Volume 405, Number 3, July III 2003
|Page(s)||969 - 973|
|Published online||30 June 2003|
The line-of-sight warp of the spiral galaxy ESO 123-G23
Radioastronomisches Institut der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121, Bonn, Germany
2 ASTRON, PO Box 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Postbus 800, 9700 AV, Groningen, The Netherlands
4 SISSA, via Beirut 4, 34013, Trieste, Italy
Corresponding author: G. Gentile, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 6 May 2003
We present 3-D modelling of the distribution and kinematics of the neutral hydrogen in the spiral galaxy ESO 123-G23. The optical appearance of this galaxy is an almost perfectly edge-on disk, while the neutral hydrogen is found to extend vertically out to about 15 kpc on either side of the galactic plane. The H I layer and the major features of the H I data cube can be successfully explained by a model dominated by a strong (about 30°) line-of-sight warp. Other models were tried, including a flare model and a two-component model, but they clearly do not reproduce the data. This is the first unambiguous detection of a galactic warp that has the maximum deviation from the central plane almost along the line-of-sight. No evidence for the presence of any companion galaxy is found in the H I data cube. Line-of-sight warps in edge-on galaxies are probably frequent, but escape detection as they are too weak. Moreover they may easily be mistaken as flares or “thick disks”. A 3-D modelling of the H I layer as the one presented here is needed in order to distinguish between these possibilities.
Key words: galaxies: individual: ESO 123-G23 / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: structure
© ESO, 2003
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