Discovery of a giant HI tail in the galaxy group HCG 44

Paolo Serra*, Bärbel Koribalski, Pierre Alain Duc, Tom Oosterloo, Richard M. McDermid, Leo Michel-Dansac, Eric Emsellem, Jean Charles Cuillandre, Katherine Alatalo, Leo Blitz, Maxime Bois, Frédéric Bournaud, Martin Bureau, Michele Cappellari, Alison F. Crocker, Roger L. Davies, Timothy A. Davis, P. T. Zeeuw, Sadegh Khochfar, Davor KrajnovićHarald Kuntschner, Pierre Yves Lablanche, Raffaella Morganti, Thorsten Naab, Marc Sarzi, Nicholas Scott, Anne Marie Weijmans, Lisa M. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


We report the discovery of a giant HI tail in the intragroup medium of HCG 44 as part of the ATLAS3D survey. The tail is ~300 kpc long in projection and contains ~5 × 108 M of HI. We detect no diffuse stellar light at the location of the tail down to ~28.5 mag arcsec-2 in g band. We speculate that the tail might have formed as gas was stripped from the outer regions of NGC 3187 (a member of HCG 44) by the group tidal field. In this case, a simple model indicates that about 1/3 of the galaxy's HI was stripped during a time interval of <1 Gyr. Alternatively, the tail may be the remnant of an interaction between HCG 44 and NGC 3162, a spiral galaxy now ~650 kpc away from the group. Regardless of the precise formation mechanism, the detected HI tail shows for the first time direct evidence of gas stripping in HCG 44. It also highlights that deep HI observations over a large field are needed to gather a complete census of this kind of events inthe local Universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery of a giant HI tail in the galaxy group HCG 44'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this