Global VLBI observations of the high-velocity H I absorption toward NGC 1275

E. Momjian, J. D. Romney, T. H. Troland

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11 Scopus citations


We present global VLBI observations of the ∼8100 km s-1 H I absorption feature detected toward the strong radio nucleus 3C 84 of NGC 1275 in the Perseus cluster (Vsys ∼ 5200 km s-1). The observations were obtained using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the phased Very Large Array (VLA), and three stations of the European VLBI Network (EVN). Our results provide the first high dynamic range image of this feature at high spectral and spatial resolutions. We detect six distinct absorption peaks with optical depths ranging from 0.1 to 0.45, and multiple weak features with τ ≤ 0.1. The compactness of the background radio source 3C 84, which has a linear extent of only about 16 pc, limits the conclusions that can be drawn as to the nature of the intervening object, which must be falling toward the center of the Perseus cluster at ∼3000 km s-1. However, the detected absorption peaks indicate the existence of several H I clouds with velocity differences and widths similar to those seen in Galactic neutral hydrogen absorption and similar to some of the H I absorption seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The most prominent H I clouds extend from 12 to 30 mas (milliarcseconds) on the plane of the sky. The derived H I column densities, assuming Ts = 50 K, range over (0.35-3.8) × 1020 cm-2, and the implied volume densities range between 1.4 and 11 cm-3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Feb 10 2002


  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: active
  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 1275)
  • Radio continuum: galaxies
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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