A Warp in Progress: H I and Radio Continuum Observations of the Spiral NGC 3145

Michele Kaufman, E. Brinks, Curtis Struck, Bruce G. Elmegreen, Debra M. Elmegreen

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Abstract

We present VLA H I and 6 cm radio continuum observations of the spiral NGC 3145 and H I observations of its two companions, NGC 3143 and PGC 029578. In optical images NGC 3145 has stellar arms that appear to cross, forming "X"-features. Our radio continuum observations rule out shock fronts at 3 of the 4 "X"-features. In the middle-to-outer disk, the H I line-profiles of NGC 3145 are skewed. Relative to the disk, the gas in the skewed wing of the line-profiles has z-motions away from us on the approaching side of the galaxy and z-motions of about the same magnitude (about 40 km/s) towards us on the receding side. These warping motions imply that there has been a perturbation with a sizeable component perpendicular to the disk over large spatial scales. Two features in NGC 3145 have velocities indicating that they are out-of-plane tidal arms. One is an apparent branch of a main spiral arm; the velocity of the branch is 150 km/s greater than the spiral arm where they appear to intersect in projection. The other is an arm that forms 3 of the "X"-features. It differs in velocity by 56 km/s from the disk at the same projected location. Based on its SFR and H I properties, NGC 3143 is the more likely of the two companions to have interacted with NGC 3145 recently. A simple analytic model demonstrates that an encounter between NGC 3143 and NGC 3145 is a plausible explanation for the observed warping motions in NGC 3145.
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Number of pages21
JournalThe Astronomical Journal
Volume150
Issue number3
Early online date10 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

Keywords

  • astro-ph.GA

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