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Compact H I Clouds at High Forbidden Velocities in the Inner Galaxy

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 17:45 authored by Stil, JM, Lockman, FJ, Taylor, AR, John DickeyJohn Dickey, Kavars, DW, Martin, PG, Rothwell, TA, Boothroyd, AI, McClure-Griffiths, NM
The VLA Galactic Plane Survey (VGPS) of the first Galactic quadrant was searched for H I emission with velocities well above the maximum velocity allowed by Galactic rotation. A sample of 17 small fast-moving clouds was identified. The distribution of the ensemble of clouds in longitude and velocity indicates that the clouds are part of the Galactic disk, despite their large forbidden velocity. The median angular diameter of the clouds detected in the VGPS is;4. These clouds would not be noticed in previous low-resolution surveys because of strong beam dilution. Assuming each cloud is located at the tangent point, a median cloud has a diameter of 10 pc, an H I mass of 60 M ⊙, and a velocity more than 25 km s -1 beyond the local terminal velocity derived from 12CO observations. Three clouds in the sample have a velocity between 50 and 60 km s -1 in excess of the local terminal velocity. The longitude distribution of the sample peaks near l = 30°, while the latitude distribution of the clouds is nearly flat. The observed longitude and latitude distributions are compared with simulated distributions taking into account the selection criteria of the cloud search. It is found that the number of clouds declines with distance from the Galactic center, with an exponential scale length 2.8-8 kpc at the 99% confidence level. We find a lower limit to the scale height of the clouds of 180 pc (HWHM), but the true value is likely significantly higher. © 2006. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Publication title

The Astrophysical Journal








School of Natural Sciences


The University of Chicago Press

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Chicago, USA

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