INAF – IASF Milano, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Observatoire de Paris, Section de Meudon, GEPI, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
3 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova, vicolo dell'Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
4 Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori, via VIII Febbraio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy
5 INAF – Osservatorio di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova Italy
6 Astronomisches Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
Accepted: 6 November 2006
Context.When a galaxy acquires material from the outside, it is likely that the resulting angular momentum of the accreted material is decoupled from that of the pre-existing galaxy. The presence of stars counter-rotating with respect to other stars and/or gas represents an extreme case of decoupling.
Aims.NGC 5719, an almost edge-on Sab galaxy with a prominent skewed dust lane, shows a spectacular on-going interaction with its face-on Sbc companion NGC 5713. Observations of such interacting systems provide insight into the processes at work in assembling and reshaping galaxies.
Methods.Studies were made of the distribution and kinematics of neutral hydrogen in the NGC 5719/13 galaxy pair and the ionised gas and stellar kinematics along the major axis of NGC 5719.
Results.Two HI tidal bridges that loop around NGC 5719 and connect to NGC 5713, and two HI tidal tails departing westward from NGC 5713 were detected. There is a correspondence between the HI condensations and the location of clumps of young stars within and outside the disc of NGC 5719. The low-mass satellite PGC 135857 at the tip of the northern tail was detected in HI, and is likely a by-product of the interaction. The neutral and ionised hydrogen in the disc of NGC 5719 are counter-rotating with respect to the main stellar disc. The counter-rotating stellar disc contains about 20% of the stars in the system, and has the same radial extension as the main stellar disc. This is the first interacting system in which a counter-rotating stellar disc has been detected.
Conclusions.The data support a scenario where HI from the large reservoir available in the galaxy's surroundings was accreted by NGC 5719 onto a retrograde orbit and subsequently fuelled the in situ formation of the counter-rotating stellar disc.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 5713 / galaxies: individual: NGC 5719 / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: spiral
© ESO, 2007