The high-velocity clouds: Why were they ever a mystery?

  • Gerrit L. Verschuur
V. Star Formation and Molecular and High-Velocity Clouds
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 306)


The Dutch observers thus went looking for infalling matter and found the HVCs. From the start, the phenomenon was forced into a mold that did not fit, a mold that it continues to resist, 25 years after the discovery. The HVCs became, and remained, a mystery because authority insisted, and most workers accepted, that the Outer Galaxy was essentially ordered and showed no significant non-circular motions. In addition, the caution that one component of space motion does not a model make was ignored. Then, when the Magellanic Stream was discovered, the step of considering that the Galaxy might look like other interacting galaxies, with flailing streamers of material reaching into intergalactic space, was shunned. It is time to abandon the concept that the Milky Way is a perfect spiral galaxy.


Circular Motion Spiral Structure Negative Velocity Positive Velocity Space Motion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerrit L. Verschuur
    • 1
  1. 1.Greenbelt

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