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Hubble Space Telescope and HI Imaging of Strong Ram Pressure Stripping in the Coma Spiral NGC 4921: Dense Cloud Decoupling and Evidence for Magnetic Binding in the ISM

Abstract : Remarkable dust extinction features in the deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) V and I images of the face-on Coma cluster spiral galaxy NGC 4921 show in unprecedented ways how ram pressure strips the ISM from the disk of a spiral galaxy. New VLA HI maps show a truncated and highly asymmetric HI disk with a compressed HI distribution in the NW, providing evidence for ram pressure acting from the NW. Where the HI distribution is truncated in the NW region, HST images show a well-defined, continuous front of dust that extends over 90° and 20 kpc. This dust front separates the dusty from dust-free regions of the galaxy, and we interpret it as galaxy ISM swept up near the leading side of the ICM-ISM interaction. We identify and characterize 100 pc-1 kpc scale substructure within this dust front caused by ram pressure, including head-tail filaments, C-shaped filaments, and long smooth dust fronts. The morphology of these features strongly suggests that dense gas clouds partially decouple from surrounding lower density gas during stripping, but decoupling is inhibited, possibly by magnetic fields that link and bind distant parts of the ISM.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 2:42:08 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 3:40:06 AM

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Jeffrey D. P. Kenney, Anne Abramson, Hector Bravo-Alfaro. Hubble Space Telescope and HI Imaging of Strong Ram Pressure Stripping in the Coma Spiral NGC 4921: Dense Cloud Decoupling and Evidence for Magnetic Binding in the ISM. The Astronomical Journal, 2015, 150, ⟨10.1088/0004-6256/150/2/59⟩. ⟨insu-03644892⟩

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