Completing HI observations of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

Gavazzi G., Boselli A., van Driel W., O'Neil K.

High sensitivity (rms noise ~ 0.5 mJy) 21-cm HI line observations were made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbished Arecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. These data, combined with the measurements available from the literature, provide the first set of HI data that is complete for all 355 late-type (Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with m_p <= 18.0 mag. The Virgo cluster \HI\ mass function (HIMF) that was derived for this optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMF derived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS HI survey and is inconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this rich cluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarily associated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions from early-type galaxies and isolated HI clouds. The inconsistency between the cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference in the optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the two environments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur in galaxies in rich clusters.

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