Neutral hydrogen and optical observations of edge-on galaxies: Hunting for warps*
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Postbus 800, 9700 AV, Groningen, The Netherlands
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Corresponding author: K. Kuijken, K.H.Kuijken@astro.rug.nl
Accepted: 28 June 2002
We present 21-cm HI line and optical R-band observations for a sample of 26 edge-on galaxies. The HI observations were obtained with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, and are part of the WHISP database (Westerbork HI Survey of Spiral and Irregular Galaxies). We present HI maps, optical images, and radial HI density profiles. We have also derived the rotation curves and studied the warping and lopsidedness of the HI disks. 20 out of the 26 galaxies of our sample are warped, confirming that warping of the HI disks is a very common phenomenon in disk galaxies. Indeed, we find that all galaxies that have an extended HI disk with respect to the optical are warped. The warping usually starts around the edge of the optical disk. The degree of warping varies considerably from galaxy to galaxy. Furthermore, many warps are asymmetric, as they show up in only one side of the disk or exhibit large differences in amplitude in the approaching and receding sides of the galaxy. These asymmetries are more pronounced in rich environments, which may indicate that tidal interactions are a source of warp asymmetry. A rich environment tends to produce larger warps as well. The presence of lopsidedness seems to be related to the presence of nearby companions.
Key words: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: structure
© ESO, 2002