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The ``shook up`` galaxy NGC 3079

Submitter: Nebiha Shafi (Witwatersrand and Hartebeesthoek), Tom Oosterloo, Raffaella Morganti
Description: The starburst/Seyfert galaxy NGC 3079 is a very famous object, hosting a spectacular outflow of hot, ionised gas driven by a starburst in the centre. Because of this, NGC 3079 has been the target of many studies at all possible wavelengths.

Nevertheless there was more to discover in this object and our observations of the neutral hydrogen (HI) with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope have revealed previously unknown components in the galaxy and its environment that show that NGC 3079 is clearly going through a hectic phase in its evolution!

The HI disk appears much more extended than previously observed and is morphologically and kinematically lopsided on all scales with evidence for strong non-circular motions in the central regions. The data also reveal prominent gas streams encircling the entire galaxy suggesting strong interactions with its neighbours. A 33-kpc long HI bridge is detected between NGC 3079 and MCG 9-17-9, likely caused by ram-pressure stripping of MGC 9-17-9 by the halo of hot gas of NGC 3079. The cometary HI tail of the companion NGC 3073, earlier discovered by Irwin et al., extends about twice as long in our data, while a shorter, second tail is also found. This tail is likely caused by ram-pressure stripping by the strong, starburst driven wind coming from NGC 3079. We also detect, in absorption, a nuclear HI outflow extending to velocities well outside what expected for gravitational motion. This is likely an atomic counterpart of the well-studied outflow of ionised gas present in this galaxy. This may indicate that also large amounts of cold gas are blown out of NGC 3079 by the starburst/AGN. Our estimates of the jet energy and kinetic power suggest that both the AGN and the starburst in NGC 3079 are powerful enough to drive the atomic outflow.

The details of the work can be found in the paper now accepted for publication in the Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society "The "shook up" galaxy NGC 3079: the complex interplay between HI, activity and environment" by N. Shafi, T. Oosterloo, R. Morganti, S. Colafrancesco, R. Booth.
The paper is available at http://arxiv.org/abs/1509.00350 .
Copyright: ASTRON
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