a single-mass isotropic King model. We derive a core radius, rc= 0.21 ± 0.01 arcsec (= 0.78 ± 0.04 pc), a tidal radius, rt= 21.8 ± 1.1 arcsec (= 80.7 ± 3.9 pc), and a concentration index c= log (rt/rc) = 2.01 ± 0.02. The central surface brightness is 13.510 mag arcsec,2. We also calculate the half-light radius, at rh= 1.73 ± 0.07 arcsec (= 6.5 ± 0.3 pc). The results show that, within 10 core radii, a King model fits the surface brightness distribution well. We find that this object falls in the same region of the MV versus log Rh diagram as , Centauri, M54 and NGC 2419 in the Milky Way. All three of these objects have been claimed to be the stripped cores of now defunct dwarf galaxies. We discuss in detail whether GCs, stripped cores of dwarf spheroidals and normal dwarf galaxies form a continuous distribution in the MV versus log Rh plane, or if GCs and dwarf spheroidals constitute distinct classes of objects; we present arguments in favour of this latter view. [source]

Searching for stars in compact high-velocity clouds , II

U. Hopp
ABSTRACT We address the hypothesis that high-velocity clouds correspond to the ,missing' dwarf galaxies of the Local Group predicted by cosmological simulations. To this end, we present optical and near-infrared photometry of five additional high-velocity clouds, one of which produces Lyman series absorption on the sight line towards the quasar Ton S210, with sufficient resolution and sensitivity to enable the detection of an associated stellar content. We do not detect significant stellar populations intrinsic to any of the five clouds. In combination with the results from our Paper I, which had yielded non-detections of stellar content in another five cases, we find that there is a 50 per cent chance of getting a null result in 10 trials if fewer than 7 per cent of all high-velocity clouds contain stars. We conclude that the population of high-velocity clouds is an unlikely repository for the ,missing' dwarfs of the Local Group. [source]

Discovery and analysis of three faint dwarf galaxies and a globular cluster in the outer halo of the Andromeda galaxy,

N. F. Martin
ABSTRACT We present the discovery of three faint dwarf galaxies and a globular cluster in the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31), found in our MegaCam survey that spans the southern quadrant of M31, from a projected distance of ,50 to ,150 kpc. Though the survey covers 57 deg2, the four satellites lie within 2° of one another. From the tip of the red giant branch (RGB), we estimate that the globular cluster lies at a distance of 631 ± 58 kpc from the Milky Way and along with a ,100 kpc projected distance from M31 we derive a total distance of 175 ± 55 kpc from its host, making it the farthest M31 globular cluster known. It also shows the typical characteristics of a bright globular cluster, with a half-light radius of 2.3 ± 0.2 pc and an absolute magnitude in the V band of MV,0=,8.5 ± 0.3. Isochrone fitting reveals that it is dominated by a very old population with a metallicity of [Fe/H],,1.3. The three dwarf galaxies are revealed as overdensities of stars that are aligned along the RGB tracks in their colour,magnitude diagrams. These satellites are all very faint, with absolute magnitudes in the range ,7.3 ,MV,0,,6.4, and show strikingly similar characteristics with metallicities of [Fe/H],,1.4 and half-light radii of ,120 ± 45 pc, making these dwarf galaxies two to three times smaller than the smallest previously known satellites of M31. Given their faintness, their distance is difficult to constrain, but we estimate them to be between 740 and 955 kpc which places them well within the virial radius of the host galaxy. The panoramic view of the MegaCam survey can provide an unbiased view of the satellite distribution of the Andromeda galaxy and, extrapolating from its coverage of the halo, we estimate that up to 45 ± 20 satellites brighter than MV,,6.5 should be orbiting M31. Hence faint dwarf galaxies cannot alone account for the missing satellites that are predicted by , cold dark matter models, unless they reside in dark matter minihaloes that are more massive than the typical masses of 107 M, currently inferred from their central radial velocity dispersion. [source]

An extensive study of dynamical friction in dwarf galaxies: the role of stars, dark matter, halo profiles and MOND

F. J. Sánchez-Salcedo
ABSTRACT We investigate the in-spiralling time-scales of globular clusters (GCs) in dwarf spheroidal (dSph) and dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies, due to dynamical friction (DF). We address the problem of these time-scales having been variously estimated in the literature as much shorter than a Hubble time. Using self-consistent two-component (dark matter and stars) models, we explore mechanisms which may yield extended DF time-scales in such systems in order to explain why dwarf galaxies often show GC systems. As a general rule, dark matter and stars both give a comparable contribution to the dynamical drag. By exploring various possibilities for their gravitational make-up, it is shown that these studies help to constrain the parameters of the dark matter haloes in these galaxies, as well as to test alternatives to dark matter. Under the assumption of a dark halo having a central density core with a typical King core radius somewhat larger than the observed stellar core radius, DF time-scales are naturally extended upwards of a Hubble time. Cuspy dark haloes yield time-scales ,4.5 Gyr, for any dark halo parameters in accordance with observations of stellar line-of-sight velocity dispersion in dSph galaxies. We confirm, after a detailed formulation of the DF problem under the alternative hypothesis of modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) and in the lack of any dark matter, that due to the enhanced dynamical drag of the stars, the DF time-scales in MOND would be extremely short. Taking the well-measured structural parameters of the Fornax dSph and its GC system as a case study, we conclude that requiring DF time-scales comparable to the Hubble time strongly favours dark haloes with a central core. [source]

Gemini/GMOS imaging of globular clusters in the Virgo galaxy NGC 4649 (M60)

Duncan A. Forbes
ABSTRACT We present Sloan g and i imaging from the Gemini Multi-object Spectrograph (GMOS) instrument on the Gemini North telescope for the globular cluster (GC) system around the Virgo galaxy NGC 4649 (M60). Our three pointings, taken in good seeing conditions, cover an area of about 90 square arcmin. We detect 2151 unresolved sources. Applying colour and magnitude selection criteria to this source list gives 995 candidate GCs. Our source list is greater than 90 per cent complete to a magnitude of i= 23.6, and has little contamination from background galaxies. We find fewer than half a dozen potential ultracompact dwarf galaxies around NGC 4649. Foreground extinction from the nearby spiral NGC 4647 is limited to be AV < 0.1. We confirm the bimodality in the GC colour distribution found by earlier work using Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 imaging. As is commonly seen in other galaxies, the red GCs are concentrated towards the centre of the galaxy, having a steeper number density profile than the blue GC subpopulation. The varying ratio of red-to-blue GCs with radius can largely explain the overall GC system colour gradient. The underlying galaxy starlight has a similar density profile slope and colour to the red GCs. This suggests a direct connection between the galaxy field stars and the red GC subpopulation. We estimate a total GC population of 3700 ± 900, with the uncertainty dominated by the extrapolation to larger radii than observed. This total number corresponds to a specific frequency SN= 4.1 ± 1.0. Future work will present properties derived from GMOS spectra of the NGC 4649 GCs. [source]

Dynamical limits on galactic winds, halo MACHOs and intergalactic globular clusters

HongSheng Zhao
Abstract We argue that any violent galactic winds following the early epoch of starbursts will significantly weaken the potentials of galaxies, and leave lasting signatures such as a lowered dark halo density and preferentially radial/escaping orbits for halo tracers such as globular clusters. A galaxy is disintegrated if more than half of its dynamical mass is blown off. The presence of dense haloes in galaxies and the absence of intergalactic/escaping globulars should imply an upper limit on the amount of baryons lost in galactic winds of around 4 per cent of the total mass of the galaxy. This translates to limits on the baryons participating in the early starbursts and baryons locked in stellar remnants, such as white dwarfs. The numbers of halo white dwarfs claimed in recent proper motion searches and microlensing observations in the Galactic halo are too high to be consistent with our dynamical upper limits. Similar arguments also imply upper limits for the number of neutron stars and stellar black holes in galaxy haloes. Nevertheless, a milder outflow is desirable, especially in dwarf galaxies, both to lower their cold dark matter central density and to inject metals into the intergalactic medium. [source]

The influence of binary stars on the kinematics of low-mass galaxies

S. De Rijcke
In this paper, the influence of binary stars on the measured kinematics of dwarf galaxies is investigated. Using realistic distributions of the orbital parameters (semi-major axis, eccentricity, etc.), analytical expressions are derived for the changes induced by the presence of binary stars in the measured velocity moments of low-mass galaxies (such as the projected velocity dispersion and the fourth-order Gauss,Hermite coefficient h4). It is shown that there is a noticeable change in the observed velocity dispersion if the intrinsic velocity dispersion of a galaxy is of the same order as the binary velocity dispersion. The kurtosis of the line-of-sight velocity distribution (LOSVD) is affected even at higher values of the intrinsic velocity dispersion. Moreover, the LOSVD of the binary stars (i.e. the probability of finding a star in a binary system with a particular projected velocity) is given in closed form, approximating the constituent stars of all binaries to revolve on circular orbits around each other. With this binary LOSVD, we calculate the observed LOSVD, the latter quantifying the movement of stars along the line of sight caused both by the orbits of the stars through the galaxy and by the motion of the stars in binary systems. As suggested by the changes induced in the moments, the observed LOSVD becomes more peaked around zero velocity and develops broader high-velocity wings. These results are important in interpreting kinematics derived from integrated-light spectra of low-mass galaxies and many of the intermediate results are useful for comparison with Monte Carlo simulations. [source]

Thick gas discs in faint dwarf galaxies

Sambit Roychowdhury
ABSTRACT We determine the intrinsic axial ratio distribution of the gas discs of extremely faint MB < ,14.5 dwarf irregular galaxies. We start with the measured (beam corrected) distribution of apparent axial ratios in the H i 21-cm images of dwarf irregular galaxies observed as part of the Faint Irregular Galaxy GMRT Survey (FIGGS). Assuming that the discs can be approximated as oblate spheroids, the intrinsic axial ratio distribution can be obtained from the observed apparent axial ratio distribution. We use a variety of methods to do this, and our final results are based on using Lucy's deconvolution algorithm. This method is constrained to produce physically plausible distributions, and also has the added advantage of allowing for observational errors to be accounted for. While one might a priori expect that gas discs would be thin (because collisions between gas clouds would cause them to quickly settle down to a thin disc), we find that the H i discs of faint dwarf irregulars are quite thick, with mean axial ratio ,q,, 0.6. While this is substantially larger than the typical value of ,0.2 for the stellar discs of large spiral galaxies, it is consistent with the much larger ratio of velocity dispersion to rotational velocity (,/vc) in dwarf galaxy H i discs as compared to that in spiral galaxies. Our findings have implications for studies of the mass distribution and the Tully,Fisher relation for faint dwarf irregular galaxies, where it is often assumed that the gas is in a thin disc. [source]

High-resolution simulations of galaxy mergers: resolving globular cluster formation

F. Bournaud
ABSTRACT Massive star clusters observed in galaxy mergers are often suggested to be progenitors of globular clusters. To study this hypothesis, we performed the highest resolution simulation of a gas-rich galaxy merger so far. The formation of massive star clusters of 105 to 107 M,, triggered by the galaxy interaction, is directly resolved in this model. We show that these clusters are tightly bound structures with little net rotation, due to evolve into compact long-lived stellar systems. Massive clusters formed in galaxy mergers are thus robust candidates for progenitors of long-lived globular clusters. The simulated cluster mass spectrum is consistent with theory and observations. Tidal dwarf galaxies of 108,9 M, can form at the same time, and appear to be part of a different class of objects, being more extended and rotating. [source]

Formation of blue compact dwarf galaxies from merging and interacting gas-rich dwarfs

Kenji Bekki
ABSTRACT We present the results of numerical simulations which show the formation of blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies from merging between very gas-rich dwarfs with extended H i gas discs. We show that dwarf,dwarf merging can trigger central starbursts and form massive compact cores dominated by young stellar populations. We also show that the pre-existing old stellar components in merger precursor dwarfs can become diffuse low surface brightness components after merging. The compact cores dominated by younger stellar populations and embedded in more diffusely distributed older ones can be morphologically classified as BCDs. Since new stars can be formed from gas transferred from the outer part of the extended gas discs of merger precursors, new stars can be very metal-poor ([Fe/H] < ,1). Owing to very high gaseous pressure exceeding 105 kB (where kB is the Boltzmann constant) during merging, compact star clusters can be formed in forming BCDs. The BCDs formed from merging can still have extended H i gas discs surrounding their blue compact cores. We discuss whether tidal interaction of gas-rich dwarfs without merging can also form BCDs. [source]

Stellar archaeology: Exploring the Universe with metal-poor stars

A. Frebel
Abstract The abundance patterns of the most metal-poor stars in the Galactic halo and small dwarf galaxies provide us with a wealth of information about the early Universe. In particular, these old survivors allow us to study the nature of the first stars and supernovae, the relevant nucleosynthesis processes responsible for the formation and evolution of the elements, early star- and galaxy formation processes, as well as the assembly process of the stellar halo from dwarf galaxies a long time ago. This review presents the current state of the field of "stellar archaeology" , the diverse use of metal-poor stars to explore the high-redshift Universe and its constituents. In particular, the conditions for early star formation are discussed, how these ultimately led to a chemical evolution, and what the role of the most iron-poor stars is for learning about Population III supernovae yields. Rapid neutron-capture signatures found in metal-poor stars can be used to obtain stellar ages, but also to constrain this complex nucleosynthesis process with observational measurements. Moreover, chemical abundances of extremely metal-poor stars in different types of dwarf galaxies can be used to infer details on the formation scenario of the halo and the role of dwarf galaxies as Galactic building blocks. I conclude with an outlook as to where this field may be heading within the next decade. A table of ~ 1000 metal-poor stars and their abundances as collected from the literature is provided in electronic format (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

The effect of clouds on the dynamical and chemical evolution of gas-rich dwarf galaxies

S. Recchi
Abstract We study the effects of clouds on the dynamical and chemical evolution of gas-rich dwarf galaxies, in particular focusing on two model galaxies similar to IZw18 and NGC 1569. We consider both scenarios, clouds put at the beginning of the simulation and continuously created infalling ones. Due to dynamical processes and thermal evaporation, the clouds survive only a few tens of Myr, but during this time they act as an additional cooling agent and the internal energy ofcloudy models is typically reduced by 20,40% in comparison with models without clouds. The clouds delay the development of large-scale outflows, therefore helping to retain a larger amount of gas inside the galaxy. However, especially in models with continuous creation of infalling clouds, their bullet effect can pierce the expanding supershell and create holes through which the superbubble can vent freshly produced metals. Moreover, assuming a pristine chemical composition for the clouds, their interaction with the superbubble dilutes the gas, reducing the metallicity (by up to ,0.4 dex) with respect to the one attained by diffuse models (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Metallicity gradients: Mass dependency in dwarf elliptical galaxies,

M. Koleva
Abstract The formation and evolution of galaxies is imprinted on their stellar population radial gradients. Two recent articles present conflicting results concerning the mass dependence of the metallicity gradients for early-type dwarf galaxies. On one side, Spolaor et al. (2009) show a tight positive correlation between the total metallicity [Z /H] and the mass. On the other side, in a distinct sample, we do not find any trend involving [Fe/H] (Koleva et al. 2009). In order to investigate the origin of the discrepancy, we examine various factors that may affect the determination of the gradients: namely the sky subtraction and the signal-to-noise ratio. We conclude that our detection of gradients are well above the possible analysis biases. Then, we measured the [Mg/Fe] relative abundance profile and found moderate gradients. The derived [Z /H] gradients scatter around ,0.4 dex/re. The two samples contain the same types of objects and the reason of the disagreement is still not understood (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Early-type dwarf galaxies with spiral structure

T. Lisker
Abstract A significant fraction of Virgo cluster early-type dwarf (dE) galaxies exhibit disk substructure, like spiral arms and bars. Are these disks the still visible remnants of late-type progenitor galaxies that harassment transformed into dEs? Simulations of harassment predict tidal debris arcs around the remnants, as well as a distorted outer structure. We aimed at detecting such signatures by means of very deep ESO 2.2m/WFI images of dEs with weak spiral structure. Here, we present a preliminary analysis of these images and their implications (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Stellar populations of seven early-type dwarf galaxies and their nuclei,

S. Paudel
Abstract Dwarf galaxies are the numerically dominating population in the dense regions of the universe. Although they seem to be simple systems at first view, the stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies (dEs) might be fairly complex. Nucleated dEs are of particular interest, since a number of objects exhibit different stellar populations in their nuclei and host galaxy. We present stellar population parameters obtained from integrated optical spectra using a Lick index analysis of seven nucleated dwarf elliptical galaxies and their nuclei. After subtracting the scaled galaxy spectra from the nucleus spectra, we compared them with one another and explore their stellar populations. As a preliminary result, we find that the luminosity weighted ages of the nuclei slightly lower than those of galaxies, however, we do not see any significant difference in metallicity of the host galaxies and their nuclei (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Simulations of the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies

S. Valcke
Abstract We present models of the formation and evolution of isolated dwarf galaxies. The models follow the evolution of an initially homogeneous gas cloud collapsing in a pre-existing dark-matter halo. These simplified initial conditions are supported by the merger trees of isolated dwarf galaxies extracted from the milli-Millennium Simulation. An extensive comparison of the models to observations was made. The models' surface brightness profiles are well fitted by Sérsic profiles and the correlations between the models' Sérsic parameters and luminosity agree with the observations. We have also compared model predictions for the half-light radius Re, central velocity dispersion ,c, broad band colour B , V, metallicity [Z/Z,] versus luminosity relations and for the location relative to the fundamental plane with the available data. In all cases the models give the correct slope, in most cases we also get the zero-point right (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Dwarf spheroidal galaxies in the M81 group of galaxies

S. Lianou
Abstract We study the properties of the dwarf galaxy population in the nearby interacting M81 group of galaxies. In particular, we are deriving the metallicity distribution functions, the ages and the star formation histories of these dwarf galaxies based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We are correlating this information with the dwarf galaxies' position in the group in order to derive the impact of interactions and environment on their evolution. Here we present preliminary results on the metallicity distribution functions of dwarf spheroidals in the M81 group (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Testing of the dwarf galaxy content and the evolutionary status of nearby groups of galaxies

J. Vennik
Abstract We carried out visual and parametric searches for dwarf galaxies in five loose groups of galaxies. Follow-up spectroscopy with the HET has shown a 50% success rate of morphological selection. The evolutionary status of the studied groups differs: while the NGC 6962 group has a partially relaxed core, surrounded by an infall region, the NGC 5005/5033 group and the IC 65 group, which consist only of late-type galaxies, are probably still assembling (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Evolution of dwarf galaxies in the Centaurus A group

D. Crnojevi
Abstract The study of (dwarf) galaxies in nearby groups is one among the most powerful tools that can be used to investigate galaxy evolution, chemical enrichment and environmental effects on these objects. The Centaurus A group (at a distance of ,4 Mpc) is dynamically evolved and contains about 30 dwarf companions of different morphologies and stellar contents. Here we present the first results for the dwarf spheroidal galaxy population in this group. We use archival HST/ACS data to study their resolved stellar content. The resulting metallicity distribution functions reveal metal-poor populations and wide metallicity spreads for each galaxy. We find no clear trend of the derived physical properties as a function of galaxy position in the group. Finally, we compare our results to the dwarf population of the Local Group, and find no outstanding differences (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Ultraviolet color-magnitude relation of early-type dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster

S. Kim
Abstract We present ultraviolet (UV) color-magnitude relations (CMRs) for dwarf ellipticals (dEs) and dwarf lenticulars (dS0s) in the Virgo cluster. We used the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) GR3 photometric data in far-ultraviolet (FUV) and near-ultraviolet (NUV) passbands combined with SDSS DR5 data. We found that dS0s as well as peculiar dEs (dEs with blue center and disk) found by Lisker et al. (2006a, b) show distinct locus from that of ordinary dEs in UV CMRs. The dS0s and peculiar dEs have bluer UV colors than ordinary dEs at a fixed optical luminosity. Furthermore, UV colors of dEs in outer region of the cluster are systematically bluer than those in inner region. Since UV flux is sensitive to the presence of young stellar population from recent star formation activity, our results suggest that there are different star formation histories among different subsample of early-type dwarf galaxies in Virgo cluster concerning their morphology and environmental effect (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

How to disentangle the group of dwarf elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster

T. Gotthart
Abstract A sample of early-type dwarf galaxies of the Virgo cluster extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey is analyzed to search for two different populations: galaxies which were formed in the cluster and galaxies which were accreted at a later stage and which were stripped during this process. Photometric and spectroscopic data has been used for the analysis. Due to the low signal-to-noise ratios of the data, the results are however inconclusive (© 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]