Three-dimensional spectroscopy of local luminous compact blue galaxies: kinematic maps of a sample of 22 objects

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Pérez Gallego, J.
Guzmán, R.
Castillo Morales, África
Castander, F. J.
Garland, C. A.
Gruel, N.
Pisano, D. J.
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We use three-dimensional optical spectroscopy observations of a sample of 22 local luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs) to create kinematic maps. By means of these, we classify the kinematics of these galaxies into three different classes: rotating disc (RD), perturbed rotation (PR) and complex kinematics (CK). We find 48 per cent are RDs, 28 per cent are PRs and 24 per cent are CKs. RDs show rotational velocities that range between similar to 50 and similar to 200 km s(-1), and dynamical masses that range between similar to 1 x 10(9) and similar to 3 x 10(10) M(circle dot). We also address the following two fundamental questions through the study of the kinematic maps: (i) What processes are triggering the current starburst in LCBGs? We search our maps of the galaxy velocity fields for signatures of recent interactions and close companions that may be responsible for the enhanced star formation in our sample. We find that 5 per cent of objects show evidence of a recent major merger, 10 per cent of a minor merger and 45 per cent of a companion. This argues in favour of ongoing interactions with close companions as a mechanism for the enhanced star formation activity in these galaxies. (ii) What processes may eventually quench the current starbust in LCBGs? Velocity and velocity width maps, together with emission line ratio maps, can reveal signatures of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) activity or supernova (SN)-driven galactic winds that could halt the current burst. We find only 5 per cent of objects with clear evidence of AGN activity and 27 per cent with kinematics consistent with SN-driven galactic winds. Therefore, a different mechanism may be responsible for quenching the star formation in LCBGs. Finally, from our analysis, we find that the velocity widths of RDs, rather than accounting exclusively for the rotational nature of these objects, may account as well for other kinematic components and may not be good tracers of their dynamical masses.
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2011 RAS. © The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. It is a pleasure to thank the many people who welcomed our project into the 3.5-m telescope in CAHA, where we always felt at home. We also thank the invaluable work of our anonymous referee, which greatly improved the quality of this manuscript. J. Pérez Gallego thanks Sun Mi Chung, Bruno Ferreira, Carlos Hoyos, Carlos Román and Sebastián Sánchez for their selfless help and interesting conversations throughout the development of the work presented in this paper. J. Pérez Gallego acknowledges support from a University of Florida Alumni Fellowship, and R. Guzman from NASA grant LTSA NA65-11635. This work is partially funded by the Spanish MICINN under the Consolider Ingenio 2010 Program grant CSD2006-00070: First Science with the GTC ( This work is also partially funded by the Spanish Programa de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grants AYA2006-02358 and AYA2006-15698-C02-02.
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