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Title: Green bank telescope observations of low column density H I around NGC 2997 and NGC 6946

Observations of ongoing H I accretion in nearby galaxies have only identified about 10% of the fuel necessary to sustain star formation in these galaxies. Most of these observations have been conducted using interferometers and may have missed lower column density, diffuse, H I gas that may trace the missing 90% of gas. Such gas may represent the so-called cold flows predicted by current theories of galaxy formation to have never been heated above the virial temperature of the dark matter halo. As a first attempt to identify such cold flows around nearby galaxies and complete the census of H I down to N {sub H} {sub I} ∼ 10{sup 18} cm{sup –2}, I used the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to map the circumgalactic (r ≲ 100-200 kpc) H I environment around NGC 2997 and NGC 6946. The resulting GBT observations cover a 4 deg{sup 2} area around each galaxy with a 5σ detection limit of N{sub H} {sub I} ∼ 10{sup 18} cm{sup –2} over a 20 km s{sup –1} line width. This project complements absorption line studies, which are well-suited to the regime of lower N{sub H} {sub I}. Around NGC 2997, the GBT Hmore » I data reveal an extended H I disk and all of its surrounding gas-rich satellite galaxies, but no filamentary features. Furthermore, the H I mass as measured with the GBT is only 7% higher than past interferometric measurements. After correcting for resolution differences, the H I extent of the galaxy is 23% larger at the N{sub H} {sub I} = 1.2 × 10{sup 18} cm{sup –2} level as measured by the GBT. On the other hand, the H I observations of NGC 6946 reveal a filamentary feature apparently connecting NGC 6946 with its nearest companions. This H I filament has N{sub H} {sub I} ∼ 5 × 10{sup 18} cm{sup –2} and an FWHM of 55 ± 5 km s{sup –1} and was invisible in past interferometer observations. The properties of this filament are broadly consistent with being a cold flow or debris from a past tidal interaction between NGC 6946 and its satellites.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 2, Green Bank, WV 24944 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340006
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; DENSITY; EVOLUTION; FASTENING; GALAXIES; INTERACTIONS; INTERFEROMETERS; LINE WIDTHS; MASS; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; RESOLUTION; SATELLITES; SENSITIVITY; STAR ACCRETION; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; TELESCOPES