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 Infrared Properties of Star-forming Dwarf Galaxies. II. Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxies in the Virgo ClusterA sample of 16 blue compact dwarf galaxies (BCDs) in the Virgo Clusterhas been imaged in the near-infrared (NIR) in J and Ks on the2.1 m telescope at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional in theSierra San Pedro Mártir in Mexico. Isophotes as faint asμJ=24 mag arcsec-2 andμKs=23 mag arcsec-2 have beenreached in most of the targets. Surface brightness profiles can befitted across the whole range of radii by the sum of two components: ahyperbolic secant (sech) function, which is known to fit the lightprofiles of dwarf irregular galaxies (dIs), and a Gaussian component,which quantifies the starburst near the center. Isophotal and totalfitted NIR magnitudes have been calculated, along with semimajor axes atμJ=23 mag arcsec-2 andμKs=22 mag arcsec-2. The diffuseunderlying component and the young starburst have been quantified usingthe profile fitting. Most color profiles show a constant color, betweenJ-Ks=0.7 and 0.9 mag. The diffuse component represents theoverwhelming majority of the NIR light for most BCDs, with the starburstenhancing the flux by less than about 0.3 mag. Linear correlations werefound between the sech scale length and the sech magnitude and betweenthe sech semimajor axis and the sech magnitude. Overall, galaxies withmore luminous diffuse components are larger and brighter in the center.The central burst correlates with the diffuse component, with brighterBCDs having stronger starbursts, suggesting that more massive objectsare forming stars more efficiently. BCDs lie on the fundamentalplane'' defined by dIs in Paper I, following the same relation betweensech absolute magnitude, sech central surface brightness, and thehydrogen line width W20, although the scatter is larger thanfor the dIs. On the other hand, correlations between the sech absolutemagnitude and the sech central surface brightness in Ks forBCDs and dIs are equally good, indicating that BCD line widths may beenhanced by turbulence or winds.These data were acquired at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacionalin the Sierra San Pedro Mártir, Mexico. Completing H I observations of galaxies in the Virgo clusterHigh sensitivity (rms noise  0.5 mJy) 21-cm H I line observationswere made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbishedArecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. Thesedata, combined with the measurements available from the literature,provide the first set of H I data that is complete for all 355 late-type(Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with mp ≤ 18.0mag. The Virgo cluster H I mass function (HIMF) that was derived forthis optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMFderived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS H I survey and isinconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this richcluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarilyassociated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions fromearly-type galaxies and isolated H I clouds. The inconsistency betweenthe cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference inthe optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the twoenvironments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur ingalaxies in rich clusters.Tables \ref{t1, \ref{sample_dat} and Appendix A are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Are interactions the primary triggers of star formation in dwarf galaxies?We investigate the assumption that the trigger of star formation indwarf galaxies is interactions with other galaxies, in the context of asearch for a primary' trigger of a first generation of stars. This iscosmologically relevant because the galaxy formation process consistsnot only of the accumulation of gas in a gravitational potential wellbut also of the triggering of star formation in this gas mass, and alsobecause some high-z potentially primeval galaxy blocks look like nearbystar-forming dwarf galaxies. We review theoretical ideas proposed toaccount for the tidal interaction triggering mechanism and present aseries of observational tests of this assumption using published data.We also show results of a search in the vicinity of a composite sampleof 96 dwarf late-type galaxies for interaction candidates showing starformation. The small number of possible perturbing galaxies identifiedin the neighbourhood of our sample galaxies, along with similar findingsfrom other studies, supports the view that tidal interactions may not berelevant as primary triggers of star formation. We conclude thatinteractions between galaxies may explain some forms of star formationtriggering, perhaps in central regions of large galaxies, but they donot seem to be significant for dwarf galaxies and, by inference, forfirst-time galaxies forming at high redshifts. Intuitive reasoning,based on an analogy with stellar dynamics, shows that conditions forprimary star formation triggering may occur in gas masses oscillating ina dark-matter gravitational potential. We propose this mechanism as aplausible primary trigger scenario, which would be worth investigatingtheoretically. Spectroscopy of Dwarf Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. I. Data, Chemical Abundances, and Ionization StructureLong-slit spectroscopy has been obtained for a sample of 22 blue dwarfgalaxies selected in the direction of the Virgo Cluster, as part of alarger sample of Virgo blue dwarf galaxies for which deep Hαimaging has been collected. Most of the galaxies in the present sampleare classified as BCDs or dwarf Irregulars in the Virgo Cluster Catalog.Line fluxes, Hβ equivalent widths, extinction coefficients, spatialemission profiles, ionization structure, and physical conditions arepresented for each galaxy. Chemical abundances have been derived eitherusing a direct determination of the electron temperature or afterdetailed examination of the predictions of different abundancecalibrations. The oxygen abundances derived for the sample of Virgodwarf galaxies span the range 7.6<=12+log(O/H)<=8.9, and thecorresponding nitrogen-to-oxygen abundance ratio ranges from valuestypical of low-metallicity field BCD galaxies to near solar. Hα surface photometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster III. Observations with INT and NOT 2.5 m telescopesWe present Hα line imaging observations of 30 galaxies obtained atthe 2.5 m INT and NOT telescopes. The observed galaxies are mostly BCDVirgo cluster galaxies. Hα +[NII] fluxes and equivalent widths, aswell as images of all the detected targets are presented. With theseobservations, Hα data are available for =~ 50% of the BCD galaxieslisted in the VCC. Based on observations taken at the INT and NOTtelescopes, operated on the island of La Palma by the ING and NOT teamsin the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos of the Institutode AstrofÃ­sica de Canarias. Figure 1 is only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Blue compact dwarf galaxies and new velocities in VirgoWe present new spectral observations of 303 galaxies brighter thanB_J=17.6 in the central 30 deg^2 of the Virgo cluster field. Thegalaxies were selected from two overlapping samples designed for asearch for blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies and for a more generalstudy of Virgo dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies. Many of these galaxieswere designated background' (i.e., not members of the Virgo cluster) onmorphological grounds by Binggeli, Sandage & Tammann in their VirgoCluster Catalog (VCC). Our principal aim was to measure radialvelocities of these galaxies in order to determine which were members ofthe cluster, looking in particular for any cluster members previouslymisclassified as background galaxies. We measured reliable velocitiesfor 291 galaxies, of which nine were found to be cluster members. Fiveof these were listed in the VCC as members' and four as possiblemembers'. We also confirmed that 10 VCC background' galaxies werecorrectly identified, and determined that an additional three VCCpossible members' were background galaxies. These results show that theVCC membership estimates were generally correct. Our sample of candidateBCD galaxies was defined by objective criteria from digitized platematerial and therefore allows us to place new limits on the dwarf-galaxypopulation. We confirm the drop in the BCD luminosity function at anabsolute magnitude of M_B=-14 reported by Binggeli, Sandage &Tammann (using their Virgo distance modulus). We also show that if BCDsfade at the end of the current burst of star formation, such `dead'BCDs, if they exist, would all have to be fainter than our sample limitof B_J=17.6. We use a (U-B_J)(B_J-R_F) colour-colour diagram plottedfrom our photographic data to separate the different dwarf-galaxy typeseffectively and use this colour information to argue that there are noblue star-forming progenitors of dE galaxies in the cluster. Most of thegalaxies of compact appearance we selected were background objects whichwe show to be significantly younger than general field galaxies; thissample also shows considerable clustering in redshift space. General study of group membership. II - Determination of nearby groupsWe present a whole sky catalog of nearby groups of galaxies taken fromthe Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database. From the 78,000 objects in thedatabase, we extracted a sample of 6392 galaxies, complete up to thelimiting apparent magnitude B0 = 14.0. Moreover, in order to considersolely the galaxies of the local universe, all the selected galaxieshave a known recession velocity smaller than 5500 km/s. Two methods wereused in group construction: a Huchra-Geller (1982) derived percolationmethod and a Tully (1980) derived hierarchical method. Each method gaveus one catalog. These were then compared and synthesized to obtain asingle catalog containing the most reliable groups. There are 485 groupsof a least three members in the final catalog. The kinematics of the Virgo cluster revisitedThe paper updates the velocity data of Virgo cluster galaxies andreconsiders the kinematic structure of the Virgo cluster. New velocitiesare given for 144 galaxies listed in the Virgo Cluster Catalog (VCC).Improved velocities are given for another 131 VCC galaxies. The Virgocluster is disentangled from its surrounding clouds of galaxies, and thelikely members of each of these clouds are listed. The velocitydistribution of dwarf elliptical cluster members is found to be highlyasymmetric. This phenomenon is interpreted as evidence for the imminentmerging of two subclusters in the core region, which points to thedynamical youth of the Virgo cluster. The mean heliocentric velocity ofthe Virgo cluster is estimated at 1050 +/- 35 km/s. Extreme blue compact dwarf galaxies in the Virgo ClusterCCD images and surface photometry are presented for six extreme(especially compact) blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies in the VirgoCluster. The photometric parameters of the galaxies are used to studytheir possible fate once star formation has ended. It is found that theymay fade to form dwarf elliptical galaxies, as has previously beensuggested, but the dE galaxies formed from these BCDs would lie amongthe most compact in existing samples. Two of the BCDs studied have nosurrounding low-surface-brightness envelopes detected to a limit ofmu(v) = 27 mag/sq arcsec. The Virgo cluster as a test for quantization of extragalactic redshiftsTifft's (1972, 1977) hypothesis that redshifts are partially quantizedwith a periodicity in the range 70-75 km/s is tested for samples ofbright spiral and dwarf irregular galaxies with accurate H I redshiftsin the region of the Virgo cluster. The heliocentric redshifts arecorrected for solar motion, first by adopting an estimate of the sun'smotion with respect to the centroid of the Local Group, and then byallowing the solar velocity vector to vary in direction over the wholesky. Power spectrum analyses of the corrected redshifts are used tosearch for a significant periodicity in the prescribed range 70-75 km/s.No such periodicity is found for the dwarf irregulars, but there is apossible periodicity of about 71.1 km/s for the bright spirals. In afurther exploratory study, the sample of 112 spirals is divided upaccording to environment. The spirals in high-density regions of thecluster show no quantization, whereas those in low-density regionsappear to be partially quantized in intervals of about 71.0 km/s. IRAS observations of galaxies in the Virgo cluster areaIRAS data on 196 galaxies in the area of the Virgo Cluster arepresented. The data derive from combining all available surveyobservations for each object and therefore achieve greater sensitivitythan the IRAS Point Source Catalog (PSC). The enhanced sensitivityallows 78 galaxies to be detected at 12 microns, 82 at 25 microns, 139at 60 microns, and 135 at 100 microns, compared to 16, 23, 88, and 95detections listed in the PSC. From the blue compact dwarf galaxy sample,23 and 19 objects are detected at 60 and 100 microns, compared to threeand two detections listed in the PSC. The emission in three close pairsof galaxies which are reported as single sources in the PSC areseparated here. These statistics demonstrate the importance andpotential of a detailed examination of IRAS data, especially forpossibly resolved sources and, in particular, for galaxies out toredshifts of 0.008 or galaxies with D(25) of 3 arcmin or greater. H I detection survey of a complete magnitude-limited sample of dwarf irregular galaxies in the Virgo Cluster areaNew single-beam Arecibo H I observations of 298 late-type galaxies inthe Virgo Cluster drawn mostly from the new catalog of Binggeli,Sandage, and Tammann (1985) are presented. Two hundred seventeen ofthese constitute a magnitude-limited 'complete sample' of such galaxies,types Sdm through Im and BCD. Sixty-one percent of this 'completesample' was detected, greatly enhancing the store of redshifts and H Imasses for such galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. For detected galaxies,heliocentric velocities, 50 percent profile widths, and single-beamfluxes are presented. For those that escaped detection, upper limits arecomputed to the flux appropriate to the redshift range (-600 to +3000km/s). Studies of the Virgo Cluster. II - A catalog of 2096 galaxies in the Virgo Cluster area.The present catalog of 2096 galaxies within an area of about 140 sq degapproximately centered on the Virgo cluster should be an essentiallycomplete listing of all certain and possible cluster members,independent of morphological type. Cluster membership is essentiallydecided by galaxy morphology; for giants and the rare class of highsurface brightness dwarfs, membership rests on velocity data. While 1277of the catalog entries are considered members of the Virgo cluster, 574are possible members and 245 appear to be background Zwicky galaxies.Major-to-minor axis ratios are given for all galaxies brighter than B(T)= 18, as well as for many fainter ones.
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