We present new high-resolution H i spectral line imaging of Coma P, the brightest H i source in the system HI 1232+20. This galaxy with extremely low surface brightness was first identified in the ALFALFA survey as an "(Almost) Dark" object: a clearly extragalactic H i source with no obvious optical counterpart in existing optical survey data (although faint ultraviolet emission was detected in archival GALEX imaging). Using a combination of data from the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, we investigate the H i morphology and kinematics at a variety of physical scales. The H i morphology is irregular, reaching only moderate maxima in mass surface density (peak pc-2). Gas of lower surface brightness extends to large radial distances, with the H i diameter measured at 4.0 ±0.2 kpc inside the pc-2 level. We quantify the relationships between mass surface density of H i gas and star formation on timescales of ∼100-200 Myr as traced by GALEX far-ultraviolet emission. While Coma P has regions of dense H i gas reaching the cm-2 level typically associated with ongoing star formation, it lacks massive star formation as traced by Hα emission. The H i kinematics are extremely complex: a simple model of a rotating disk cannot describe the H i gas in Coma P. Using spatially resolved position-velocity analysis we identify two nearly perpendicular axes of projected rotation that we interpret as either the collision of two H i disks or a significant infall event. Similarly, three-dimensional modeling of the H i dynamics provides a best fit with two H i components. Coma P is just consistent (within 3σ) with the known scaling relation. It is either too large for its H i mass, has too low an H i mass for its H i size, or the two H i components artificially extend its H i size. Coma P lies within the empirical scatter at the faint end of the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation, although the complexity of the H i dynamics complicates the interpretation. Along with its large ratio of H i to stellar mass, the collective H i characteristics of Coma P make it unusual among known galaxies in the nearby universe.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- galaxies: dwarf
- galaxies: evolution
- galaxies: individual (Coma P, AGC 229385)
- galaxies: irregular