Journal Article

A disc of shocked molecular hydrogen around the active nucleus of NGC 3079

J. Meaburn, B. R. Fernandez, A. J. Holloway, A. Pedlar, C. G. Mundell and T. R. Geballe

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 295, issue 2, pages L45-L49
Published in print April 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01524.x
A disc of shocked molecular hydrogen around the active nucleus of NGC 3079

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Abstract

A high-resolution image of the nuclear regions of the active galaxy NGC 3079 has been obtained in the H2 1–0 S(1) emission line (rest λ= 2.1218 μm) with the IRCAM3 camera on the 3.8-m UKIRT telescope. An ≈ 35 pc diameter elongated core within a more diffuse, 300 pc long, region of most likely shock-excited H2 is shown to surround the active nucleus and be embedded within what could be an extended region of enhanced star formation. A disc of molecular gas could be present that shapes the emission of relativistic gas away from the plane of the galaxy. This nuclear H2 1–0 S(1) emitting gas (of total mass ≈ 103 M) is within a central dip in the distribution of cool, CO emitting, molecular gas (of total mass ≈ 1010 M) which extends much further from the nucleus. The distributions of both the hot and the cool molecular gases are likely to be clumpy.

Keywords: ISM: molecules; galaxies: active; galaxies: individual: NGC 3079; galaxies: nuclei; infrared: galaxies

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Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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