WSRT HI imaging of ultra-compact high velocity clouds: gas-bearing dark matter minihalos?

Elizabeth A. Adams, Tom Oosterloo, Riccardo Giovanelli, Martha P. Haynes, John M. Cannon, Yakov Faerman, William Janesh, Steven Janowiecki, Ricardo Munoz, Katherine L. Rhode, John Joseph Salzer, Amiel Sternberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


A long standing problem in cosmology is the mismatch between the number of low mass dark matter halos predicted by simulations and the number of low mass galaxies observed in the Local Volume. We recently presented a set of isolated ultra-compact high velocity clouds (UCHVCs) identified within the dataset of the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) HI line survey that are consistent with representing low-mass gas-bearing dark matter halos within the Local Volume (Adams+ 2013). At distances of ~1 Mpc, the UCHVCs have HI masses of ~10^5 Msun and indicative dynamical masses of 10^7-10^8 Msun. The HI diameters of the UCHVCs range from 4' to 20', or 1 to 6 kpc at a distance of 1 Mpc.We have selected the most compact and isolated UCHVCs with the highest average column densities as representing the best galaxy candidates. These systems have been observed with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) to enable higher spatial resolution (~60") studies of the HI distribution. The HI morphology revealed by the WSRT data offers clues to the environment and origin of the UCHVCs, the kinematics of the HI allow the underlying mass distribution to be constrained, and the combination of spatial and spectral resolution allow the detection of a cold neutral medium component to the HI. The WSRT HI observations discriminate among the selected galaxy candidates for those objects that are most likely gas-bearing dark matter halos.One UCHVC, AGC198606, is of particular interest as it is located 16 km/s and 1.2 degrees from Leo T and has similar HI properties within the ALFALFA dataset. The WSRT HI observations reveal a smooth HI morphology and a velocity gradient along the HI major axis of the system consistent with rotation. These properties are consistent with the hypothesis that this object is a gas-bearing low-mass dark matter halo.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015

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