Journal Article

Three-dimensional spectroscopy of local luminous compact blue galaxies: kinematic maps of a sample of 22 objects

J. Pérez-Gallego, R. Guzmán, A. Castillo-Morales, J. Gallego, F. J. Castander, C. A. Garland, N. Gruel, D. J. Pisano and J. Zamorano

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 418, issue 4, pages 2350-2366
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Three-dimensional spectroscopy of local luminous compact blue galaxies: kinematic maps of a sample of 22 objects

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We use three-dimensional optical spectroscopy observations of a sample of 22 local luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs) to create kinematic maps. By means of these, we classify the kinematics of these galaxies into three different classes: rotating disc (RD), perturbed rotation (PR) and complex kinematics (CK). We find 48 per cent are RDs, 28 per cent are PRs and 24 per cent are CKs. RDs show rotational velocities that range between ∼50 and ∼200 km s−1, and dynamical masses that range between ∼1 × 109 and ∼3 × 1010 M. We also address the following two fundamental questions through the study of the kinematic maps: (i) What processes are triggering the current starburst in LCBGs? We search our maps of the galaxy velocity fields for signatures of recent interactions and close companions that may be responsible for the enhanced star formation in our sample. We find that 5 per cent of objects show evidence of a recent major merger, 10 per cent of a minor merger and 45 per cent of a companion. This argues in favour of ongoing interactions with close companions as a mechanism for the enhanced star formation activity in these galaxies. (ii) What processes may eventually quench the current starbust in LCBGs? Velocity and velocity width maps, together with emission line ratio maps, can reveal signatures of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) activity or supernova (SN)-driven galactic winds that could halt the current burst. We find only 5 per cent of objects with clear evidence of AGN activity and 27 per cent with kinematics consistent with SN-driven galactic winds. Therefore, a different mechanism may be responsible for quenching the star formation in LCBGs. Finally, from our analysis, we find that the velocity widths of RDs, rather than accounting exclusively for the rotational nature of these objects, may account as well for other kinematic components and may not be good tracers of their dynamical masses.

Keywords: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: starburst

Journal Article.  8910 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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