MHONGOOSE discovery of a gas-rich low-surface brightness galaxy in the Dorado Group

F. M. Maccagni, W. J. G. de Blok, P. E. Mancera Piña, R. Ragusa, E. Iodice, M. Spavone, S. McGaugh, K. A. Oman, T. A. Oosterloo, B. S. Koribalski, M. Kim, E. A. K. Adams, P. Amram, A. Bosma, F. Bigiel, E. Brinks, L. Chemin, F. Combes, B. Gibson, J. HealyB. W. Holwerda, G. I. G. Józsa, P. Kamphuis, D. Kleiner, S. Kurapati, A. Marasco, K. Spekkens, S. Veronese, F. Walter, N. Zabel, A. Zijlstra

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We present the discovery of a low-mass gas-rich low-surface brightness galaxy in the Dorado Group, at a distance of 17.7 Mpc. Combining deep MeerKAT 21-cm observations from the MeerKAT HI Observations of Nearby Galactic Objects: Observing Southern Emitters (MHONGOOSE) survey with deep photometric images from the VST Early-type Galaxy Survey (VEGAS) we find a stellar and neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) gas mass of $M_\star = 2.23\times10^6$ M$_\odot$ and $M_{\rm HI}=1.68\times10^6$ M$_\odot$, respectively. This low-surface brightness galaxy is the lowest mass HI detection found in a group beyond the Local Universe ($D\gtrsim 10$ Mpc). The dwarf galaxy has the typical overall properties of gas-rich low surface brightness galaxies in the Local group, but with some striking differences. Namely, the MHONGOOSE observations reveal a very low column density ($\sim 10^{18-19}$ cm$^{-2}$) HI disk with asymmetrical morphology possibly supported by rotation and higher velocity dispersion in the centre. There, deep optical photometry and UV-observations suggest a recent enhancement of the star formation. Found at galactocentric distances where in the Local Group dwarf galaxies are depleted of cold gas (at $390$ projected-kpc distance from the group centre), this galaxy is likely on its first orbit within the Dorado group. We discuss the possible environmental effects that may have caused the formation of the HI disk and the enhancement of star formation, highlighting the short-lived phase (a few hundreds of Myr) of the gaseous disk, before either SF or hydrodynamical forces will deplete the gas of the galaxy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 May 2024


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