EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 391, Number 1, August III 2002
Page(s) 159 - 178
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020870


A&A 391, 159-178 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020870

An automated search for compact high-velocity clouds in the Leiden/Dwingeloo Survey

V. de Heij1, R. Braun2 and W. B. Burton1, 3

1  Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2  Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3  National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, USA

(Received 20 June 2001/ Accepted 31 May 2002)

Abstract
We describe an automated search through the Leiden/Dwingeloo H I Survey (LDS) for high-velocity clouds north of $\delta=-28^\circ$. From the general catalog we extract a sample of relatively small (less than about $8^\circ$) and isolated high-velocity clouds, CHVCs: anomalous-velocity H I clouds which are sharply bounded in angular extent with no kinematic or spatial connection to other H I features down to a limiting column density of $1.5\times10^{18}$ cm -2. This column density is an order of magnitude lower than the critical H I column density, ~ $2 \times 10^{19}$ cm -2, (e.g. Maloney 1993) where the ionized fraction is thought to increase dramatically due to the extragalactic radiation field. As such, these objects are likely to provide their own shielding to ionizing radiation. Their small angular size, of less than about $1^\circ$ FWHM, might then imply substantial distances, since the partially ionized H I skin in a power-law ionizing photon field has a typical exponential scale-length of 1 kpc (e.g. Corbelli & Salpeter 1993). The automated search algorithm has been applied to the HIPASS and to the Leiden/Dwingeloo data sets. The results from the LDS are described here; Putman et al. (2002) describe application of this algorithm to the HIPASS material. We identify 67 CHVCs in the LDS which satisfy stringent requirements on isolation, and an additional 49 objects which satisfy somewhat less stringent requirements. Independent confirmation is available for all of these objects, either from earlier data in the literature or from new observations made with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope and reported here. The catalog includes 54 of the 65 CHVCs listed by Braun & Burton (1999) on the basis of a visual search of the LDS data. SM: clouds - ISM: kinematics and dynamics - Galaxy: evolution - galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: Local Group


Offprint request: R. Braun, rbraun@astron.nl

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