Infrared properties of star forming dwarf galaxies

Vaduvescu, Ovidiu
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PhD Thesis, Proquest Dissertations And Theses 2006. Section 0267, Part 0606 233 pages; [Ph.D. dissertation].Canada: York University (Canada); 2006. Publication Number: AAT NR11637. Source: DAI-B 67/01, p. 316, Jul 2006</td>

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Dwarf galaxies are the most common galaxies in the Universe. They are systems believed to consist of matter in a near-primordial state, from which giant galaxies probably form. As such, they are important probes for studying matter in its near-primordial state. In an effort to study the main physical and chemical properties of dwarfs, the present thesis focuses upon the main physical properties of dwarfs. Two classes of star forming dwarf galaxies are considered: dwarf irregulars (dIs), and blue compact dwarfs (BCDs). A third class, dwarf ellipticals (dEs), is studied based on its structural properties and compared with dIs. Possible evolutionary connections are addressed between dIs and BCDs. To measure the luminosity, deep imaging in the near-infrared (NIR) is considered. Compared with the visible, the NIR domain gives a better gauge of the galaxy mass contained in the old stellar populations, minimising the starburst contribution and also the effects of extinction. Two observing samples of star-forming dwarf galaxies are considered. The first includes 34 dIs in the Local Volume closer than ˜ 5 Mpc. The second sample includes 16 BCDs in the Virgo Cluster. Overall, based on their structural and physical properties, closer links emerge between dIs, BCDs, and dEs. Comparing their structural properties, dIs and BCDs appear to share common origins, with the sech component modeling all the NIR flux for dIs and most of the flux for BCDs. On the fundamental plane, dIs and BCDs also show similar dynamical properties. Thus, BCDs seem to be dIs observed in a bursting phase. Taking into account their gas-to-mass fraction, BCDs cannot be considered closed systems, their shifted position in respect to dIs suggesting flows of gas such as infall of gas clouds. Comparing structural properties, dEs lie in the fundamental plane of dIs, suggesting an intimate link between the two systems, in the sense that dEs could be consider the final outcome of dIs after all gas is removed from the system. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)