Kinematics of dwarf galaxies in gas-rich groups, and the survival and detectability of tidal dwarf galaxies

S.M. Sweet, M.J. Drinkwater, Gerhardt Meurer, V. Kilborn, Fiona Audcent-Ross, H. Baumgardt, Kenji Bekki

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© 2015 The Authors. We present DEIMOS multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) of 22 star-forming dwarf galaxies located in four gas-rich groups, including six newly discovered dwarfs. Two of the galaxies are strong tidal dwarf galaxy (TDG) candidates based on our luminosity-metallicity relation definition. We model the rotation curves of these galaxies. Our sample shows low mass-tolight ratios (M/L = 0.73 ± 0.39M⊙/L⊙) as expected for young, star-forming dwarfs. One of the galaxies in our sample has an apparently strongly falling rotation curve, reaching zero rotational velocity outside the turnover radius of rturn = 1.2re. This may be (1) a polar ring galaxy, with a tilted bar within a face-on disc; (2) a kinematic warp. These scenarios are indistinguishable with our current data due to limitations of slit alignment inherent to MOSmode observations. We consider whether TDGs can be detected based on their tidal radius, beyond which tidal stripping removes kinematic tracers such as Ha emission. When the tidal radius is less than about twice the turnover radius, the expected falling rotation curve cannot be reliably measured. This is problematic for as much as half of our sample, and indeed more generally, galaxies in groups like these. Further to this, the Ha light that remains must be sufficiently bright to be detected; this is only the case for three (14 per cent) galaxies in our sample. We conclude that the falling rotation curves expected of TDGs are intrinsically difficult to detect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2508-2528
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2016


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