Formation and evolution of blue compact dwarfs: The origin of their steep rotation curves

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© 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.The origin of the observed steep rotation curves of blue compact dwarf galaxies (BCDs) remains largely unexplained by theoretical models of BCD formation. We therefore investigate the rotation curves in BCDs formed from mergers between gas-rich dwarf irregular galaxies based on the results of numerical simulations for BCD formation. The principal results are as follows. The dark matter of merging dwarf irregulars undergoes a central concentration so that the central density can become up to six times higher than those of the initial dwarf irregulars. However, the more compact dark matter halo alone cannot reproduce the gradient differences observed between dwarf irregulars and BCDs. We provide further support that the central concentration of gas due to rapid gas transfer to the central regions of dwarf-dwarf mergers is responsible for the observed difference in rotation curve gradients. The BCDs with central gas concentration formed from merging can thus show steeply rising rotation curves in their central regions. Such gas concentration is also responsible for central starbursts of BCDs and the high central surface brightness and is consistent with previous BCD studies. We discuss the relationship between rotational velocity gradient and surface brightness, the dependence of BCD rotation curves on star formation threshold density, progenitor initial profile, interaction type, and merger mass ratio, as well as potential evolutionary links between dwarf irregulars, BCDs, and compact dwarf irregulars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3314-3324
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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