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Astronomy Colloquium
Gas dynamics and star formation in dwarf galaxies
Date: Thursday, February 11th
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Place: 4421 Sterling Hall, Coffee and Cookies at 3:15 PM
Speaker: Dr. Federico Lelli, Case Western Reserve University
Abstract: Dwarf galaxies are the most common types of galaxies in the Universe. They play a key role in understanding the process of star formation and the effect of stellar feedback on galaxy evolution. I will present recent results from interferometric HI observations, focusing on two key types of low-mass galaxies: starburst dwarfs and tidal dwarfs.

Starburst dwarfs in the nearby Universe represent our best analogues to high-z star-forming galaxies. We find that the inner rotation curves of starburst dwarfs rise more steeply than those of typical dwarf irregulars, pointing to a close link between intense star formation and galaxy dynamics (distribution of baryons and dark matter).

Tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) are recycled objects that form within the tidal debris around interacting and merging galaxies. TDGs may represent a new, unexplored channel for the formation of dwarf galaxies. We find that putative TDGs are associated with rotating gas disks and seem to be nearly devoid of dark matter, as predicted by numerical simulations in a LCDM context. I will discuss the implications of these results for the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies.
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