Detection of Molecular Gas in Void Galaxies : Implications for Star Formation in Isolated Environments [GA]

We present the detection of molecular gas from galaxies located in nearby voids using the CO line emission as a tracer. The observations were done using the 45m Nobeyama Radio Telescope. Void galaxies lie in the most under dense parts of our universe and a significant fraction of them are gas rich, late type spiral galaxies. Although isolated, they have ongoing star formation but appear to be slowly evolving compared to galaxies in denser environments. Not much is known about their star formation properties or cold gas content. In this study we searched for molecular gas in five void galaxies. The galaxies were selected based on their relatively high IRAS fluxes or Ha line luminosities, both of which signify ongoing star formation. All five galaxies appear to be isolated and two lie within the Bootes void. We detected CO line emission from four of the five galaxies in our sample and the molecular gas masses lie between 10^8 to 10^9 Msolar. We did follow-up Ha imaging observations of three detected galaxies using the Himalayan Chandra Telescope and determined their star formation rates (SFRs). The SFR varies from 0.2 to 1 Msolar/yr, which is similar to that observed in local galaxies. Our study indicates that although void galaxies reside in under dense regions, their disks contain molecular gas and have star formation rates similar to galaxies in denser environments.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Das, T. Saito, D. Iono, et. al.
Tue, 27 Oct 15

Comments: 32 pages, 5 figures, 4 tables. To appear in ApJ