We report the discovery from the H I Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) of a gas cloud associated with the asymmetric spiral galaxy NGC 2442. This object, designated HIPASS J0731-69, contains ∼109 M⊙ of H I, or nearly one-third as much atomic gas as NGC 2442 itself. No optical counterpart to any part of HIPASS J0731-69 has yet been identified, consistent with the gas being diffuse and its streamlike kinematics. If the gas in HIPASS J0731-69 was once part of NGC 2442, then it was most likely a fairly recent tidal encounter with a moderately massive companion that tore it loose, although the possibility of ram-pressure stripping cannot be ruled out. This discovery highlights the potential of the HIPASS data for yielding new clues to the nature of some of the best-known galaxies in the local universe.
- Galaxies : intergalactic medium
- Galaxies: individual (NGC 2442)
- Galaxies: interactions
- Radio lines : galaxies