The Gas Phase in a Low Metallicity ISM
de Blok, W.J.G.
We present several results from our analysis of dwarf irregular galaxies culled from The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS). We analyse the rotation curves of two galaxies based on “bulk” velocity fields, i.e. velocity maps from which random non–circular motions are removed. We confirm that their dark matter distribution is best fit by an isothermal halo model. We show that the star formation properties of dIrr galaxies resemble those of the outer parts of larger, spiral systems. Lastly, we study the large scale (3–D) distribution of the gas, and argue that the gas disk in dIrrs is thick, both in a relative, as well as in an absolute sense as compared to spirals. Massive star formation through subsequent supernova explosions is able to redistribute the bulk of the ISM, creating large cavities. These cavities are often larger, and longer–lived than in spiral galaxies.