Theoretical determination of HI vertical scale heights in the dwarf galaxies DDO 154, Ho II, IC 2574 and NGC 2366

Arunima Banerjee, Chanda J. Jog, E. Brinks, Ioannis Bagetakos

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In this paper, we model dwarf galaxies as a two-component system of gravitationally coupled stars and atomic hydrogen gas in the external force field of a pseudo-isothermal dark matter halo, and numerically obtain the radial distribution of HI vertical scale heights. This is done for a group of four dwarf galaxies (DDO 154, Ho II, IC 2574 and NGC 2366) for which most necessary input parameters are available from observations. The formulation of the equations takes into account the rising rotation curves generally observed in dwarf galaxies. The inclusion of self-gravity of the gas into the model at par with that of the stars results in scale heights that are smaller than what was obtained by previous authors. This is important as the gas scale height is often used for deriving other physical quantities. The inclusion of gas self-gravity is particularly relevant in the case of dwarf galaxies where the gas cannot be considered a minor perturbation to the mass distribution of the stars. We find that three out of four galaxies studied show a flaring of their HI discs with increasing radius, by a factor of a few within several disc scale lengths. The fourth galaxy has a thick HI disc throughout. This flaring arises as a result of the gas velocity dispersion remaining constant or decreasing only slightly while the disc mass distribution declines exponentially as a function of radius.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: individual: IC 2574
  • galaxies: individual: DDO 154
  • galaxies: irregular
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics


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