The High-Velocity Clouds: Galactic or Extragalactic?

H. van Woerden, B. P. Wakker, U. J. Schwarz, R. F. Peletier, P. M. W. Kalberla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


We present firm evidence that one of the major high velocity clouds (HVCs), Complex A, lies in the Milky Way Halo, at a vertical distance z = 3 - 7 kpc from the Galactic plane. For clouds MII/MIII, Danly et al. and Keenan et al. had already found z <5 kpc. We further report that the metallicity in the largest HVC, Complex C, is at least 0.1 solar. CaII/HI ratios in 6 HVCs, ranging from 0.002 to 0.07 times solar, set lower limits to their metallicities. Blitz et al. have recently suggested that most of the HVCs are relatively unprocessed, extragalactic remnants of the gas which formed the Local Group of galaxies. However, the results mentioned above indicate that several major HVC complexes are neither primordial nor extragalactic. For the smaller HVCs, some of which have much higher velocities, a location in the Local Group remains a possibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe local bubble and beyond
Subtitle of host publicationLyman-Spitzer-Colloquium; proceedings of the IAU Colloquium no. 166 held in Garching, Germany, 21-25 April 1997
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)3-540-64306-0
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Publication series

NameLecture notes in physics


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