"Dark galaxies" and local very metal-poor gas-rich galaxies: possible interrelations

Pustilnik, Simon A.
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There are only a few ``dark galaxy'' candidates discovered to date in the local Universe. One of the most prominent of them is the SW component of a merging system HI 1225+01. On the other hand, the number of known very metal-poor gas-rich dwarfs similar to IZw18 and SBS 0335-052 E,W has grown drastically during the last decade, from a dozen and a half to about five dozen. Many of them are very gas-rich, having from ~90 to 99% of all baryons in gas. For some of such objects that have the deep photometry data, no evidences for the light of old stars are found. At least a half of such galaxies with the prominent starbursts have various evidences of interactions, including advanced mergers. This suggests that a fraction of this group objects can be a kind of very stable protogalaxies (or ``dark galaxies''), which have recently experienced strong disturbances from nearby massive galaxy-size bodies. Such a collision caused the gas instabilities and its collapse with the subsequent onset of starburst. We briefly discuss the morphology and gas kinematics for the subsample of the most metal-poor dwarfs that illustrate this picture. We discuss also the relation of these rare galaxies to the processes by which ``dark galaxies'' can occasionally transform to optically visible galaxies.
Comment: 5 pages, no figures, to be published in Proc. of IAUS 244 "Dark Galaxies and Lost Baryons". Improved English, references updated