Astronomical Journal

VIIZw403: H i structure in a blue compact dwarf galaxy

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We present optical (UBVJ), ultraviolet (FUV, NUV), and high-resolution atomic hydrogen (H I) observations of the nearby blue compact dwarf (BCD), VIIZw403. We find that VIIZw403 has a relatively high H I mass-to-light ratio for a BCD. The rotation velocity is nominally 10-15kms-1, but rises to 20kms-1 after correction for the 8-10kms-1 random motions present in the gas. The velocity field is complex, including a variation in the position angle of the major axis going from the northeast to the southwest parts of the galaxy. Our high-resolution H I maps reveal structure in the central gas, including a large, low-density H I depression or hole between the southern and northern halves of the galaxy, coincident with an unresolved X-ray source. Although interactions have been proposed as the triggering mechanism for the vigorous star formation occurring in BCDs, VIIZw403 does not seem to have been tidally triggered by an external interaction, as we have found no nearby possible perturbers. It also does not appear to fall in the set of galaxies that exhibit a strong central mass density concentration, as its optical scale length is large in comparison to similar systems. However, there are some features that are compatible with an accretion event: optical/H I axis misalignment, a change in position angle of the kinematic axis, and a complex velocity field. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.