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Thin discs, thick dwarfs and the effects of stellar feedback

Rubén Sánchez-Janssen (ESO)

Évènements associés

  • Le lundi 21 juin 2010 de 11:00 à 12:00 - lieu : Salle 108, Batiment des Communs, Meudon

I will present an investigation on the role of stellar mass in shaping the intrinsic thickness of galaxy discs by determining the probability distribution of apparent axis ratios (b/a) for two different samples that probe the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function. We find that the b/a distribution has a characteristic ’U-shape’ and identify a limiting mass M ≈ 2×109 Msun below which low-mass galaxies start to be systematically thicker. This tendency holds for very faint (MB ≈ -8) dwarfs in the Local Volume, which are essentially spheroidal systems. We argue that galaxy shape is the result of the complex interplay between mass, specific angular momentum and stellar feedback effects. Thus, the increasing importance of turbulent motions in lower mass galaxies leads to the formation of thicker systems, a result supported by the latest hydrodynamical simulations of dwarf galaxy formation and other theoretical expectations. I will discuss several implications of this finding, including the formation of bars in faint galaxies, the deprojection of HI line profiles and simulations of environmental effects on the dwarf galaxy population.