Stellar dynamics of blue compact galaxies. II. Further indications of a merger in ESO 338-IG04
Journal article, 2008
Context: Luminous blue compact galaxies, common at ∼ 1 but now relatively rare, show disturbed kinematics in emission lines. Aims: As part of a programme to understand their formation and evolution, we have investigated the stellar dynamics of a number of nearby objects in this class. Methods: We obtained long-slit spectra with VLT/FORS2 in the spectral region covering the near-infrared calcium triplet. In this paper we focus on the well-known luminous blue compact galaxy ESO 338-IG04(Tololo 1924-416). A previous investigation, using Fabry-Perot interferometry, showed that this galaxy has a chaotic Hαvelocity field, indicating that either the galaxy is not in dynamical equilibrium or that Hαdoes not trace the gravitational potential due to feedback from star formation. Results: Along the apparent major axis, the stellar and ionised gas velocities for the most part follow each other. The chaotic velocity field must therefore be a sign that the young stellar population in ESO 338-IG04is not in dynamical equilibrium. The most likely explanation, which is also supported by its morphology, is that the galaxy has experienced a merger and that this has triggered the current starburst. Summarising the results of our programme so far, we note that emission-line velocity fields are not always reliable tracers of stellar motions, and go on to assess the implications for kinematic studies of similar galaxies at intermediate redshift. © 2008 ESO.
Galaxies: individual: ESO 338-IG04
Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics