(Almost) Dark Galaxies in the ALFALFA Survey: Isolated H I-bearing Ultra-diffuse Galaxies

We present a sample of 115 very low optical surface brightness, highly extended, HI-rich galaxies carefully selected from the ALFALFA survey that have similar optical absolute magnitudes, surface brightnesses, and radii to recently discovered "ultra-diffuse" galaxies (UDGs). However, these systems are bluer and have more irregular morphologies than other UDGs, are isolated, and contain significant reservoirs of HI. We find that while these sources have normal star formation rates for HI selected galaxies of similar stellar mass, they have very low star formation efficiencies. We further present deep optical and HI synthesis follow up imaging of three of these HI-bearing ultra-diffuse sources. We measure HI diameters extending to ~40 kpc, but note that while all three sources have large HI diameters for their stellar mass, they are consistent with the HI mass - HI radius relation. We further analyze the HI velocity widths and rotation velocities for the unresolved and resolved sources respectively, and find that the sources appear to inhabit halos of dwarf galaxies. We estimate spin parameters, and suggest that these sources may exist in high spin parameter halos, and as such may be potential HI-rich progenitors to the ultra-diffuse galaxies observed in cluster environments.

Publication Date:
May 31 2017
Date Submitted:
Aug 10 2018
The Astrophysical Journal
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 Record created 2018-08-10, last modified 2019-04-03

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