We present deep neutral hydrogen (H i) observations of the starburst/Seyfert galaxy NGC 3079
and its environment, obtained with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Our observations
reveal previously unknown components, both in Hi emission and in absorption, that
show that NGC 3079 is going through a hectic phase in its evolution. The Hi disk appears
much more extended than previously observed and is morphologically and kinematically lopsided
on all scales with evidence for strong non-circular motions in the central regions. Our
data reveal prominent gas streams encircling the entire galaxy suggesting strong interaction
with its neighbours. A 33-kpc long Hi bridge is detected between NGC 3079 and MCG 9-17-
9, likely caused by ram-pressure stripping of MGC 9-17-9 by the halo of hot gas of NGC 3079.
The cometary Hi tail of the companion NGC 3073, earlier discovered by Irwin et al., extends
about twice as long in our data, while a shorter, second tail is also found. This tail is likely
caused by ram-pressure stripping by the strong, starburst driven wind coming from NGC 3079.
We also detect, in absorption, a nuclear Hi outflow extending to velocities well outside what
expected for gravitational motion. This is likely an atomic counterpart of the well-studied outflow
of ionised gas present in this galaxy. This may indicate that also large amounts of cold
gas are blown out of NGC 3079 by the starburst/AGN. Our estimates of the jet energy and
kinetic power suggest that both the AGN and the starburst in NGC 3079 are powerful enough
to drive the atomic outflow.