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Modelling the gas kinematics of an atypical Lyman-alpha emitting compact dwarf galaxy

17 Oct 2017 . category: academic . Comments
#astrophysics #galaxy #simulations #article

This work started as a ramification of my Physics undergraduate thesis at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. It was developed with the collaboarotion of Dr. Jaime Forero-Romero, Dr. Max Gronke, Nicolás Garavito-Camargo and Dr. Mark Dijkstra.


Star-forming compact dwarf galaxies (CDGs) resemble the expected pristine conditions of the first galaxies in the Universe and are the best systems to test models on primordial galaxy formation and evolution. Here, we report on one of such CDGs, Tololo 1214-277, which presents a broad, single peaked, highly symmetric Ly α emission line that had evaded theoretical interpretation so far. In this paper, we reproduce for the first time these line features with two different physically motivated kinematic models: an interstellar medium composed by outflowing clumps with random motions and an homogeneous gaseous sphere undergoing solid body rotation. The multiphase model requires a clump velocity dispersion of 54.3 +/- 0.6 km/s with outflows of 54.3 +/- 5.1 km/s, while the bulk rotation velocity is constrained to be 348 +75−48 km/s. We argue that the results from the multiphase model provide a correct interpretation of the data. In that case, the clump velocity dispersion implies a dynamical mass of 2 x 109M_solar, 10 times its baryonic mass. If future kinematic maps of Tololo 1214-277 confirm the velocities suggested by the multiphase model, it would provide additional support to expect such kinematic state in primordial galaxies, opening the opportunity to use the models and methods presented in this paper to constrain the physics of star formation and feedback in the early generation of Lya emitting galaxies.


Our research article was published on the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) Volume 474, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages 12–19, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx2699. It is publicly available in the arXiv.



Maria Camila loves learning, traveling and meeting new friends. She doesn't like trying new food tho, but she compensates it in ice-cream eating!