Multiwavelength observations of the M15 intermediate-velocity cloud

Francis Keenan, Jonathan Smoker, Don Pollacco, L.M. Haffner, R.D. Davies

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We present Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope HI images, Lovell telescope multibeam H I wide-field mapping, William Herschel Telescope long-slit echelle Ca II observations, Wisconsin Halpha Mapper (WHAM) facility images, and IRAS ISSA 60- and 100-mum co-added images towards the intermediate- velocity cloud (IVC) at + 70 km s(-1), located in the general direction of the M15 globular cluster. When combined with previously published Arecibo data, the H I gas in the IVC is found to be clumpy, with a peak H I column density of similar to1.5 x 10(20) cm(-2), inferred volume density (assuming spherical symmetry) of similar to24 cm(-3)/D (kpc) and a maximum brightness temperature at a resolution of 81 x 14 arcsec(2) of 14 K. The major axis of this part of the IVC lies approximately parallel to the Galactic plane, as does the low- velocity H I gas and IRAS emission. The H I gas in the cloud is warm, with a minimum value of the full width at half-maximum velocity width of 5 km s(-1) corresponding to a kinetic temperature, in the absence of turbulence, of similar to540 K. From the H I data, there are indications of two-component velocity structure. Similarly, the Ca II spectra, of resolution 7 km s(-1), also show tentative evidence of velocity structure, perhaps indicative of cloudlets. Assuming that there are no unresolved narrow-velocity components, the mean values of log(10)[N(Ca II K) cm(2)] similar to 12.0 and Ca II/H I similar to2 5 x 10(-8) are typical of observations of high Galactic latitude clouds. This compares with a value of Ca II/H I>10(-6) for IVC absorption towards HD 203664, a halo star of distance 3 kpc, some 3.degrees1 from the main M15 IVC condensation. The main IVC condensation is detected by WHAM in Halpha with central local-standard-of-rest velocities of similar to60-70 km s(-1), and intensities uncorrected for Galactic extinction of up to 1.3 R, indicating that the gas is partially ionized. The FWHM values of the Halpha IVC component, at a resolution of 1degrees, exceed 30 km s(-1). This is some 10 km s(-1) larger than the corresponding H I value at a similar resolution, and indicates that the two components may not be mixed. However, the spatial and velocity coincidence of the Halpha and H I peaks in emission towards the main IVC component is qualitatively good. If the Halpha emission is caused solely by photoionization, the Lyman continuum flux towards the main IVC condensation is similar to2.7 x 10(6) photon cm(-2) s(-1). There is not a corresponding IVC Halpha detection towards the halo star HD 203664 at velocities exceeding similar to60 km s(- 1). Finally, both the 60- and 100-mum IRAS images show spatial coincidence, over a 0.675 x 0 625 deg(2) field, with both low- and intermediate-velocity H I gas (previously observed with the Arecibo telescope), indicating that the IVC may contain dust. Both the Halpha and tentative IRAS detections discriminate this IVC from high-velocity clouds, although the H I properties do not. When combined with the H I and optical results, these data point to a Galactic origin for at least parts of this IVC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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