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  1. Abstract

    We present results from an optical search for Local Group dwarf galaxy candidates associated with the Ultra-Compact High Velocity Clouds (UCHVCs) discovered by the ALFALFA neutral hydrogen survey. The ALFALFA UCHVCs are isolated, compact Hiclouds with projected sizes, velocities, and estimated Himasses that suggest they may be nearby dwarf galaxies, but that have no clear counterpart in existing optical survey data. We observed 26 UCHVCs with the WIYN 3.5 m telescope and One Degree Imager (ODI) in two broadband filters and searched the images for resolved stars with properties that match those of stars in typical dwarf galaxies at distances <2.5 Mpc. We identify one promising dwarf galaxy candidate at a distance of ∼570 kpc associated with the UCHVC AGC 268071, and five other candidates that may deserve additional follow-up. We carry out a detailed analysis of ODI imaging of a UCHVC that is close in both projected distance and radial velocity to the outer-halo Milky Way globular cluster Pal 3. We also use our improved detection methods to reanalyze images of five UCHVCs that were found to have possible optical counterparts during the first phase of the project, and confirm the detection of a possible stellar counterpart to the UCHVC AGC 249525 at an estimated distance of ∼2 Mpc. We compare the optical and Hiproperties of the dwarf galaxy candidates to the results from recent theoretical simulations that model satellite galaxy populations in group environments, as well as to the observed properties of galaxies in and around the Local Group.

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  2. Abstract The ratio of baryonic-to-dark matter in present-day galaxies constrains galaxy formation theories and can be determined empirically via the baryonic Tully–Fisher relation (BTFR), which compares a galaxy’s baryonic mass ( M bary ) to its maximum rotation velocity ( V max ). The BTFR is well determined at M bary > 10 8 M ⊙ , but poorly constrained at lower masses due to small samples and the challenges of measuring rotation velocities in this regime. For 25 galaxies with high-quality data and M bary ≲ 10 8 M ⊙ , we estimate M bary from infrared and H i observations and V max from the H i gas rotation. Many of the V max values are lower limits because the velocities are still rising at the edge of the detected H i disks ( R max ); consequently, most of our sample has lower velocities than expected from extrapolations of the BTFR at higher masses. To estimate V max , we map each galaxy to a dark matter halo assuming density profiles with and without cores. In contrast to noncored profiles, we find the cored profile rotation curves are still rising at R max values, similar to the data. When we compare the V max values derived from the cored density profiles to our M bary measurements, we find a turndown of the BTFR at low masses that is consistent with Λ cold dark matter predictions and implies baryon fractions of 1%–10% of the cosmic value. Although we are limited by the sample size and assumptions inherent in mapping measured rotational velocities to theoretical rotation curves, our results suggest that galaxy formation efficiency drops at masses below M bary ∼ 10 8 M ⊙ , corresponding to M 200 ∼ 10 10 M ⊙ . 
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  3. Abstract

    We present deep optical imaging and photometry of four objects classified as “Almost-Dark” galaxies in the Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-band Feed Array (ALFALFA) survey because of their gas-rich nature and extremely faint or missing optical emission in existing catalogs. They have Himasses of 107–109Mand distances of ∼9–100 Mpc. Observations with the WIYN 3.5 m telescope and One Degree Imager reveal faint stellar components with central surface brightnesses of ∼24–25magarcsec2in thegband. We also present the results of Hisynthesis observations with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. These Almost-Dark galaxies have been identified as possible tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) based on their proximity to one or more massive galaxies. We demonstrate that AGC 229398 and AGC 333576 likely have the low dark matter content and large effective radii representative of TDGs. They are located much farther from their progenitors than previously studied TDGs, suggesting they are older and more evolved. AGC 219369 is likely dark matter dominated, while AGC 123216 has a dark matter content that is unusually high for a TDG, but low for a normal dwarf galaxy. We consider possible mechanisms for the formation of the TDG candidates such as a traditional major merger scenario and gas ejection from a high-velocity flyby. Blind Hisurveys like ALFALFA enable the detection of gas-rich, optically faint TDGs that can be overlooked in other surveys, thereby providing a more complete census of the low-mass galaxy population and an opportunity to study TDGs at a more advanced stage of their life cycle.

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  4. Abstract

    We present environmental analyses for 13 KPNO International Spectroscopic Survey Green Pea (GP) galaxies. These galaxies were discovered via their strong [Oiii] emission in the redshift range 0.29 <z< 0.42, and they are undergoing a major burst of star formation. A primary goal of this study is to understand what role the environment plays in driving the current star formation activity. By studying the environments around these extreme star-forming galaxies, we can learn more about what triggers their star formation processes and how they fit into the narrative of galaxy evolution. Using the Hydra multifiber spectrograph on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope, we mapped out the galaxy distribution around each of the GPs (out to ∼15 Mpc at the redshifts of the targets). Using three density analysis methodologies chosen for their compatibility with the geometry of our redshift survey, we categorized the galaxian densities of the GPs into different density regimes. We find that the GPs in our sample tend to be located in low-density environments. We find no correlation between the density and the SFRs seen in the GPs. We conclude that the environments the GPs are found in are likely not the driving factor behind their extreme star formation activity.

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    We re-examine the extremely metal-poor dwarf galaxy AGC 198691 using a high quality spectrum obtained by the LBT’s MODS instrument. Previous spectral observations obtained from KOSMOS on the Mayall 4-m and the Blue channel spectrograph on the MMT 6.5-m telescope did not allow for the determination of sulfur, argon, or helium abundances. We report an updated and full chemical abundance analysis for AGC 198691, including confirmation of the extremely low “direct” oxygen abundance with a value of 12 + log (O/H) = 7.06 ± 0.03. AGC 198691’s low metallicity potentially makes it a high value target for helping determine the primordial helium abundance (Yp). Though complicated by a Na i night sky line partially overlaying the He i λ5876 emission line, the LBT/MODS spectrum proved adequate for determining AGC 198691’s helium abundance. We employ the recently expanded and improved model of Aver et al., incorporating higher Balmer and Paschen lines, augmented by the observation of the infrared helium emission line He i λ10830 obtained by Hsyu et al. Applying our full model produced a reliable helium abundance determination, consistent with the expectation for its metallicity. Although this is the lowest metallicity object with a detailed helium abundance, unfortunately, due to its faintness [EW(Hβ) < 100 Å] and the compromised He i λ5876, the resultant uncertainty on the helium abundance is too large to allow a significant improvement on the measurement of Yp.

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  6. Abstract We present results from deep H i and optical imaging of AGC 229101, an unusual H i source detected at v helio =7116 km s −1 in the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) blind H i survey. Initially classified as a candidate “dark” source because it lacks a clear optical counterpart in Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) or Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2) imaging, AGC 229101 has 10 9.31±0.05 M ⊙ of H i , but an H i line width of only 43 ± 9 km s −1 . Low-resolution Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) imaging and higher-resolution Very Large Array (VLA) B-array imaging show that the source is significantly elongated, stretching over a projected length of ∼80 kpc. The H i imaging resolves the source into two parts of roughly equal mass. WIYN partially populated One Degree Imager (pODI) optical imaging reveals a faint, blue optical counterpart coincident with the northern portion of the H i . The peak surface brightness of the optical source is only μ g ∼ 26.6 mag arcsec −2 , well below the typical cutoff that defines the isophotal edge of a galaxy, and its estimated stellar mass is only 10 7.32±0.33 M ⊙ , yielding an overall neutral gas-to-stellar mass ratio of M / M * = 98 − 52 + 111 . We demonstrate the extreme nature of this object by comparing its properties with those of other H i -rich sources in ALFALFA and the literature. We also explore potential scenarios that might explain the existence of AGC 229101, including a tidal encounter with neighboring objects and a merger of two dark H i clouds. 
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