We present imaging data from the CFHT, HST and Burrell Schmidt telescope together with spectroscopic data from the KPNO Coude feed spectrometer that show gas flowing out from the nucleus of M101 in a periodic, "geyser" -like manner. The most evident parts of the outflow are two oval bubbles lying east-west along a molecular bar which was discovered by Kenney et al. (1991, Ap.J., 366, 432). The 200x500 pc eastern bubble connects to a knot located 90 pc to the south of the nucleus while the 300x700 pc western bubble connects to a knot located 90 pc to the north of the nucleus. Velocity data show that material is streaming from the nucleus, through the knots and then out to the bubbles. Evidence is presented to show that the maximum outflow velocity is less than 300 km/sec, the geyser is periodic, and the cause could be a M < 10(6) M_⊙ black hole oscillating about the nucleus. If centrifugal force propels the bubbles outward along the bar, then the spiral arms must trail the rotation.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1994