A kinematic study of the neutral and ionized gas in the irregular dwarf galaxies IC 4662 and NGC 5408

Janine Van Eymeren*, Bärbel S. Koribalski, Ángel R. López-Sánchez, Ralf Jürgen Dettmar, Dominik J. Bomans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The feedback between massive stars and the interstellar medium is one of the most important processes in the evolution of dwarf galaxies. This interaction results in numerous neutral and ionized gas structures that have been found both in the disc and in the halo of these galaxies. However, their origin and fate are still poorly understood.We here present new H i and optical data of two Magellanic irregular dwarf galaxies in the Local Volume: IC 4662 and NGC 5408. The H i line data were obtained with the Australia Telescope Compact Array and are part of the 'Local Volume H i Survey'. They are complemented by optical images and spectroscopic data obtained with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) New Technology Telescope and the ESO 3.6-m telescope. Our main aim is to study the kinematics of the neutral and ionized gas components in order to search for outflowing gas structures and to make predictions about their fate. Therefore, we perform a Gaussian decomposition of the H i and Hα line profiles.We find the H i gas envelopes of IC 4662 and NGC 5408 to extend well beyond the optical discs, with H i to optical diameter ratios of above 4. The optical disc is embedded into the central H i maximum in both galaxies. However, higher resolution H i maps show that the H i intensity peaks are typically offset from the prominent H ii regions.While NGC 5408 shows a fairly regular H i velocity field, which allows us to derive a rotation curve, IC 4662 reveals a rather twisted H i velocity field, possibly caused by a recent merger event. We detect outflows with velocities between 20 and 60 km s-1 in our Hα spectra of both galaxies, sometimes with H i counterparts of similar velocity. We suggest the existence of expanding superbubbles, especially in NGC 5408. This is also supported by the detection of full width at half-maxima as high as 70 km s-1 in Hα, which cannot be explained by thermal broadening alone. In the case of NGC 5408, we compare our results with the escape velocity of the galaxy, which shows that the measured expansion velocities are in all cases too low to allow the gas to escape from the gravitational potential of NGC 5408. This result is consistent with studies of other dwarf galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-132
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: individual: IC 4662
  • Galaxies: individual: NGC 5408
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: structure


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