SDSS IV MaNGA: Discovery of an Hα Blob Associated with a Dry Galaxy Pair—Ejected Gas or a "Dark" Galaxy Candidate?

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Lin, L 
Lin, JH 
Hsu, CH 
Fu, H 
Huang, S 

We report the discovery of a mysterious giant Hα blob that is ~8 kpc away from the main MaNGA target 1-24145, one component of a dry galaxy merger, and has been identified in the first-year SDSS-IV MaNGA data. The size of the Hα blob is ~3–4 kpc in radius, and the Hα distribution is centrally concentrated. However, there is no optical continuum counterpart in the deep broadband images reaching ~26.9 mag arcsec−2 in surface brightness. We estimate that the masses of the ionized and cold gases are 3.3 x 105 M and 1.3 x 109 M, respectively. The emission-line ratios indicate that the Hα blob is photoionized by a combination of massive young stars and AGNs. Furthermore, the ionization line ratio decreases from MaNGA 1-24145 to the Hα blob, suggesting that the primary ionizing source may come from MaNGA 1-24145, likely a low-activity AGN. Possible explanations for this Hα blob include the AGN outflow, the gas remnant being tidally or ram-pressure stripped from MaNGA 1-24145, or an extremely low surface brightness galaxy. However, the stripping scenario is less favored according to galaxy merger simulations and the morphology of the Hα blob. With the current data, we cannot distinguish whether this Hα blob is ejected gas due to a past AGN outburst, or a special category of "ultra-diffuse galaxy" interacting with MaNGA 1-24145 that further induces the gas inflow to fuel the AGN in MaNGA 1-24145.

galaxies: evolution, galaxies: interactions, galaxies: peculiar
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Astrophysical Journal
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IOP Publishing
Science and Technology Facilities Council (ST/M001172/1)
The work is supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology of Taiwan under the grant MOST 103-2112-M-001-031-MY3. H.F. acknowledges support from the NSF grant AST-1614326 and funds from the University of Iowa. S. Peirani acknowledges support from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS long-term invitation fellowship). J.G.F.-T. is currently supported by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) through the PhD grant 0101973 and the Région de Franche-Comté and by the French Programme National de Cosmologie et Galaxies (PNCG). Funding for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and the participating institutions. SDSS-IV acknowledges support and resources from the Center for High-Performance Computing at the University of Utah.