Journal Article

The molecular polar disc in NGC 2768*

Alison F. Crocker, Martin Bureau, Lisa M. Young and Francoise Combes

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 386, issue 4, pages 1811-1820
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The molecular polar disc in NGC 2768*

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We present CO(1–0) and CO(2–1) maps of the molecular polar disc in the elliptical galaxy NGC 2768 obtained at the Institute de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) Plateau de Bure Interferometer. The maps have a resolution of and for the CO(1–0) and CO(2–1) lines, respectively. The CO maps complete the unique picture of the interstellar medium (ISM) of NGC 2768; the dust, molecular gas, ionized gas and neutral hydrogen (H i) trace the recent acquisition of cold and cool gas over two orders of magnitude in radii (and much more in density). In agreement with the other ISM components, the CO distribution extends nearly perpendicularly to the photometric major axis of the galaxy. Velocity maps of the CO show a rotating polar disc or ring in the inner kiloparsec. This cool gas could lead to kinematic substructure formation within NGC 2768. However, the stellar velocity field and Hβ absorption line-strength maps from the optical integral-field spectrograph SAURON give no indication of a young and dynamically cold stellar population coincident with the molecular polar disc. Very recent or weak star formation, undetectable in line strengths, nevertheless remains a possibility and could be at the origin of some of the ionized gas observed. Millimetre continuum emission was also detected in NGC 2768, now one of only a few low-luminosity active galactic nuclei with observed mm continuum emission.

Keywords: galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: individual: NGC 2768; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  6860 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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