The nature of warm, ionized gas outside of galaxies may illuminate several key galaxy evolutionary processes. A serendipitous observation by the MaNGA survey has revealed a large, asymmetric Hα complex with no optical counterpart that extends ≈8'' (≈6.3 kpc) beyond the effective radius of a dusty, starbursting galaxy. This Hα extension is approximately three times the effective radius of the host galaxy and displays a tail-like morphology. We analyze its gas-phase metallicities, gaseous kinematics, and emission-line ratios and discuss whether this Hα extension could be diffuse ionized gas, a gas accretion event, or something else. We find that this warm, ionized gas structure is most consistent with gas accretion through recycled wind material, which could be an important process that regulates the low-mass end of the galaxy stellar mass function.
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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.
D.B. is supported by grant RSCF-14-22-00041. A.W. acknowledges support from a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. J.H.K. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under grant number AYA2013-41243-P and thanks the Astrophysics Research Institute of Liverpool John Moores University for their hospitality, and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports for financial support of his visit there, through grant number PR2015-00512.
Cheung, Edmond; Stark, David V.; Huang, Song; Rubin, Kate H. R.; Lin, Lihwai; Tremonti, Christy; Zhang, Kai; Yan, Renbin; Bizyaev, Dmitry; and Boquien, Médéric, "SDSS-IV MaNGA: A Serendipitous Observation of a Potential Gas Accretion Event" (2016). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 496.