Volume 483, Number 1, May III 2008
|Page(s)||89 - 106|
|Published online||04 February 2008|
Pre-peak ram pressure stripping in the Virgo cluster spiral galaxy NGC 4501
CDS, Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, 11, rue de l'université, 67000 Strasbourg, France e-mail: email@example.com
2 Astronomical Observatory, Jagiellonian University, Orla 171, 30-244 Kraków, Poland
3 NRAO Jansky fellow at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
4 Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 538 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA
5 Max-Planck-Insitut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
6 Yale University Astronomy Department, PO Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06520-8101, USA
Accepted: 25 January 2008
VIVA Hi observations of the Virgo spiral galaxy NGC 4501 are presented. The Hi disk is sharply truncated to the southwest, well within the stellar disk. A region of low surface-density gas, which is more extended than the main Hi disk, is discovered northeast of the galaxy center. These data are compared to existing 6 cm polarized radio continuum emission, Hα, and optical broad band images. We observe a coincidence between the western Hi and polarized emission edges, on the one hand, and a faint Hα emission ridge, on the other. The polarized emission maxima are located within the gaps between the spiral arms and the faint Hα ridge. Based on the comparison of these observations with a sample of dynamical simulations with different values for maximum ram pressure and different inclination angles between the disk and the orbital plane, we conclude that ram pressure stripping can account for the main observed characteristics. NGC 4501 is stripped nearly edge-on, is heading southwest, and is ~ Myr before peak ram pressure, i.e. its closest approach to M 87. The southwestern ridge of enhanced gas surface density and enhanced polarized radio-continuum emission is due to ram pressure compression. It is argued that the faint western Hα emission ridge is induced by nearly edge-on ram pressure stripping. NGC 4501 represents an especially clear example of early stage ram pressure stripping of a large cluster-spiral galaxy.
Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 4501 / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
© ESO, 2008
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