VLA Observations of the Peculiar System NGC 5291

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Session 77 -- Spirals II
Display presentation, Wednesday, 11, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[77.09] VLA Observations of the Peculiar System NGC 5291

Benjamin Malphrus (Morehead State University), Caroline E. Simpson, S.T. Gottesman (University of Florida)

High resolution atomic hydrogen observations taken with the VLA of the peculiar system NGC 5291 are presented. Optically, this object appears to be an S0 galaxy interacting with a disturbed companion known as the Seashell. Initial observations indicated a complex of star-formation knots extending roughly 4' north and 4' south of the galaxy. Single-dish 21-cm observations showed that the centroid of the HI was offset to the west of the optical system. Higher resolution (15") observations using the VLA are presented here for the first time; these show that the system is much more complex than previously suspected. These observations confirm that the HI is offset, but also reveal that it forms an incomplete ring, or tail, to the west. NGC 5291 shows a high velocity gradient in HI; the Seashell was not detected and so may be stripped of gas. Several of the optical knots coincide with large concentrations (10${^9}$ solar masses) of HI; the large star-forming knot located in the north part of the ring is shown to be self-gravitating. We suggest this is a dwarf irregular galaxy in the process of formation.

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