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          Institute: MPI für Kernphysik     Collection: Infrared Astrophysics     Display Documents

ID: 281788.0, MPI für Kernphysik / Infrared Astrophysics
Powerful High Velocity-Dispersion Molecular Hydrogen Associated with an Intergalactic Shock Wave in Stephan's Quintet
Authors:Appleton, P. N.; Xu, K. C.; Reach, W.; Dopita, M. A.; Gao, Y.; Lu, N.; Popescu, C. C.; Sulentic, J.; Tuffs, R. J.; Yun, M. S.
Research Context:galaxies: evolution—galaxies: individual (NGC 7318b)—galaxies: interactions—intergalactic medium
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2005-03-10
Title of Journal:Astrophysical Journal
Journal Abbrev.:ApJ Letters
Issue / Number:2, part 2
Start Page:L51
End Page:L54
Copyright:© 2006. The American Astronomical Society
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:We present the discovery of strong mid-infrared emission lines of molecular hydrogen of apparently high-velocity dispersion ( ± 870 km s-1) originating from a group-wide shock wave in Stephan's Quintet. These Spitzer Space Telescope observations reveal emission lines of molecular hydrogen and little else. This is the first time an almost pure H2 line spectrum has been seen in an extragalactic object. Along with the absence of PAH-dust features and very low excitation ionized gas tracers, the spectra resemble shocked gas seen in Galactic supernova remnants, but on a vast scale. The molecular emission extends over 24 kpc along the X-ray–emitting shock front, but it has 10 times the surface luminosity as the soft X-rays and about one-third the surface luminosity of the IR continuum. We suggest that the powerful H2 emission is generated by the shock wave caused when a high-velocity intruder galaxy collides with filaments of gas in the galaxy group. Our observations suggest a close connection between galaxy-scale shock waves and strong broad H2 emission lines, like those seen in the spectra of ultraluminous infrared galaxies where high-speed collisions between galaxy disks are common.
Free Keywords:galaxies: evolution—galaxies: individual (NGC 7318b)—galaxies: interactions—intergalactic medium
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Affiliations:MPI für Kernphysik/Group H. J. Völk/Infrared Astrophysics (R. Tuffs, H.J. Völk)
External Affiliations:Spitzer Science Center (SSC), California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125;
IPAC, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125.
Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Cotter Road, Weston Creek, ACT 2611, Australia.
Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 West Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.
Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01002.
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