First results from the H I Jodrell All Sky Survey: inclination-dependent selection effects in a 21-cm blind survey

RH Lang, PJ Boyce*, VA Kilborn, RF Minchin, MJ Disney, CA Jordan, M Grossi, DA Garcia, KC Freeman, S Phillipps, AE Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Details are presented of the H i Jodrell All Sky Survey (HIJASS). HIJASS is a blind neutral hydrogen (H i) survey of the northern sky (delta > 22degrees), being conducted using the multibeam receiver on the Lovell Telescope (full width at half-maximum beamwidth 12 arcmin) at Jodrell Bank. HIJASS covers the velocity range -3500 to 10 000 km s(-1) , with a velocity resolution of 18.1 km s(-1) and spatial positional accuracy of similar to2.5 arcmin. Thus far about 1115 deg(2) of sky have been surveyed. The average rms noise during the early part of the survey was around 16 mJy beam(-1) . Following the first phase of the Lovell Telescope upgrade (in 2001), the rms noise is now around 13 mJy beam(-1) . We describe the methods of detecting galaxies within the HIJASS data and of measuring their H i parameters. The properties of the resulting H i-selected sample of galaxies are described. Of the 222 sources so far confirmed, 170 (77 per cent) are clearly associated with a previously catalogued galaxy. A further 23 sources (10 per cent) lie close (within 6 arcmin) to a previously catalogued galaxy for which no previous redshift exists. A further 29 sources (13 per cent) do not appear to be associated with any previously catalogued galaxy. The distributions of peak flux, integrated flux, H i mass and cz are discussed. We show, using the HIJASS data, that H i self-absorption is a significant, but often overlooked, effect in galaxies with large inclination angles to the line of sight. Properly accounting for it could increase the derived H i mass density of the local Universe by at least 25 per cent. The effect that this will have on the shape of the H i mass function will depend on how self-absorption affects galaxies of different morphological types and H i masses. We also show that galaxies with small inclinations to the line of sight may also be excluded from H i-selected samples, since many such galaxies will have observed velocity widths that are too narrow for them to be distinguished from narrow-band radio-frequency interference. This effect will become progressively more serious for galaxies with smaller intrinsic velocity widths. If, as we might expect, galaxies with smaller intrinsic velocity widths have smaller H i masses, then compensating for this effect could significantly steepen the faint-end slope of the derived H i mass function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-758
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • surveys
  • galaxies : distances and redshifts
  • galaxies : evolution
  • galaxies : luminosity function, mass function
  • large-scale structure of Universe


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