"FIGGS: The Faint Irregular Galaxy GMRT Survey" By Jayaram Chengalur, NCRA/TIFR India

Observations of the atomic interstellar medium (ISM) of faint dwarf galaxies, i.e. its morphology, kinematics and spatial correlation with other galaxy components is particularly useful for improving our understanding of the processes related to galaxy formation and evolution. In the context of hierarchical galaxy formation models, dwarf galaxies are thought to be the building blocks for the assembly of more massive galaxies. As some of the most unevolved systems in the low redshift universe, observations of these galaxies are hence relevant in a range of cosmological contexts, ranging from testing predictions of cold dark matter models, to understanding the host populations of quasar absorption line systems and GRBs. Further, dwarf galaxies also provide unique sites for understanding star formation in extreme environments, with unusually low metallicity and dust content, low pressure, low shear, and low escape velocity. We discuss these issues in the specific context of a recent GMRT based HI imaging study of faint dwarf galaxies - the Faint Irregular Galaxies GMRT Survey (FIGGS). The primary goal of FIGGS is to obtain high quality observations of the atomic ISM for a large, systematically selected sample of faint, gas rich, dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies.

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