Posts Tagged hi absorption

Recent Postings from hi absorption

Probing the gas content of radio galaxies through HI absorption stacking

Using the WSRT, we carried out shallow HI absorption observations of a flux-selected (S > 50 mJy) sample of 93 radio AGN with available SDSS redshifts between 0.02 < z < 0.23. We study the gas properties of radio AGN down to fluxes not systematically explored before using, for the first time, stacking of extragalactic HI absorption. Despite the shallow observations, we obtained a direct detection rate of ~29%, comparable with deeper studies. Detections are found at every flux level, showing that HI absorption detections are not biased toward brighter sources. The stacks of detections and non-detections reveal a clear dichotomy in the presence of HI, with the 27 detections showing an average peak {\tau} = 0.02, while the 66 non-detections remain undetected with an upper limit {\tau} < 0.002. Separating the sample into compact and extended AGN increases the detection rate, {\tau}, and FWHM for the compact sample. The dichotomy for the stacked profiles of detections and non-detections still holds between these two groups. We argue that orientation effects connected to a disk-like distribution of HI can be partly responsible for the dichotomy, however some of our galaxies must be genuinely depleted of cold gas. A fraction of the compact sources are confirmed by previous studies as likely young radio sources. These show an even higher detection rate of 55%. Along with their high integrated optical depth and wider profile, this reinforces the idea that young radio AGN are particularly rich in atomic gas. Part of our motivation is to probe for the presence of HI outflows. However, the stacked profiles do not reveal any significant blueshifted wing. Our results are particularly relevant for future surveys. The lack of bias toward bright sources is encouraging for the search of HI at lower radio fluxes. The results also represent a reference point for search for HI absorption at higher redshifts.

HI absorption from the epoch of reionization and primordial magnetic fields

We study the impact of primordial magnetic fields on the HI absorption from the Epoch of Reionization. The presence of these fields result in two distinct effects: (a) the heating of the haloes from the decay of magnetic fields owing to ambipolar diffusion, and (b) an increase in the number of haloes owing to additional matter fluctuations induced by magnetic fields. We analyse both these effects and show that the latter is potentially observable because the number of haloes along of line of sight can increase by many orders of magnitude. While this effect is not strongly dependent on the magnetic field strength in the range $0.3\hbox{–}0.6$ nG, it is extremely sensitive to the magnetic field power spectral index for the near scale-free models. Therefore the detection of such absorption features could be a sensitive probe of the primordial magnetic field and its power spectrum. We discuss the detectability of these features with the ongoing and future radio interferometers. In particular, we show that LOFAR might be able to detect these absorption features at $z \simeq 10$ in less than 10 hrs of integration if the flux of the background source is 400 mJy.

A search for HI absorption in nearby radio galaxies using HIPASS

Using archival data from the HI Parkes All Sky Survey (HIPASS) we have searched for 21 cm-line absorption in 204 nearby radio and star-forming galaxies with continuum flux densities greater than $S_{1.4} \approx 250$ mJy within the redshift range $0 < cz < 12\,000$ km s$^{-1}$. By applying a detection method based on Bayesian model comparison, we successfully detect and model absorption against the radio-loud nuclei of four galaxies, of which the Seyfert 2 galaxy 2MASX J130804201-2422581 was previously unknown. All four detections were achieved against compact radio sources, which include three active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and a nuclear starburst, exhibiting high dust and molecular gas content. Our results are consistent with the detection rate achieved by the recent ALFALFA HI absorption pilot survey by Darling et al. and we predict that the full ALFALFA survey should yield more than 3-4 times as many detections as we have achieved here. Furthermore, we predict that future all-sky surveys on the SKA precursor telescopes will be able to detect such strong absorption systems associated with type-2 AGNs at much higher redshifts, providing potential targets for detection of H$_{2}$O megamaser emission at cosmological redshifts.

A search for HI absorption in nearby radio galaxies using HIPASS [Replacement]

Using archival data from the HI Parkes All Sky Survey (HIPASS) we have searched for 21 cm line absorption in 204 nearby radio and star-forming galaxies with continuum flux densities greater than $S_{1.4} \approx 250$ mJy within the redshift range $0 < cz < 12000$ km s$^{-1}$. By applying a detection method based on Bayesian model comparison, we successfully detect and model absorption against the radio-loud nuclei of four galaxies, of which the Seyfert 2 galaxy 2MASX J130804201-2422581 was previously unknown. All four detections were achieved against compact radio sources, which include three active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and a nuclear starburst, exhibiting high dust and molecular gas content. Our results are consistent with the detection rate achieved by the recent ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast Arecibo L-band Feed Array) HI absorption pilot survey by Darling et al. and we predict that the full ALFALFA survey should yield more than three to four times as many detections as we have achieved here. Furthermore, we predict that future all-sky surveys on the Square Kilometre Array precursor telescopes will be able to detect such strong absorption systems associated with type 2 AGNs at much higher redshifts, providing potential targets for detection of H$_{2}$O megamaser emission at cosmological redshifts.

A Complete Atlas of HI Absorption toward HII Regions in the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS1)

We present a complete catalog of H I emission and absorption spectrum pairs, toward H II regions, detectable within the boundaries of the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS I), a total of 252 regions. The catalog is presented in graphical, numerical and summary formats. We demonstrate an application of this new dataset through an investigation of the locus of the Near 3kpc Arm.

Discovery of a Small Central Disk of CO and HI in the Merger Remnant NGC 34

We present CO(1-0) and HI(21-cm) observations of the central region of the wet merger remnant NGC 34. The Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) observations detect a regularly rotating disk in CO with a diameter of 2.1 kpc and a total molecular hydrogen mass of ($2.1 \pm 0.2) \times10^9~M_\odot$. The rotation curve of this gas disk rises steeply, reaching maximum velocities at 1" (410 pc) from the center. Interestingly, HI observations done with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array show that the absorption against the central continuum has the exact same velocity range as the CO in emission. This strongly suggests that the absorbing HI also lies within 1" from the center, is mixed in and corotates with the molecular gas. A comparison of HI absorption profiles taken at different resolutions (5"-45") shows that the spectra at lower resolutions are less deep at the systemic velocity. This provides evidence for HI emission in the larger beams, covering the region from 1 kpc to 9 kpc from the center. The central rapidly rotating disk was likely formed either during the merger or from fall-back material. Lastly, the radio continuum flux of the central source at mm wavelengths ($5.4\pm1.8$ mJy) is significantly higher than expected from an extrapolation of the synchrotron spectrum, indicating the contribution of thermal free-free emission from the central starburst.

Excitation temperature of the warm neutral medium as a new probe of the Lyman-{\alpha} radiation field

We use the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to conduct a high-sensitivity survey of neutral hydrogen (HI) absorption in the Milky Way. In combination with corresponding HI emission spectra obtained mostly with the Arecibo Observatory, we detect a widespread warm neutral medium (WNM) component with excitation temperature <Ts>= 7200 (+1800,-1200) K (68% confidence). This temperature lies above theoretical predictions based on collisional excitation alone, implying that Ly-{\alpha} scattering, the most probable additional source of excitation, is more important in the interstellar medium (ISM) than previously assumed. Our results demonstrate that HI absorption can be used to constrain the Ly-{\alpha} radiation field, a critical quantity for studying the energy balance in the ISM and intergalactic medium yet notoriously difficult to model because of its complicated radiative transfer, in and around galaxies nearby and at high redshift.

Probing Intergalactic Neutral Hydrogen by High Precision Analysis of the Red Damping Wing of Gamma-Ray Burst 130606A Afterglow Spectrum at z = 5.913

The unprecedentedly bright optical afterglow of GRB 130606A at a redshift close to the reionization era (z = 5.913) provides a new opportunity to probe the ionization status of intergalactic medium (IGM). Here we present a high-precision analysis of the red Ly alpha damping wing of the afterglow spectrum taken by Subaru/FOCAS during 10.4-13.2 hr after the burst. We find that the minimal model including only the baseline power-law and HI absorption in the host galaxy does not give a good fit, leaving residuals showing concave curvature in 8400-8900 A with an amplitude of about 0.6% of the flux. Such a curvature in the short wavelength range cannot be explained either by extinction at the host with standard extinction curves or by the known systematic uncertainties in the observed spectrum. The red damping wing by intervening HI gas outside the host can reduce the residual by about 3 sigma statistical significance. We find that a damped Ly alpha system is not favored as the origin of this intervening HI absorption, from the observed Ly beta and metal absorption features. Therefore absorption by diffuse IGM remains as a plausible explanation. A fit by a simple uniform IGM model requires HI neutral fraction of f_{HI} ~ 0.1-0.5 depending on the distance to the GRB host, implying high f_{HI} IGM associated with the observed dark Gunn-Peterson (GP) troughs. This gives a new evidence that the reionization is not yet complete at z ~ 6. Further investigations using more GRB afterglows to various sightlines, in comparison with realistic theoretical simulations, are desirable.

Probing Intergalactic Neutral Hydrogen by High Precision Analysis of the Red Damping Wing of Gamma-Ray Burst 130606A Afterglow Spectrum at z = 5.913 [Replacement]

The unprecedentedly bright optical afterglow of GRB 130606A located by Swift at a redshift close to the reionization era (z = 5.913) provides a new opportunity to probe the ionization status of intergalactic medium (IGM). Here we present a high-precision analysis of the red Ly alpha damping wing of the afterglow spectrum taken by Subaru/FOCAS during 10.4-13.2 hr after the burst. We find that the minimal model including only the baseline power-law and HI absorption in the host galaxy does not give a good fit, leaving residuals showing concave curvature in 8400-8900 A with an amplitude of about 0.6% of the flux. Such a curvature in the short wavelength range cannot be explained either by extinction at the host with standard extinction curves, intrinsic curvature of afterglow spectra, or by the known systematic uncertainties in the observed spectrum. The red damping wing by intervening HI gas outside the host can reduce the residual by about 3 sigma statistical significance. We find that a damped Ly alpha system is not favored as the origin of this intervening HI absorption, from the observed Ly beta and metal absorption features. Therefore absorption by diffuse IGM remains as a plausible explanation. A fit by a simple uniform IGM model requires HI neutral fraction of f_HI ~ 0.1-0.5 depending on the distance to the GRB host, implying high f_HI IGM associated with the observed dark Gunn-Peterson (GP) troughs. This gives a new evidence that the reionization is not yet complete at z ~ 6. Further investigations using more GRB afterglows to various sightlines, in comparison with realistic theoretical simulations, are desirable.

Probing Intergalactic Neutral Hydrogen by the Lyman Alpha Red Damping Wing of Gamma-Ray Burst 130606A Afterglow Spectrum at z = 5.913 [Replacement]

The unprecedentedly bright optical afterglow of GRB 130606A located by Swift at a redshift close to the reionization era (z = 5.913) provides a new opportunity to probe the ionization status of intergalactic medium (IGM). Here we present an analysis of the red Ly alpha damping wing of the afterglow spectrum taken by Subaru/FOCAS during 10.4-13.2 hr after the burst. We find that the minimal model including only the baseline power-law and HI absorption in the host galaxy does not give a good fit, leaving residuals showing concave curvature in 8400-8900 A with an amplitude of about 0.6% of the flux. Such a curvature in the short wavelength range cannot be explained either by extinction at the host with standard extinction curves, intrinsic curvature of afterglow spectra, or by the known systematic uncertainties in the observed spectrum. The red damping wing by intervening HI gas outside the host can reduce the residual by about 3 sigma statistical significance. We find that a damped Ly alpha system is not favored as the origin of this intervening HI absorption, from the observed Ly beta and metal absorption features. Therefore absorption by diffuse IGM remains as a plausible explanation. A fit by a simple uniform IGM model requires HI neutral fraction of f_HI ~ 0.1-0.5 depending on the distance to the GRB host, implying high f_HI IGM associated with the observed dark Gunn-Peterson (GP) troughs. This gives a new evidence that the reionization is not yet complete at z ~ 6.

A hadronic scenario for HESS J1818-154

Aims: G15.4+0.1 is a faint supernova remnant (SNR) that has recently been associated with the gamma-ray source HESS J1818-154. We investigate a hadronic scenario for the production of the gamma-ray emission. Methods: Molecular 13CO (J=1-0) taken from the Galactic Ring Survey (GRS) and neutral hydrogen (HI) data from the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS) have been used in combination with new 1420 MHz radio continuum observations carried out with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). Results: From the new observations and analysis of archival data we provided for the first time a reliable estimate for the distance to the SNR G15.4+0.1 and discovered molecular clouds located at the same distance. On the basis of HI absorption features, we estimate the distance to G15.4+0.1 in 4.8+/-1.0 kpc. The 13CO observations clearly show a molecular cloud about 5 arcmin in size with two bright clumps, labeled A and B, clump A positionally associated with the location of HESS J1818-154 and clump B in coincidence with the brightest northern border of the radio SNR shell. The HI absorption and the 13CO emission study indicates a possible interaction between the molecular material and the remnant. We estimate the masses and densities of the molecular gas as (1.2+/-0.5)X10^3 M_sun and (1.5+/-0.4)X10^3 cm^-3 for clump A and (3.0+/-0.7)X10^3 M_sun and (1.1+/-0.3)X10^3 cm^-3 for clump B. Calculations show that the average density of the molecular clump A is sufficient to produce the detected gamma-ray flux, thus favoring a hadronic origin for the high-energy emission.

On the connection between the intergalactic medium and galaxies: The HI-galaxy cross-correlation at z < 1

We present a new optical spectroscopic survey of 1777 ‘star-forming’ (‘SF’) and 366 ‘non-star-forming’ (‘non-SF’) galaxies at redshifts z < 1 (2143 in total), 22 AGN and 423 stars, observed by instruments such as DEIMOS, VIMOS and GMOS, in 3 fields containing 5 quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) with HST UV spectroscopy. We also present a new spectroscopic survey of 165 ‘strong’ (10^14 < NHI < 10^17 cm^-2), and 489 ‘weak’ (10^13 < NHI < 10^14 cm^-2) intervening HI absorption line systems at z < 1 (654 in total), observed in the spectra of 8 QSOs by COS and FOS on the HST. Combining these new data with previously published galaxy catalogs such as VVDS and GDDS, we have gathered a sample of 654 HI absorption systems and 17509 galaxies at transverse scales < 50 Mpc. We present observational results on the HI-galaxy and galaxy-galaxy correlations at transverse scales r < 10 Mpc, and the HI-HI auto-correlation at transverse scales r < 2 Mpc. The two-point correlation functions are measured both along and transverse to the line-of-sight. We constrain the HI-galaxy statistical connection, as a function of both HI column density and galaxy star-forming activity. Our results are consistent with the following conclusions: (1) the bulk of HI systems on Mpc scales have little velocity dispersion (<120 km/s) with respect to the bulk of galaxies; (2) the vast majority of strong HI systems and SF galaxies are distributed in the same locations, together with 75+-15% of non-SF galaxies, all of which typically reside in dark matter haloes of similar masses; (3) 25+-15% of non-SF galaxies reside in galaxy clusters and are not correlated with strong HI systems at scales < 2 Mpc; and (4) 50% of weak HI systems reside within galaxy voids (hence not correlated with galaxies), and are confined in dark matter haloes of masses smaller than those hosting… [abridged]

Quasars Probing Quasars VI. Excess HI Absorption Within One Proper Mpc of z~2 Quasars

With close pairs of quasars at different redshifts, a background quasar sightline can be used to study a foreground quasar’s environment in absorption. We use a sample of 650 projected quasar pairs to study the HI Lya absorption transverse to luminous, z~2 quasars at proper separations of 30kpc < R < 1Mpc. In contrast to measurements along the line-of-sight, regions transverse to quasars exhibit enhanced HI Lya absorption and a larger variance than the ambient intergalactic medium, with increasing absorption and variance toward smaller scales. Analysis of composite spectra reveals excess absorption characterized by a Lya equivalent width profile W = 2.3A (R/100kpc)^-0.46. We also observe a high (~60%) covering factor of strong, optically thick HI absorbers (HI column log NHI > 17.3) at separations R<200kpc, which decreases to ~20% at R~1Mpc, but still represents a significant excess over the cosmic average. This excess of optically thick absorption can be described by a quasar-absorber cross-correlation function xi_QA(r) = (r/r_0)^gamma with a large correlation length r_0 = 12.5+2.7-1.4 Mpc/h (comoving) and gamma = 1.68+0.14-0.30. The HI absorption measured around quasars exceeds that of any previously studied population, consistent with quasars being hosted by massive dark matter halos Mhalo~10^12.5 Msun at z~2.5. The environments of these massive halos are highly biased towards producing optically thick gas, and may even dominate the cosmic abundance of Lyman limit systems and hence the intergalactic opacity to ionizing photons at z~2.5. The anisotropic absorption around quasars implies the transverse direction is much less likely to be illuminated by ionizing radiation than the line-of-sight, which we interpret in terms of the same obscuration effects frequently invoked in unified models of active galactic nuclei.

HI Absorption Toward HII Regions at Small Galactic Longitudes

We make a comprehensive study of HI absorption toward HII regions located within Galactic longitudes less than 10 degrees. Structures in the extreme inner Galaxy are traced using the longitude-velocity space distribution of this absorption. We find significant HI absorption associated with the Near and Far 3kpc Arms, the Connecting Arm, Banias Clump 1 and the H I Tilted Disk. We also constrain the line of sight distances to HII regions, by using HI absorption spectra together with the HII region velocities measured by radio recombination lines.

A Thorough Investigation of Distance and Age of the Pulsar Wind Nebula 3C58

A growing number of researchers present evidence that the pulsar wind nebula 3C58 is much older than predicted by its proposed connection to the historical supernova of A.D. 1181. There is also a great diversity of arguments. The strongest of these arguments rely heavily on the assumed distance of 3.2 kpc determined with HI absorption measurements. This publication aims at determining a more accurate distance for 3C58 and re-evaluating the arguments for a larger age. I have re-visited the distance determination of 3C58 based on new HI data from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey and our recent improvements in the knowledge of the rotation curve of the outer Milky Way Galaxy. I have also used newly determined distances to objects in the neighbourhood, which are based on direct measurements by trigonometric parallax. I have derived a new more reliable distance estimate of 2 kpc for 3C58. This makes the connection between the pulsar wind nebula and the historical event from A.D. 1181 once again much more viable.

Kinematic distance study of the planetary nebulae-supernova remnant-HII region complex at G35.6-0.5

Two possible planetary nebulae (PN G035.5-00.4 and IRAS 18551+0159), one newly re-identified supernova remnant (SNR G35.6-0.4), and one HII region (G35.6-0.5) form a line-of-sight-overlapped complex known as G35.6-0.5. We analyze 21 cm HI absorption spectra towards the complex to constrain their kinematic distances. PN G035.5-00.4 has a distance from 3.8+/-0.4 kpc to 5.4+/-0.7 kpc. IRAS 18551+0159 is at 4.3+/-0.5 kpc. We discuss the distance for SNR 35.6-0.4, for which the previous estimate was 10.5 kpc, and find plausible for it to be 3.6+/-0.4 kpc. The new distance of SNR G35.6-0.4 and the derived mass for the ~55 km/s CO molecular cloud can accommodate an association with HESS J1858+020. We also conclude that SNR G35.6-0.4 is unlikely associated with PSR J1857+0210 or PSR J1857+0212, which are projected into the SNR area.

X-ray and Radio Observations of the gamma Cygni Supernova Remnant G78.2+2.1

We present an analysis of ROSAT and CHANDRA ACIS X-ray observations of the gamma Cygni supernova remnant (G78.2+2.1, DR4) and also analyze radio HI absorption spectra. The ROSAT All-Sky-Survey image shows extended X-ray emission from G78.2+2.1 and also an adjacent limb-brightened shell on its northern boundary. A new mosaic created from ROSAT pointed PSPC data shows details of the X-ray emission over the entire face of G78.2+2.1, including X-ray bright features along the southern, eastern and northern rim but a faint center and a faint western rim. We assemble all available Chandra archival data to create a new mosaic which covers a large part of the northern rim and central regions of G78.2+2.1. The HI absorption spectrum is used to obtain a distance limit on the SNR of 2-4 kpc. Chandra spectral parameters are used to constrain the physical properties of G78.2+2.1: we find an X-ray temperature of 0.6-1.2 keV (90% error), and that the SNR is well explained by a Sedov model with age of 8000-16000 yr and blast energy of $0.5-4 \times 10^{51}$ erg. The two brightest hard spectrum sources in G78.2+2.1 are found to be an extragalactic background source and a power-law spectrum compact source. The compact source has an X-ray column density consistent with that of G78.2+2.1 and has also been identified recently as a TeV emitter. Spectra from the northern rim of the SNR include an additional low column density component, which is the same as that from an X-ray spectrum of the northern shell. Thus the northern shell overlaps the northern part of G78.2+2.1. The low column density of the northern shell is consistent with the distance of a B3 star at distance of 980 pc. A stellar wind bubble origin for this northern shell is proposed.

X-ray and Radio Observations of the gamma Cygni Supernova Remnant G78.2+2.1 [Replacement]

We analyse \textit{ROSAT} and \textit{Chandra} ACIS X-ray observations and HI absorption spectra of the $\gamma$ Cygni supernova remnant (G78.2+2.1, DR4). The \textit{ROSAT} All-Sky-Survey image shows G78.2+2.1 has an adjacent limb-brightened shell north of it. A new \textit{ROSAT} mosaic shows details of the X-ray emission over the entire face of G78.2+2.1. We also create \textit{Chandra} mosaics which cover much of the northern rim and central regions of G78.2+2.1. HI absorption spectra result in association of G78.2+2.1 with the $\gamma$ Cygni nebula, with distance 1.7 to 2.6 kpc. Chandra spectra for G78.2+2.1 give an X-ray temperature of 0.6-1.2 keV (90% error), and that a Sedov model has age of 6800-10000 yr. A compact power-law X-ray source in G78.2+2.1 is consistent with the same distance as G78.2+2.1. The northern X-ray shell is identified with a B3 star at distance of 980 pc and is proposed as a stellar wind bubble.

Discovery of a small diameter young supernova remnant G354.4+0.0

We report discovery of a shell like structure G354.4+0.0 of size 1.6′ that shows morphology of a shell supernova remnant. Part of the structure show polarized emission in NRAO VLA sky survey (NVSS) map. Based on 330 MHz, 1.4 GHz Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) observations and existing observations at higher frequencies, we conclude the partial shell structure showing synchrotron emission is embedded in an extended HII region of size ~4′. The spectrum of the diffuse HII region turns over between 1.4 GHz and 330 MHz. HI absorption spectrum shows it to be located more than 5 kpc away from Sun. Based on morphology, non-thermal polarized emission and size, this object is one of the youngest supernova remnants discovered in the Galaxy with an estimated age of about 100-500 years.

A high-resolution mm and cm study of the obscured LIRG NGC 4418 - A compact obscured nucleus fed by in-falling gas?

The aim of this study is to constrain the dynamics, structure and feeding of the compact nucleous of NGC4418, and to reveal the nature of the main hidden power source: starburst or AGN. We obtained high spatial resolution observations of NGC4418 at 1.4 and 5 GHz with MERLIN, and at 230 and 270 GHz with the SMA very extended configuration. We use the continuum morphology and flux density to estimate the size of the emitting region, the star formation rate and the dust temperature. Emission lines are used to study the kinematics through position-velocity diagrams. Molecular emission is studied with population diagrams and by fitting an LTE synthetic spectrum. We detect bright 1mm line emission from CO, HC3N, HNC and C34S, and 1.4 GHz absorption from HI. The CO 2-1 emission and HI absorption can be fit by two velocity components at 2090 and 2180 km s-1. We detect vibrationally excited HC3N and HNC, with Tvib 300K. Molecular excitation is consistent with a layered temperature structure, with three main components at 80, 160 and 300 K. For the hot component we estimate a source size of less than 5 pc. The nuclear molecular gas surface density of 1e4 Msun pc-2 is extremely high, and similar to that found in the ultra-luminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) Arp220. Our observations confirm the the presence of a molecular and atomic in-flow, previously suggested by Herschel observations, which is feeding the activity in the center of NGC4418. Molecular excitation confirms the presence of a very compact, hot dusty core. If a starburst is responsible for the observed IR flux, this has to be at least as extreme as the one in Arp220, with an age of 3-10 Myr and a star formation rate >10 Msun yr-1. If an AGN is present, it must be extremely Compton-thick.

Narrowband Lyman-Continuum Imaging of Galaxies at z ~ 2.85

We present results from a survey for z~2.85 Lyman-Continuum (LyC) emission in the HS1549+1933 field and place constraints on the amount of ionizing radiation escaping from star-forming galaxies. Using a custom narrowband filter (NB3420) tuned to wavelengths just below the Lyman limit at z>=2.82$, we probe the LyC spectral region of 49 Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) and 70 Lya-emitters (LAEs) spectroscopically confirmed at z>=2.82, as well as 58 z~2.85 LAE photometric candidates. Four LBGs and 19 LAEs are detected in NB3420. Using V-band data probing the rest-frame non-ionizing UV, we observe that many NB3420-detected galaxies exhibit spatial offsets between their LyC and non-ionizing UV emission and are characterized by extremely blue NB3420-V colors, corresponding to low ratios of non-ionizing to ionizing radiation (F_UV/F_LyC) that are in tension with current stellar population synthesis models. We measure average values of (F_UV/F_LyC) for our spectroscopically confirmed LBG and LAE samples, correcting for foreground galaxy contamination and HI absorption in the IGM. We find (F_UV/F_LyC)_corr,LBG=82 +/- 45 and (F_UV/F_LyC)_corr,LAE=7.6 +/- 4.1. These flux-density ratios correspond respectively to LyC escape fractions of f_esc,LBG=1-2% and f_esc,LAE=5-14%, and imply a comoving LyC emissivity from star-forming galaxies of 8.7-14.7 x 10^24 ergs/s/Hz/Mpc^3. In order to study the differential properties of galaxies with and without LyC detections, we analyze narrowband Lya imaging and rest-frame near-infrared imaging, finding that while LAEs with LyC detections have lower Lya equivalent widths on average, there is no substantial difference in the rest-frame near-infrared colors of LBGs or LAEs with and without LyC detections. These observations are consistent with an orientation-dependent model where LyC emission escapes through cleared paths in a patchy ISM.

The Host Halos of OI Absorbers in the Reionization Epoch [Replacement]

We use a radiation hydrodynamic simulation of the hydrogen reionization epoch to study OI absorbers at z~6. The intergalactic medium (IGM) is reionized before it is enriched, hence OI absorption originates within dark matter halos. The predicted abundance of OI absorbers is in reasonable agreement with observations. At z=10, roughly 70% of sightlines through atomically-cooled halos encounter a visible (N_OI > 10^14 cm^-2) column. Reionization ionizes and removes gas from halos less massive than 10^8.4 M_0, but 20% of sightlines through more massive halos encounter visible columns even at z=5. The mass scale of absorber host halos is 10-100 times smaller than the halos of Lyman break galaxies and Lyman-alpha emitters, hence absorption probes the dominant ionizing sources more directly. OI absorbers have neutral hydrogen columns of 10^19-10^21 cm^-2, suggesting a close resemblance between objects selected in OI and HI absorption. Finally, the absorption in the foreground of the z=7.085 quasar ULASJ1120+0641 cannot originate in a dark matter halo because halo gas at the observed HI column density is enriched enough to violate the upper limits on the OI column. By contrast, gas at less than one third the cosmic mean density satisfies the constraints. Hence the foreground absorption likely originates in the IGM.

High velocity HI is not associated with TeV supernova remnant W51C

The recently-detected TeV gamma-ray source HESS J1923+141 coincides with Supernova Remnant (SNR) W51C and the star forming region W51B of the W51 complex. We construct HI absorption spectra to SNR W51C, HII regions G49.2-0.35 and G49.1-0.38 in W51B, and a nearby compact extragalactic source. Our study detects high-velocity (HV) HI clouds (above 83 km/s) which coincide with W51B, but finds that the clouds are behind W51B. Both W51C and G49.2-0.35 have have similar highest-velocity absorption features at ~70 km/s. The HII region G49.1-0.38 is behind the SNR because its HI absorption spectrum has a feature at 83 km/s. These new results argue against previous claims that the SNR has shocked the HV HI clouds. Therefore the TeV emission from the complex should not be associated with the HV HI clouds. W51C has a distance of about 4.3 kpc, smaller than the tangent point distance of 5.5 kpc in that direction, but still in the Sagittarius spiral arm.

High velocity HI is not associated with TeV supernova remnant W51C [Replacement]

The recently-detected TeV gamma-ray source HESS J1923+141 coincides with Supernova Remnant (SNR) W51C and the star forming region W51B of the W51 complex. We construct HI absorption spectra to SNR W51C, HII regions G49.2-0.35 and G49.1-0.38 in W51B, and a nearby compact extragalactic source. Our study detects high-velocity (HV) HI clouds (above 83 km/s) which coincide with W51B, but finds that the clouds are behind W51B. Both W51C and G49.2-0.35 have have similar highest-velocity absorption features at ~70 km/s. The HII region G49.1-0.38 is behind the SNR because its HI absorption spectrum has a feature at 83 km/s. These new results argue against previous claims that the SNR has shocked the HV HI clouds. Therefore the TeV emission from the complex should not be associated with the HV HI clouds. W51C has a distance of about 4.3 kpc, smaller than the tangent point distance of 5.5 kpc in that direction, but still in the Sagittarius spiral arm.

GBT Detection of Polarization-dependent HI Absorption and HI Outflows in Local ULIRGs and Quasars

We present the results of a 21-cm HI survey of 27 local massive gas-rich late-stage mergers and merger remnants with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). These remnants were selected from the Quasar/ULIRG Evolution Study (QUEST) sample of ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs; L$_{8-1000 \mu m} > 10^{12}$ L$_\odot$) and quasars; our targets are all bolometrically dominated by active galactic nuclei (AGN) and sample the later phases of the proposed ULIRG-to-quasar evolutionary sequence. We find the prevalence of HI absorption (emission) to be 100% (29%) in ULIRGs with HI detections, 100% (88%) in FIR-strong quasars, and 63% (100%) in FIR-weak quasars. The absorption features are associated with powerful neutral outflows that change from being mainly driven by star formation in ULIRGs to being driven by the AGN in the quasars. These outflows have velocities that exceed 1500 km s$^{-1}$ in some cases. Unexpectedly, we find polarization-dependent HI absorption in 57% of our spectra (88% and 63% of the FIR-strong and FIR-weak quasars, respectively). We attribute this result to absorption of polarized continuum emission from these sources by foreground HI clouds. About 60% of the quasars displaying polarized spectra are radio-loud, far higher than the $\sim$10% observed in the general AGN population. This discrepancy suggests that radio jets play an important role in shaping the environments in these galaxies. These systems may represent a transition phase in the evolution of gas-rich mergers into "mature" radio galaxies.

Massive Star Formation at the Periphery of the Evolved Giant HII Region W 39

We present the first detailed study of the large, ~30 pc diameter, inner-Galaxy HII region W 39. Radio recombination line observations combined with HI absorption spectra and Galactic rotation models show that the region lies at V(LSR) = +65.4+/-0.5 km/s corresponding to a near kinematic distance of 4.5+/-0.2 kpc. Analysis of radio continuum emission shows that the HII region is being powered by a cluster of OB stars with a combined hydrogen-ionizing luminosity of log(Q) >=50, and that there are three compact HII regions located on the periphery of W 39, each with log(Q)~48.5 (single O7 – O9 V star equivalent). In the infrared, W 39 has a hierarchical bubble morphology, and is a likely site of sequential star formation involving massive stars. Kinematic models of the expansion of W 39 yield timescales of order Myr consistent with a scenario where the formation of the smaller HII regions has been triggered by the expansion of W 39. Using Spitzer GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL data we show that star-formation activity is not distributed uniformly around the periphery of W 39 but is concentrated in two areas that include the compact HII regions as well as a number of intermediate-mass Class I and Class II YSOs.

A relation between circumnuclear HI, dust, and optical cores in low-power radio galaxies

From new observations and literature data we investigate the presence of HI, dust, and optical cores in the central kiloparsec of low-power radio galaxies. The goal of this pilot study is to identify physical relations between these components, which can help us to study kinematics and feeding mechanisms in future samples of active galaxies. Our results are consistent with neutral gas being associated with dust on sub-kiloparsec scales. Objects that have HI absorption always have significant amounts of dust in their host galaxy. If there is no visible dust in the host galaxy, there is also no HI absorption. The presence of an unresolved optical core correlates with the HI column density, with the core being absent in high column density sources. This work opens a path for studying the kinematics of cold material in the central regions of active galaxies by combining information of HI absorption and molecular lines. Consistent with previous work, we find no evidence for a compact, parsec-scale obscuring torus in low-power radio galaxies.

Tearing the Veil: interaction of the Orion Nebula with its neutral environment

We present HI 21cm observations of the Orion Nebula, obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, at an angular resolution of 7.2"x5.7" and a velocity resolution of 0.77 km/s. Our data reveal HI absorption towards the radio continuum of the HII region, and HI emission arising from the Orion Bar photon-dominated region (PDR) and from the Orion-KL outflow. In the Orion Bar PDR, the HI signal peaks in the same layer as the H2 near-infrared vibrational line emission, in agreement with models of the photodissociation of H2. The gas temperature in this region is approximately 540K, and the HI abundance in the interclump gas in the PDR is 5-10% of the available hydrogen nuclei. Most of the gas in this region therefore remains molecular. Mechanical feedback on the Veil manifests itself through the interaction of ionized flow systems in the Orion Nebula, in particular the Herbig-Haro object HH202, with the Veil. These interactions give rise to prominent blueward velocity shifts of the gas in the Veil. The unambiguous evidence for interaction of this flow system with the Veil shows that the distance between the Veil and the Trapezium stars needs to be revised downwards to about 0.4pc. The depth of the ionized cavity is about 0.7pc, which is much smaller than the depth and the lateral extent of the Veil. Our results reaffirm the blister model for the M42 HII region, while also revealing its relation to the neutral environment on a larger scale.

Fueling the central engine of radio galaxies. II. The footprints of AGN feedback on the ISM of 3C 236

Aims: We study the emission of molecular gas in 3C236, a FR II radio source at z~0.1, and search for the footprints of AGN feedback. 3C236 shows signs of a reactivation of its AGN triggered by a recent minor merger episode. Observations have also previously identified an extreme HI outflow in this source. Methods: The IRAM PdBI has been used to study the distribution and kinematics of molecular gas in 3C236 by imaging with high spatial resolution the emission of the 12CO(2-1) line in the nucleus of the galaxy. We have searched for outflow signatures in the CO map. We have also derived the SFR in 3C236 using data available from the literature at UV, optical and IR wavelengths, to determine the star-formation efficiency of molecular gas. Results: The CO emission in 3C236 comes from a spatially resolved 2.6 kpc disk with a regular rotating pattern. Within the limits imposed by the sensitivity and velocity coverage of the CO data, we do not detect any outflow signatures in the cold molecular gas. The disk has a cold gas mass M(H2)~2.1×10^9 Msun. We determine a new value for the redshift of the source zCO=0.09927. The similarity between the CO and HI profiles indicates that the deep HI absorption in 3C236 can be accounted for by a rotating HI structure, restricting the evidence of HI outflow to the most extreme velocities. In the light of the new redshift, the analysis of the ionized gas kinematics reveals a 1000 km/s outflow. As for the CO emitting gas, outflow signatures are nevertheless absent in the warm molecular gas emission traced by infrared H2 lines. The star-formation efficiency in 3C236 is consistent with the value measured in normal galaxies, which follow the canonical KS-law. This result, confirmed to hold in other young radio sources examined in this work, is in stark contrast with the factor of 10-50 lower SFE that seems to characterize evolved powerful radio galaxies.

On the Hadronic Gamma-ray Emission from Tycho's Supernova Remnant

Hadronic gamma-ray emission from supernova remnants (SNRs) is an important tool to test shock acceleration of cosmic ray protons. Tycho is one of nearly a dozen Galactic SNRs which are suggested to emit hadronic gamma-ray emission. Among them, however, it is the only one in which the hadronic emission is proposed to arise from the interaction with low-density (~0.3 cm^{-3}) ambient medium. Here we present an alternative hadronic explanation with a modest conversion efficiency (of order 1%) for this young remnant. With such an efficiency, a normal electron-proton ratio (of order 10^{-2}) is derived from the radio and X-ray synchrotron spectra and an average ambient density that is at least one-order-of-magnitude higher is derived from the hadronic gamma-ray flux. This result is consistent with the multi-band evidence of the presence of dense medium from the north to the east of the Tycho SNR. The SNR-cloud association, in combination with the HI absorption data, helps to constrain the so-far controversial distance to Tycho and leads to an estimate of 2.5 kpc.

Probing the cool ISM in galaxies via 21cm HI absorption [Replacement]

Recent targeted studies of associated HI absorption in radio galaxies are starting to map out the location, and potential cosmological evolution, of the cold gas in the host galaxies of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The observed 21 cm absorption profiles often show two distinct spectral-line components: narrow, deep lines arising from cold gas in the extended disc of the galaxy, and broad, shallow lines from cold gas close to the AGN (e.g. Morganti et al. 2011). Here, we present results from a targeted search for associated HI absorption in the youngest and most recently-triggered radio AGN in the local universe (Allison et al. 2012b). So far, by using the recently commissioned Australia Telescope Compact Array Broadband Backend (CABB; Wilson et al. 2011), we have detected two new absorbers and one previously-known system. While two of these show both a broad, shallow component and a narrow, deep component (see Fig. 1), one of the new detections has only a single broad, shallow component. Interestingly, the host galaxies of the first two detections are classified as gas-rich spirals, while the latter is an early-type galaxy. These detections were obtained using a spectral-line finding method, based on Bayesian inference, developed for future large-scale absorption surveys (Allison et al. 2012a).

Probing the cool ISM in galaxies via 21cm HI absorption

Recent targeted studies of associated HI absorption in radio galaxies are starting to map out the location, and potential cosmological evolution, of the cold gas in the host galaxies of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The observed 21 cm absorption profiles often show two distinct spectral-line components: narrow, deep lines arising from cold gas in the extended disc of the galaxy, and broad, shallow lines from cold gas close to the AGN (e.g. Morganti et al. 2011). Here, we present results from a targeted search for associated HI absorption in the youngest and most recently-triggered radio AGN in the local universe (Allison et al. 2012b). So far, by using the recently commissioned Australia Telescope Compact Array Broadband Backend (CABB; Wilson et al. 2011), we have detected two new absorbers and one previously-known system. While two of these show both a broad, shallow component and a narrow, deep component (see Fig. 1), one of the new detections has only a single broad, shallow component. Interestingly, the host galaxies of the first two detections are classified as gas-rich spirals, while the latter is an early-type galaxy. These detections were obtained using a spectral-line finding method, based on Bayesian inference, developed for future large-scale absorption surveys (Allison et al. 2012a).

Not Dead Yet: Cool Circumgalactic Gas in the Halos of Early Type Galaxies

We report new observations of circumgalactic gas in the halos of early type galaxies obtained by the COS-Halos Survey with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. We find that detections of HI surrounding early type galaxies are typically as common and strong as around star-forming galaxies, implying that the total mass of circumgalactic material is comparable in the two populations. For early type galaxies, the covering fraction for HI absorption above 10^16 cm^2 is ~40-50% within ~150 kpc. Line widths and kinematics of the detected material show it to be cold (T ~< 10^5 K) in comparison to the virial temperature of the host halos. The implied masses of cool, photoionized CGM baryons may be up to 10^9 — 10^11 Msun. Contrary to some theoretical expectations, strong halo HI absorbers do not disappear as part of the quenching of star-formation. Even passive galaxies retain significant reservoirs of halo baryons which could replenish the interstellar gas reservoir and eventually form stars. This halo gas may feed the diffuse and molecular gas that is frequently observed inside ETGs.

Lyman alpha dominance of the Classical T Tauri FUV Radiation Field

Far-ultraviolet (FUV) radiation plays an important role in determining chemical abundances in protoplanetary disks. HI Lyman alpha is suspected to be the dominant component of the FUV emission from Classical T Tauri Stars (CTTSs), but is difficult to measure directly due to circumstellar and interstellar HI absorption. To better characterize the intrinsic Lyman alpha radiation, we present FUV spectra of 14 CTTSs taken with the Hubble Space Telescope COS and STIS instruments. H2 fluorescence, commonly seen in the spectra of CTTSs, is excited by Lyman alpha photons, providing an indirect measure of the Lyman alpha flux incident upon the warm disk surface. We use observed H2 progression fluxes to reconstruct the CTTS Lyman alpha profiles. The Lyman alpha flux correlates with total measured FUV flux, in agreement with an accretion-related source of FUV emission. With a geometry-independent analysis, we confirm that in accreting T Tauri systems Lyman alpha radiation dominates the FUV flux (~1150 – 1700 Angstroms). In the systems surveyed this one line comprises 70 – 90 % of the total FUV flux.

Overview on spectral line source finding and visualisation

Here I will outline successes and challenges for finding spectral line sources in large data cubes that are dominated by noise. This is a 3D challenge as the sources we wish to catalog are spread over several spatial pixels and spectral channels. While 2D searches can be applied, e.g., channel by channel, optimal searches take into account the 3-dimensional nature of the sources. In this overview I will focus on HI 21-cm spectral line source detection in extragalactic surveys, in particular HIPASS, the "HI Parkes All-Sky Survey" and WALLABY, the "ASKAP HI All-Sky Survey". I use the original HIPASS data to highlight the diversity of spectral signatures of galaxies and gaseous clouds, both in emission and absorption. Among others, I report the discovery of a 680 km/s wide HI absorption trough in the megamaser galaxy NGC 5793. Issues such as source confusion and baseline ripples, typically encountered in single-dish HI surveys, are much reduced in interferometric HI surveys. Several large HI emission and absorption surveys are planned for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP): here we focus on WALLABY, the 21-cm survey of the sky (Dec < +30 degr; z < 0.26) which will take about one year of observing time with ASKAP. Novel phased array feeds ("radio cameras") will provide 30 square degrees instantaneous field-of-view. WALLABY is expected to detect more than 500 000 galaxies, unveil their large-scale structures and cosmological parameters, detect their extended, low-surface brightness disks as well as gas streams and filaments between galaxies. It is a precursor for future HI surveys with SKA Phase I and II, exploring galaxy formation and evolution. The compilation of highly reliable and complete source catalogs will require sophisticated source-finding algorithms as well as accurate source parametrisation.

Study of the luminous blue variable star candidate G26.47+0.02 and its environment

The luminous blue variable (LBV) stars are peculiar very massive stars. The study of these stellar objects and their surroundings is important for understanding the evolution of massive stars and its effects on the interstellar medium. We study the LBV star candidate G26.47+0.02. Using several large-scale surveys in different frequencies we performed a multiwavelength study of G26.47+0.02 and its surroundings. We found a molecular shell (seen in the 13CO J=1-0 line) that partially surrounds the mid-infrared nebula of G26.47+0.02, which suggests an interaction between the strong stellar winds and the molecular gas. From the HI absorption and the molecular gas study we conclude that G26.47+0.02 is located at a distance of ~4.8 kpc. The radio continuum analysis shows a both thermal and non-thermal emission toward this LBV candidate, pointing to wind-wind collision shocks from a binary system. This hypothesis is supported by a search of near-IR sources and the Chandra X-ray analysis. Additional multiwavelength and long-term observations are needed to detect some possible variable behavior, and if that is found, to confirm the binary nature of the system.

Quenched Cold Accretion of a Large Scale Metal-Poor Filament due to Virial Shocking in the Halo of a Massive z=0.7 Galaxy

Using HST/COS/STIS and HIRES/Keck high-resolution spectra, we have studied a remarkable HI absorbing complex at z=0.672 toward the quasar Q1317+277. The HI absorption has a velocity spread of 1600 km/s, comprises 21 Voigt profile components, and resides at an impact parameter of D=58 kpc from a bright, high mass [log(M_vir/M_sun) ~ 13.7] elliptical galaxy that is deduced to have a 6 Gyr old, solar metallicity stellar population. Ionization models suggest the majority of the structure is cold gas surrounding a shock heated cloud that is kinematically adjacent to a multi-phase group of clouds with detected CIII, CIV and OVI absorption, suggestive of a conductive interface near the shock. The deduced metallicities are consistent with the moderate in situ enrichment relative to the levels observed in the z ~ 3 Ly-alpha forest. We interpret the HI complex as a metal-poor filamentary structure being shock heated as it accretes into the halo of the galaxy. The data support the scenario of an early formation period (z > 4) in which the galaxy was presumably fed by cold-mode gas accretion that was later quenched via virial shocking by the hot halo such that, by intermediate redshift, the cold filamentary accreting gas is continuing to be disrupted by shock heating. Thus, continued filamentary accretion is being mixed into the hot halo, indicating that the star formation of the galaxy will likely remain quenched. To date, the galaxy and the HI absorption complex provide some of the most compelling observational data supporting the theoretical picture in which accretion is virial shocked in the hot coronal halos of high mass galaxies.

A search for 21 cm HI absorption in AT20G compact radio galaxies

We present results from a search for 21 cm associated HI absorption in a sample of 29 radio sources selected from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey. Observations were conducted using the Australia Telescope Compact Array Broadband Backend, with which we can simultaneously look for 21 cm absorption in a redshift range of 0.04 < z 103 km/s . Using this technique we detect two new absorbers and a third, previously known, yielding a 10 per cent detection rate. Of the detections, the spectral-line profiles are consistent with the theory that we are seeing different orientations of the absorbing gas, in both the host galaxy and circumnuclear disc, with respect to our line-of-sight to the source. In order to spatially resolve the spectral-line components in the two new detections, and so verify this conclusion, we require further high-resolution 21 cm observations (~0.01 arcsec) using very long baseline interferometry.

A search for 21 cm HI absorption in AT20G compact radio galaxies [Replacement]

We present results from a search for 21 cm associated HI absorption in a sample of 29 radio sources selected from the Australia Telescope 20 GHz survey. Observations were conducted using the Australia Telescope Compact Array Broadband Backend, with which we can simultaneously look for 21 cm absorption in a redshift range of 0.04 < z 103 km/s . Using this technique we detect two new absorbers and a third, previously known, yielding a 10 per cent detection rate. Of the detections, the spectral-line profiles are consistent with the theory that we are seeing different orientations of the absorbing gas, in both the host galaxy and circumnuclear disc, with respect to our line-of-sight to the source. In order to spatially resolve the spectral-line components in the two new detections, and so verify this conclusion, we require further high-resolution 21 cm observations (~0.01 arcsec) using very long baseline interferometry.

Cold and warm molecular gas in the outflow of 4C12.50

We present deep observations of the 12CO(1-0) and (3-2) lines in 4C12.50, carried out with the 30m telescope of the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique. Our observations revealed the cold molecular gas component of a warm molecular gas outflow that was previously known from Spitzer Space Telescope data. The 12CO(3-2) profile indicates the presence of absorption at -950 km/s from systemic velocity with a central optical depth of 0.22. Its profile is similar to that of the HI absorption that was seen in radio data of this source. A potential detection of the (0-1) absorption enabled us to place an upper limit of 0.03 on its central optical depth, and to constrain the excitation temperature of the outflowing CO gas to >=65K assuming that the gas is thermalized. If the molecular clouds are fully obscuring their background millimeter continuum that is emitted by the radio core, the H2 column density is >=1.8*10^22 /cm^2. The outflow is then carrying an estimated cold H2 mass of at least 4.2*10^3 M_sun along the nuclear line of sight. This mass will be even higher when integrated over several lines of sight, but if it were to exceed 3*10^9 M_sun, the outflow would most likely be seen in emission. Since the ambient cold gas reservoir of 4C12.50 is 1.0*10^10 M_sun, the outflowing-to-ambient mass ratio of the warm gas (37%) could be elevated with respect to that of the cold gas.

Cold and warm molecular gas in the outflow of 4C12.50 [Replacement]

We present deep observations of the 12CO(1-0) and (3-2) lines in the ultra-luminous infrared and radio galaxy 4C12.50, carried out with the 30m telescope of the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique. Our observations reveal the cold molecular gas component of a warm molecular gas outflow that was previously known from Spitzer Space Telescope data. The 12CO(3-2) profile indicates the presence of absorption at -950 km/s from systemic velocity with a central optical depth of 0.22. Its profile is similar to that of the HI absorption that was seen in radio data of this source. A potential detection of the (0-1) absorption enabled us to place an upper limit of 0.03 on its central optical depth, and to constrain the excitation temperature of the outflowing CO gas to >=65K assuming that the gas is thermalized. If the molecular clouds fully obscure the background millimeter continuum that is emitted by the radio core, the H2 column density is >=1.8*10^22 /cm^2. The outflow then carries an estimated cold H2 mass of at least 4.2*10^3 M_sun along the nuclear line of sight. This mass will be even higher when integrated over several lines of sight, but if it were to exceed 3*10^9 M_sun, the outflow would most likely be seen in emission. Since the ambient cold gas reservoir of 4C12.50 is 1.0*10^10 M_sun, the outflowing-to-ambient mass ratio of the warm gas (37%) could be elevated with respect to that of the cold gas.

Tiny scale opacity fluctuations from VLBA, MERLIN and VLA observations of HI absorption toward 3C 138

The structure function of opacity fluctuations is a useful statistical tool to study tiny scale structures of neutral hydrogen. Here we present high resolution observation of HI absorption towards 3C 138, and estimate the structure function of opacity fluctuations from the combined VLA, MERLIN and VLBA data. The angular scales probed in this work are ~ 10-200 milliarcsec (about 5-100 AU). The structure function in this range is found to be well represented by a power law S_tau(x) ~ x^{beta} with index beta ~ 0.33 +/- 0.07 corresponding to a power spectrum P_tau(U) ~ U^{-2.33}. This is slightly shallower than the earlier reported power law index of ~ 2.5-3.0 at ~ 1000 AU to few pc scales. The amplitude of the derived structure function is a factor of ~ 20-60 times higher than the extrapolated amplitude from observation of Cas A at larger scales. On the other hand, extrapolating the AU scale structure function for 3C 138 predicts the observed structure function for Cas A at the pc scale correctly. These results clearly establish that the atomic gas has significantly more structures in AU scales than expected from earlier pc scale observations. Some plausible reasons are identified and discussed here to explain these results. The observational evidence of a shallower slope and the presence of rich small scale structures may have implications for the current understanding of the interstellar turbulence.

Cosmological evolution of atomic gas and implications for 21 cm HI absorption

Galaxy disks are shown to contain a significant population of atomic clouds of 100pc linear size which are self-opaque in the 21cm transition. These objects have HI column densities as high as 10^23 and contribute to a global opacity correction factor of 1.34+/-0.05 that applies to the integrated 21cm emission to obtain a total HI mass estimate. Opacity-corrected images of the nearest external galaxies have been used to form a robust z=0 distribution function of HI, f(N_HI,X,z=0), the probability of encountering a specific HI column density per unit comoving distance. This is contrasted with previously published determinations of f(N_HI,X) at z=1 and 3. A systematic decline of moderate column density (18<log(N_HI)20.3) has also declined systematically over this redshift interval by a similar amount, while the cosmological mass density in such systems has declined by only a factor of two to its current, opacity corrected value of Omega_HI^DLA(z=0) = 5.4 +/- 0.9×10^-4. We utilize the tight, but strongly non-linear dependence of 21cm absorption opacity on column density at z=0 to transform our HI images into ones of 21cm absorption opacity. These images are used to calculate distribution and pathlength functions of integrated 21cm opacity. The incidence of deep 21cm absorption systems is predicted to show very little evolution with redshift, while that of faint absorbers should decline by a factor of five between z=3 and the present. We explicitly consider the effects of HI absorption against background sources that are extended relative to the 100pc intervening absorber size scale. Future surveys of 21cm absorption will require very high angular resolution, of about 15mas, for their unambiguous interpretation. (Abridged.)

Distances of the TeV SNR complex CTB 37 towards the Galactic Bar

Three supernova remnants form the CTB 37 complex: CTB 37A (G348.5+0.1, associated with the TeV $\gamma$-ray source HESS J1714-385), CTB 37B (G348.7+0.3, associated with HESS J1713-381 and the magnetar CXOU J171405.7.381031), and G348.5-0.0. We use 21 cm HI absorption measurements to constrain the kinematic distances to these SNRs, which have not previously been determined well. We revise the kinematic distance for CTB 37A to be in the range 6.3 to 9.5 kpc (previously $\sim$11.3 kpc) because it is beyond the near 3-kpc arm and in front of the far side of the CO cloud at -145 km s$^{-1}$ towards $l$=348.5. G348.5-0.0 has a HI column density (N$_{HI}$ $\sim6.1\times10^{21}$ cm$^{-2}$) lower than CTB 37A ($\sim7.1\time10^{21}$ cm$^{-2}$). Also, G348.5-0.0 does not have the major absorption feature at -107 km s$^{-1}$ that CTB 37A shows. This is caused by the near 3-kpc arm, so G348.5-0.0 is at a distance of $\le$ 6.3 kpc. CTB 37B is at a distance of $\sim$13.2 kpc (previously 5 to 9 kpc) based on: 1) it has an absorption feature at -10$\pm$5 km s$^{-1}$ from the far 3-kpc arm, so CTB 37B is behind it; 2) there is absorption at -30 km s$^{-1}$ but not at -26 km s$^{-1}$, which yields the distance value; 3) the HI column density towards CTB 37B ($\sim8.3\times10^{21}$ cm$^{-2}$) is larger than CTB 37A. In summary, CTB 37A, CTB 37B and G348.5+0.0 are all at different distances and are only by chance nearby each other on the sky. In addition, we conclude that CTB 37 A and B are not associated with the historical Supernova AD 393.

The HI absorption distance of HESS J1943+213 favours its extragalactic nature [Replacement]

The H.E.S.S. collaboration (Abramowski et al. 2011) dicovered a new TeV point-like source HESS J1943+213 in the Galactic plane and suggested three possible low-energy-band counterparts: a $\gamma$-ray binary, a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), or a BL Lacertae object. We measure the distance to the radio counterpart G57.76-1.29 of HESS J1943+213. We analyze Very Large Array observations to obtain a reliable HI absorption spectrum.The resulting distance limit is $\ge$ 16 kpc. This distance strongly supports that HESS J1943+213 is an extragalactic source, consistent with the preferred counterpart of the HESS collaboration.

The HI absorption distance of HESS J1943+213 favours its extragalactic nature

The H.E.S.S. collaboration (Abramowski et al. 2011) dicovered a new a TeV point-like source HESS J1943+213 in the Galactic plane and suggested three possible low-energy-band counterparts: a $\gamma$-ray binary, a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), or a BL Lacertae object. Gabanyi et al. (2011) argue it is a PWN TeV source based on the radio counterpart’s lower brightness than expected from a high-frequency peak BL Lac object and their inferred HI absorption distance of $\sim$ 11.5 kpc in the Galaxy. However, we have analyzed the same archival data to obtain a reliable HI absorption spectrum and find a different distance of $\ge$ 17 kpc. This result disarms Gabanyi et al. (2011)’s conclusion and strongly supports that HESS J1943+213 is an extragalactic source, consistent with preferred counterpart of the HESS collaboration.

The HI absorption distance of HESS J1943+213 favours its extragalactic nature [Replacement]

The H.E.S.S. collaboration (Abramowski et al. 2011) dicovered a new a TeV point-like source HESS J1943+213 in the Galactic plane and suggested three possible low-energy-band counterparts: a $\gamma$-ray binary, a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), or a BL Lacertae object. Gabanyi et al. (2011) argue it is a PWN TeV source based on the radio counterpart’s lower brightness than expected from a high-frequency peak BL Lac object and their inferred HI absorption distance of $\sim$ 11.5 kpc in the Galaxy. However, we have analyzed the same archival data to obtain a reliable HI absorption spectrum and find a different distance of $\ge$ 17 kpc. This result disarms Gabanyi et al. (2011)’s conclusion and strongly supports that HESS J1943+213 is an extragalactic source, consistent with preferred counterpart of the HESS collaboration.

The RMS Survey: Resolving kinematic distance ambiguities towards a sample of compact HII regions using HI absorption

We present high-resolution HI data obtained using the Australia Telescope Compact Array to resolve the near/far distance ambiguities towards a sample of compact HII regions from the Red MSX Source (RMS) survey. The high resolution data are complemented with lower resolution archival HI data extracted from the Southern and VLA Galactic Plane surveys. We resolve the distance ambiguity for nearly all of the 105 sources where the continuum was strong enough to allow analysis of the HI absorption line structure. This represents another step in the determination of distances to the total RMS sample, which with over 1,000 massive young stellar objects and compact HII regions, is the largest and most complete sample of its kind. The full sample will allow the distribution of massive star formation in the Galaxy to be examined.

Radio observations of the TeV source HESS J1943+213: a new case of a pulsar wind nebula?

Recently, the H.E.S.S. Collaboration discovered a very high energy gamma-ray point source close to the Galactic plane. They offered three possible explanations for the nature of the source: a gamma-ray binary, a pulsar wind nebula, or a BL Lac object. They concluded that the observations favoured an extreme BL Lac object interpretation. We investigated the nature of the radio source reported as the counterpart of the very high energy gamma-ray source. We performed high-resolution radio interferometric observations with the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network at a frequency of 1.6 GHz on 2011 May 18. We also reanalysed archival 1.4-GHz radio continuum and HI spectral line data taken with the Very Large Array. The accurate position of the radio source, as observed with EVN, is ~ 4″ off from the one obtained in the NRAO VLA Sky Survey. The new position is in excellent agreement with that of the proposed X-ray counterpart of the TeV source. From HI absorption data, a distance of about 11.5 +/- 1.5 kpc can be inferred for this source. The large-scale HI data unveiled the presence of a shell-like feature with the radio/X-ray/TeV point source in its interior. We interpret this shell as the last vestige of a very old supernova that exploded in a tenuous environment created by the stellar wind of its massive stellar precursor. The estimated brightness temperature of the radio point source counterpart of HESS J1943+213 is well below the value expected from the Doppler-boosted radio emission of a BL Lacertae object. This fact and the discovery of traces of a distant supernova explosion around the location of the TeV source lead us to conclude that the most likely origin of the high-energy emission is a remote pulsar wind nebula. If this scenario is true, then the HI shell around HESS J1943+213 may represent a population of hitherto missing Galactic SNRs.

Radio observations of the TeV source HESS J1943+213: a new case of a pulsar wind nebula? [Replacement]

Recently, the H.E.S.S. Collaboration discovered a very high energy gamma-ray point source close to the Galactic plane. They offered three possible explanations for the nature of the source: a gamma-ray binary, a pulsar wind nebula, or a BL Lac object. They concluded that the observations favoured an extreme BL Lac object interpretation. We investigated the nature of the radio source reported as the counterpart of the very high energy gamma-ray source. We performed high-resolution radio interferometric observations with the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network at a frequency of 1.6 GHz on 2011 May 18. We also reanalysed archival 1.4-GHz radio continuum and HI spectral line data taken with the Very Large Array. The accurate position of the radio source, as observed with EVN, is ~ 4″ off from the one obtained in the NRAO VLA Sky Survey. The new position is in excellent agreement with that of the proposed X-ray counterpart of the TeV source. From HI absorption data, a distance of about 11.5 +/- 1.5 kpc can be inferred for this source. The large-scale HI data unveiled the presence of a shell-like feature with the radio/X-ray/TeV point source in its interior. We interpret this shell as the last vestige of a very old supernova that exploded in a tenuous environment created by the stellar wind of its massive stellar precursor. The estimated brightness temperature of the radio point source counterpart of HESS J1943+213 is well below the value expected from the Doppler-boosted radio emission of a BL Lacertae object. This fact and the discovery of traces of a distant supernova explosion around the location of the TeV source lead us to conclude that the most likely origin of the high-energy emission is a remote pulsar wind nebula. If this scenario is true, then the HI shell around HESS J1943+213 may represent a population of hitherto missing Galactic SNRs.

 

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