Astronomical Journal

The H I chronicles of little things BCDs II: The origin of IC 10's H I structure

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In this paper we analyzeVery LargeArray (VLA) telescope and Green Bank Telescope (GBT) atomic hydrogen (H I) data for the LITTLE THINGS (Local Irregulars That Trace Luminosity Extremes, The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey; blue compact dwarf galaxy IC 10. The VLA data allow us to study the detailed H I kinematics and morphology of IC 10 at high resolution while the GBT data allow us to search the surrounding area at high sensitivity for tenuous H I. IC10's H I appears highly disturbed in both the VLA and GBT H I maps with a kinematically distinct northern H I extension, a kinematically distinct southern plume, and several spurs in the VLA data that do not follow the general kinematics of the main disk. We discuss three possible origins of its H I structure and kinematics in detail: a current interaction with a nearby companion, an advanced merger, and accretion of intergalactic medium. We find that IC 10 is most likely an advanced merger or a galaxy undergoing accretion.