Journal Article

FIGGS: Faint Irregular Galaxies GMRT Survey – overview, observations and first results

Ayesha Begum, Jayaram N. Chengalur, I. D. Karachentsev, M. E. Sharina and S. S. Kaisin

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 3, pages 1667-1682
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13150.x
FIGGS: Faint Irregular Galaxies GMRT Survey – overview, observations and first results

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The Faint Irregular Galaxies GMRT Survey (FIGGS) is a Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) based H i imaging survey of a systematically selected sample of extremely faint nearby dwarf irregular galaxies. The primary goal of FIGGS is to provide a comprehensive and statistically robust characterization of the neutral interstellar medium properties of faint, gas-rich dwarf galaxies. The FIGGS galaxies represent the extremely low mass end of the dwarf irregular galaxies population, with a median MB∼−13.0 and median H i mass of ∼3 × 107M, extending the baseline in mass and luminosity space for a comparative study of galaxy properties. The H i data are supplemented with observations at other wavelengths. In addition, distances accurate to ∼10 per cent are available for most of the sample galaxies. This paper gives an introduction to FIGGS, describes the GMRT observations and presents the first results from the H i observations. From the FIGGS data, we confirm the trend of increasing H i to optical diameter ratio with decreasing optical luminosity; the median ratio of DH i/DHo for the FIGGS sample is 2.4. Further, on comparing our data with aperture synthesis surveys of bright spirals, we find at best marginal evidence for a decrease in average surface density with decreasing H i mass. To a good approximation, the discs of gas-rich galaxies, ranging over three orders of magnitude in H i mass, can be described as being drawn from a family with fixed H i average surface density.

Keywords: galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; radio lines: galaxies

Journal Article.  8417 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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