Journal Article

Deep Fabry–Perot Hα observations of two Sculptor group galaxies, NGC 247 and 300

J. Hlavacek-Larrondo, M. Marcelin, B. Epinat, C. Carignan, M.-M. de Denus-Baillargeon, O. Daigle and O. Hernandez

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 416, issue 1, pages 509-521
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19063.x
Deep Fabry–Perot Hα observations of two Sculptor group galaxies, NGC 247 and 300

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It has been suggested that diffuse ionized gas can extend all the way to the end of the H i disc, and even beyond, such as in the case of the warped galaxy NGC 253 (Bland-Hawthorn et al.). Detecting ionized gas at these radii could carry significant implications as to the distribution of dark matter in galaxies. With the aim of detecting this gas, we carried out a deep Hα kinematical analysis of two Sculptor group galaxies, NGC 247 and 300. The Fabry–Perot data were taken at the 36-cm Marseille Telescope in La Silla, Chile, offering a large field of view. With almost 20 hours of observations for each galaxy, very faint diffuse emission is detected. Typical emission measures of 0.1 cm−6 pc are reached. For NGC 247, emission extending up to a radius comparable with that of the H i disc (r∼ 13 arcmin) is found, but no emission is seen beyond the H i disc. For NGC 300, we detect ionized gas on the entirety of our field of view (rmax∼ 14 arcmin), and find that the bright H ii regions are embedded in a diffuse background. Using the deep data, extended optical rotation curves are obtained, as well as mass models. These are the most extended optical rotation curves thus far for these galaxies. We find no evidence suggesting that NGC 247 has a warped disc, and to account for our non-detection of Hα emission beyond its H i disc, as opposed to the warped galaxy NGC 253, our results favour the model in which, only through a warp, ionization by hot young stars in the central region of a galaxy can let photons escape and ionize the interstellar medium in the outer parts.

Keywords: instrumentation: interferometers; techniques: radial velocities; galaxies: individual: NGC 247; galaxies: individual: NGC 300; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

Journal Article.  8650 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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