EDP Sciences
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Volume 401, Number 1, April I 2003
Page(s) 67 - 71
Section Galactic structure and dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020997

A&A 401, 67-71 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020997

Axisymmetrical gas inflow in the central region of NGC 7331

E. Battaner1, E. Mediavilla2, A. Guijarro3, S. Arribas4 and E. Florido1

1  Dpto. Física Teórica y del Cosmos, Universidad de Granada, Spain
2  Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain
3  Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán, Almería, Spain
4  Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA. Affiliated with the RSS Department of the European Space Agency. On leave from the IAC - CSIC

(Received 11 March 2002 / Accepted 4 July 2002)

New Integral Field Spectroscopy of the central region of NGC 7331 reveals strong H $\alpha$ emission in the well-known CO and HI ring of NGC 7331. The [NII]/H $\alpha$ ratio indicates that a large scale stellar formation process is taken place at the ring in agreement with previous hypothesis about the exhaustion of gas in the inner to the ring region. The dynamics of stars and gas are not coupled. There is a ring of peculiar velocities in the ionized gas velocity map. These peculiar velocities can be well interpreted by the presence of an axisymmetric inflow of 40 km s -1 at the inner boundary of the large-scale gaseous ring. We infer an inwards total flux of 1.6  $M_{\odot}$ yr -1. This value is typical of the accretion rates in hypothetical large nuclear black holes. Despite the large differences in the scales of the nucleus and the gas ring of NGC 7331, we suggest that this inwards flux is feeding the nucleus.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: individual: NGC 7331 -- galaxies: kinematics and dynamics -- galaxies: spiral

Offprint request: E. Battaner, battaner@ugr.es

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