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The hot and cold outflows in NGC 3079

Submitter: Tom Oosterloo
Description: NGC 3079 is one of those galaxies that almost every astronomer works on for a while, at some point in their career. This is because it is a very complicated galaxy where many interesting phenomena occur, and because the galaxy is quite nearby, all these things can be studied in all gory detail. Perhaps most well known is the strong outflow of hot, ionised gas driven by a starburst in the centre of this galaxy. This outflow is illustrated above in the figure on the right where one can see the galaxy while the inset shows (in red) the outflowing gas escaping from the centre.

In the past three months, Nebiha Shafi, an Ethiopian student of Roy Booth from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, has visited Astron and worked on very deep WSRT observations of the neutral hydrogen gas of NGC 3079. The figure on the left shows (contours) the distribution of the neutral hydrogen in this galaxy, as detected by the WSRT. NGC 3079 was known to be a very complex object, but the new data still revealed several new features and show that the object is even more complicated and interesting than previously thought. For example, a large stream of gas, encircling the entire galaxy, was discovered, while the data also show, for the first time, that not only hot gas is blown into space by the starburst, but also large amounts of cold gas, despite the high energies involved in the outflow.

If you want to know all the details, do attend today's Wednesday lunch and listen to the talk by Nebiha.

Copyright: Astron
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