Publication
Astronomical Journal
Paper

A warp in progress: H I and radio continuum observations of the spiral NGC 3145

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Abstract

VLA H i observations and λ6 cm radio continuum observations are presented of the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 3145. In optical images NGC 3145 has stellar arms that appear to cross, forming "X"-features. Our radio continuum observations rule out shock fronts at three of the four "X"-features, and our H i data provide evidence of gas motions perpendicular to the disk of NGC 3145. In large portions of NGC 3145, particularly in the middle-to-outer disk, the H i line profiles 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 (∼40 km s-1) toward 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 on the northeastern side of NGC 3145; the velocity of the branch is ∼150 km s-1 greater than the spiral arm where they appear to intersect in projection. The other is the arm on the southwestern side that forms three of the "X"-features. It differs in velocity by ∼56 km s-1 from that of the disk at the same projected location. H i observations are presented also of the two small companions NGC 3143 and PGC 029578. Based on its properties (enhanced SFR, H i emission 50% more extended on its northeastern side, etc.), 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.

Date

10 Aug 2015

Publication

Astronomical Journal

Authors

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