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 Late-type galaxies observed with SAURON: two-dimensional stellar and emission-line kinematics of 18 spiralsWe present the stellar and gas kinematics of a sample of 18 nearbylate-type spiral galaxies (Hubble types ranging from Sb to Sd), observedwith the integral-field spectrograph SAURON at the 4.2-m WilliamHerschel Telescope. SAURON covers the spectral range 4800-5380Å,allowing us to measure the Hβ, Fe, Mgb absorption features and theemission in the Hβ line and the [OIII]λλ4959,5007Å and [NI]λλ5198, 5200Å doublets over a 33× 41-arcsec2 field of view. The maps cover the nuclearregion of these late-type galaxies and in all cases include the entirebulge. In many cases the stellar kinematics suggests the presence of acold inner region, as visible from a central drop in the stellarvelocity dispersion. The ionized gas is almost ubiquitous and behaves ina complicated fashion: the gas velocity fields often display morefeatures than the stellar ones, including wiggles in the zero-velocitylines, irregular distributions, ring-like structures. The line ratio[OIII]/Hβ often takes on low values over most of the field,probably indicating a wide-spread star formation. Magnetic Fields in Starburst Galaxies and the Origin of the FIR-Radio CorrelationWe estimate minimum energy magnetic fields (Bmin) for asample of galaxies with measured gas surface densities, spanning morethan four orders of magnitude in surface density, from normal spirals toluminous starbursts. We show that the ratio of the minimum energymagnetic pressure to the total pressure in the ISM decreasessubstantially with increasing surface density. For the ultraluminousinfrared galaxy Arp 220, this ratio is ~10-4. Therefore, ifthe minimum energy estimate is applicable, magnetic fields in starburstsare dynamically weak compared to gravity, in contrast to normalstar-forming spiral galaxies. We argue, however, that rapid cooling ofrelativistic electrons in starbursts invalidates the minimum energyestimate. We assess a number of independent constraints on the magneticfield strength in starburst galaxies. In particular, we argue that theexistence of the FIR-radio correlation implies that the synchrotroncooling timescale for cosmic-ray electrons is much shorter than theirescape time from the galactic disk; this in turn implies that the truemagnetic field in starbursts is significantly larger thanBmin. The strongest argument against such large fields isthat one might expect starbursts to have steep radio spectra indicativeof strong synchrotron cooling, which is not observed. However, we showthat ionization and bremsstrahlung losses can flatten the nonthermalspectra of starburst galaxies even in the presence of rapid cooling,providing much better agreement with observed spectra. We furtherdemonstrate that ionization and bremsstrahlung losses are likely to beimportant in shaping the radio spectra of most starbursts at GHzfrequencies, thereby preserving the linearity of the FIR-radiocorrelation. We thus conclude that magnetic fields in starbursts aresignificantly larger than Bmin. We highlight severalobservations that can test this conclusion. Star Formation in Satellite GalaxiesWe present narrowband observations of the Hα emission in a sampleof 31 satellites orbiting isolated giant spiral galaxies. The samplestudied spans the range -19 mag The AMIGA sample of isolated galaxies. II. Morphological refinementWe present a refinement of the optical morphologies for galaxies in theCatalog of Isolated Galaxies that forms the basis of the AMIGA (Analysisof the interstellar Medium of Isolated GAlaxies) project. Uniformreclassification using the digitized POSS II data benefited from thehigh resolution and dynamic range of that sky survey. Comparison withindependent classifications made for an SDSS overlap sample of more than200 galaxies confirms the reliability of the early vs. late-typediscrimination and the accuracy of spiral subtypes within Δ T =1-2. CCD images taken at the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada were alsoused to solve ambiguities in early versus late-type classifications. Aconsiderable number of galaxies in the catalog (n = 193) are flagged forthe presence of nearby companions or signs of distortion likely due tointeraction. This most isolated sample of galaxies in the local Universeis dominated by two populations: 1) 82% are spirals (Sa-Sd) with thebulk being luminous systems with small bulges (63% between types Sb-Sc)and 2) a significant population of early-type E-S0 galaxies (14%). Mostof the types later than Sd are low luminosity galaxies concentrated inthe local supercluster where isolation is difficult to evaluate. Thelate-type spiral majority of the sample spans a luminosity rangeMB-corr = -18 to -22 mag. Few of the E/S0 population are moreluminous than -21.0 marking the absence of the often-sought superL* merger (e.g. fossil elliptical) population. The rarity ofhigh luminosity systems results in a fainter derived M* forthis population compared to the spiral optical luminosity function(OLF). The E-S0 population is from 0.2 to 0.6 mag fainter depending onhow the sample is defined. This marks the AMIGA sample as unique amongsamples that compare early and late-type OLFs separately. In othersamples, which always involve galaxies in higher density environments,M^*_E/S0 is almost always 0.3-0.5 mag brighter than M^*_S, presumablyreflecting a stronger correlation between M* andenvironmental density for early-type galaxies. Massive star formation in the central regions of spiral galaxiesContext: . The morphology of massive star formation in the centralregions of galaxies is an important tracer of the dynamical processesthat govern the evolution of disk, bulge, and nuclear activity. Aims. Wepresent optical imaging of the central regions of a sample of 73 spiralgalaxies in the Hα line and in optical broad bands, and deriveinformation on the morphology of massive star formation. Methods. Weobtained images with the William Herschel Telescope, mostly at a spatialresolution of below one second of arc. For most galaxies, no Hαimaging is available in the literature. We outline the observing anddata reduction procedures, list basic properties, and present the I-bandand continuum-subtracted Hα images. We classify the morphology ofthe nuclear and circumnuclear Hα emission and explore trends withhost galaxy parameters. Results. We confirm that late-type galaxies havea patchy circumnuclear appearance in Hα, and that nuclear ringsoccur primarily in spiral types Sa-Sbc. We identify a number ofpreviously unknown nuclear rings, and confirm that nuclear rings arepredominantly hosted by barred galaxies. Conclusions. Other than instimulating nuclear rings, bars do not influence the relative strengthof the nuclear Hα peak, nor the circumnuclear Hα morphology.Even considering that our selection criteria led to an over-abundance ofgalaxies with close massive companions, we do not find any significantinfluence of the presence or absence of a close companion on therelative strength of the nuclear Hα peak, nor on the Hαmorphology around the nucleus. Classifications of the Host Galaxies of Supernovae, Set IIIA homogeneous sample comprising host galaxies of 604 recent supernovae,including 212 objects discovered primarily in 2003 and 2004, has beenclassified on the David Dunlap Observatory system. Most SN 1991bg-likeSNe Ia occur in E and E/Sa galaxies, whereas the majority of SN1991T-like SNe Ia occur in intermediate-type galaxies. This differenceis significant at the 99.9% level. As expected, all types of SNe II arerare in early-type galaxies, whereas normal SNe Ia occur in all Hubbletypes. This difference is significant at the 99.99% level. A smallnumber of SNe II in E galaxies might be due to galaxy classificationerrors or to a small young-population component in these mainly oldobjects. No significant difference is found between the distributionsover the Hubble type of SNe Ibc and SNe II. This confirms that both ofthese types of objects have similar (massive) progenitors. The presentdata show that in order to understand the dependence of supernova typeon host-galaxy population, it is more important to obtain accuratemorphological classifications than it is to increase the size of thedata sample. The stellar populations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei - III. Spatially resolved spectral propertiesIn a recently completed survey of the stellar population properties oflow-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and LINER/HIItransition objects (TOs), we have identified a numerous class ofgalactic nuclei which stand out because of their conspicuous108-9 yr populations, traced by high-order Balmer absorptionlines and other stellar indices. These objects are called young-TOs',because they all have TO-like emission-line ratios. In this paper weextend this previous work, which concentrated on the nuclear properties,by investigating the radial variations of spectral properties inlow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our analysis is based onhigh signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectra in the 3500-5500Å interval for a sample of 47 galaxies. The data probe distancesof typically up to 850 pc from the nucleus with a resolution of ~100 pc(~1 arcsec) and S/N ~ 30. Stellar population gradients are mapped by theradial profiles of absorption-line equivalent widths and continuumcolours along the slit. These variations are further analysed by meansof a decomposition of each spectrum in terms of template galaxiesrepresentative of very young (<=107 yr), intermediate age(108-9 yr) and old (1010 yr) stellar populations.This study reveals that young-TOs also differ from old-TOs andold-LINERs in terms of the spatial distributions of their stellarpopulations and dust. Specifically, our main findings are as follows.(i) Significant stellar population gradients are found almostexclusively in young-TOs. (ii) The intermediate age population ofyoung-TOs, although heavily concentrated in the nucleus, reachesdistances of up to a few hundred pc from the nucleus. Nevertheless, thehalf width at half-maximum of its brightness profile is more typically100 pc or less. (iii) Objects with predominantly old stellar populationspresent spatially homogeneous spectra, be they LINERs or TOs. (iv)Young-TOs have much more dust in their central regions than otherLLAGNs. (v) The B-band luminosities of the central <~1 Gyr populationin young-TOs are within an order of magnitude of MB=-15,implying masses of the order of ~107-108Msolar. This population was 10-100 times more luminous in itsformation epoch, at which time young massive stars would have completelyoutshone any active nucleus, unless the AGN too was brighter in thepast. NGC 770: A Counterrotating Core in a Low-Luminosity Elliptical GalaxyWe present evidence for a counterrotating core in the low-luminosity(MB=-18.2) elliptical galaxy NGC 770 based on internalstellar kinematic data. This counterrotating core is unusual, as NGC 770is not the primary galaxy in the region and lies in an environment withevidence of ongoing tidal interactions. We discovered thecounterrotating core via single-slit Keck ESI echelle spectroscopy;subsequent integral field spectroscopy was obtained with the GeminiMultiobject Spectrograph. The counterrotating region has a peak rotationvelocity of 21 km s-1 as compared to the main galaxy'srotation speed of greater than 45 km s-1 in the oppositedirection. The counterrotating region extends to a radius of ~4" (0.6kpc), slightly smaller than the half-light radius of the galaxy, whichis 5.3" (0.8 kpc). The photometry and two-dimensional kinematics suggestthat the counterrotating component is confined to a disk whose scaleheight is less than 0.8" (0.1 kpc). The major axis of counterrotation ismisaligned with that of the outer galaxy isophotes by 15°. Wecompute an age and metallicity of the inner counterrotating region of3+/-0.5 Gyr and [Fe/H]=0.2+/-0.2 dex based on Lick absorption-lineindices. The lack of other large galaxies in this region limits possiblescenarios for the formation of the counterrotating core. We discussseveral scenarios and favor one in which NGC 770 accreted a smallgas-rich dwarf galaxy during a very minor merging event. If thisscenario is correct, it represents one of the few known examples ofmerging between two dwarf-sized galaxies. Bar-induced perturbation strengths of the galaxies in the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey - IBar-induced perturbation strengths are calculated for a well-definedmagnitude-limited sample of 180 spiral galaxies, based on the Ohio StateUniversity Bright Galaxy Survey. We use a gravitational torque method,the ratio of the maximal tangential force to the mean axisymmetricradial force, as a quantitative measure of the bar strength. Thegravitational potential is inferred from an H-band light distribution byassuming that the M/L ratio is constant throughout the disc. Galaxiesare deprojected using orientation parameters based on B-band images. Inorder to eliminate artificial stretching of the bulge, two-dimensionalbar-bulge-disc decomposition has been used to derive a reliable bulgemodel. This bulge model is subtracted from an image, the disc isdeprojected assuming it is thin, and then the bulge is added back byassuming that its mass distribution is spherically symmetric. We findthat removing the artificial bulge stretch is important especially forgalaxies having bars inside large bulges. We also find that the massesof the bulges can be significantly overestimated if bars are not takeninto account in the decomposition.Bars are identified using Fourier methods by requiring that the phasesof the main modes (m= 2, m= 4) are maintained nearly constant in the barregion. With such methods, bars are found in 65 per cent of the galaxiesin our sample, most of them being classified as SB-type systems in thenear-infrared by Eskridge and co-workers. We also suggest that as muchas ~70 per cent of the galaxies classified as SAB-types in thenear-infrared might actually be non-barred systems, many of them havingcentral ovals. It is also possible that a small fraction of the SAB-typegalaxies have weak non-classical bars with spiral-like morphologies. Coincidental supernovae in spiral galaxy NGC 772.Not Available The Properties of Satellite Galaxies in External Systems. II. Photometry and ColorsIn this second paper dedicated to the study of satellite galaxies wepresent broadband photometry in the B, V, R, and I filters of 49satellite galaxies orbiting giant isolated spiral galaxies. Firstanalysis of the properties of these objects are presented by means ofcolor-color and color-magnitude diagrams for early- and late-typesatellites. Although we find differences in the slope of the V-I versusMv color magnitude diagram, as a whole, the relations are inagreement with the trends known to date for galaxies of similarmagnitudes in nearby clusters of galaxies. Comparison with the relationsfound for satellites in the Local Group allows us to sample better thebright end of the luminosity function of satellite galaxies and extendsfor brighter objects the validity of the color-magnitude relation foundfor dwarf galaxies in the Local Group. Most of the E/S0 galaxies in oursample show a negative color gradient with values similar to those knownfor early-type galaxies in other environments. The Rotation Curves of Dwarf Galaxies: A Problem for Cold Dark Matter?We address the issue of accuracy in recovering density profiles fromobservations of rotation curves of galaxies. We observe'' and analyzeour models in much the same way as observers do the real galaxies. Ourmodels include stellar disks, disks with bars, and small bulges. We findthat the tilted-ring model analysis produces an underestimate of thecentral rotational velocity. In some cases the galaxy halo densityprofile seems to have a flat core, while in reality it does not. Weidentify three effects that explain the systematic biases: inclination,small bulge, and bar. Inclination effects are due to the finitethickness of the disk, bar, or bulge. Admixture of a nonrotating bulgecomponent reduces the rotational velocity. A small (200-500 pc) bulgemay be overlooked, leading to systematic bias even on relatively large(~1 kpc) distances. In the case of a disk with a bar, the underestimateof the circular velocity is larger because of a combination ofnoncircular motions and random velocities. The effect of the bar dependson the angle that the bar makes with the line of sight. Signatures ofbars can be difficult to detect in the surface brightness profiles ofthe model galaxies. The variations of inclination angle and isophoteposition angle with radius are more reliable indicators of bar presencethan the surface brightness profiles. The systematic biases in thecentral ~1 kpc of galaxies are not large. Each effect separately givestypically a few km s-1 error, but the effects add up. In somecases the error in circular velocity was a factor of 2, but typically weget about a 20% effect. The result is the false inference that thedensity profile of the halo flattens in the central parts. Ourobservations of real galaxies show that for a large fraction of galaxiesthe velocity of gas rotation (as measured by emission lines) is veryclose to the rotation of the stellar component (as measured byabsorption lines). This implies that the systematic effects discussed inthis paper are also applicable both for the stars and emission-line gas. Circumnuclear Structure and Black Hole Fueling: Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Imaging of 250 Active and Normal GalaxiesWhy are the nuclei of some galaxies more active than others? If mostgalaxies harbor a central massive black hole, the main difference isprobably in how well it is fueled by its surroundings. We investigatethe hypothesis that such a difference can be seen in the detailedcircumnuclear morphologies of galaxies using several quantitativelydefined features, including bars, isophotal twists, boxy and diskyisophotes, and strong nonaxisymmetric features in unsharp-masked images.These diagnostics are applied to 250 high-resolution images of galaxycenters obtained in the near-infrared with NICMOS on the Hubble SpaceTelescope. To guard against the influence of possible biases andselection effects, we have carefully matched samples of Seyfert 1,Seyfert 2, LINER, starburst, and normal galaxies in their basicproperties, taking particular care to ensure that each was observed witha similar average scale (10-15 pc pixel-1). Severalmorphological differences among our five different spectroscopicclassifications emerge from the analysis. The H II/starburst galaxiesshow the strongest deviations from smooth elliptical isophotes, whilethe normal galaxies and LINERs have the least disturbed morphology. TheSeyfert 2s have significantly more twisted isophotes than any othercategory, and the early-type Seyfert 2s are significantly more disturbedthan the early-type Seyfert 1s. The morphological differences betweenSeyfert 1s and Seyfert 2s suggest that more is at work than simply theviewing angle of the central engine. They may correspond to differentevolutionary stages. The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph ObservationsWe present a study of the stellar populations of low-luminosity activegalactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our goal is to search for spectroscopicsignatures of young and intermediate-age stars and to investigate theirrelationship with the ionization mechanism in LLAGNs. The method used isbased on the stellar population synthesis of the optical continuum ofthe innermost (20-100 pc) regions in these galaxies. For this purpose,we have collected high spatial resolution optical (2900-5700 Å)STIS spectra of 28 nearby LLAGNs that are available in the Hubble SpaceTelescope archive. The analysis of these data is compared with a similaranalysis also presented here for 51 ground-based spectra of LLAGNs. Ourmain findings are as follows: (1) No features due to Wolf-Rayet starswere convincingly detected in the STIS spectra. (2) Young starscontribute very little to the optical continuum in the ground-basedaperture. However, the fraction of light provided by these stars ishigher than 10% in most of the weak-[O I] ([OI]/Hα<=0.25) LLAGNSTIS spectra. (3) Intermediate-age stars contribute significantly to theoptical continuum of these nuclei. This population is more frequent inobjects with weak than with strong [O I]. Weak-[O I] LLAGNs that haveyoung stars stand out for their intermediate-age population. (4) Most ofthe strong-[O I] LLAGNs have predominantly old stellar population. A fewof these objects also show a featureless continuum that contributessignificantly to the optical continuum. These results suggest that youngand intermediate-age stars do not play a significant role in theionization of LLAGNs with strong [O I]. However, the ionization inweak-[O I] LLAGNs with young and/or intermediate-age populations couldbe due to stellar processes. A comparison of the properties of theseobjects with Seyfert 2 galaxies that harbor a nuclear starburst suggeststhat weak-[O I] LLAGNs are the lower luminosity counterparts of theSeyfert 2 composite nuclei.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555. Based on observations made with the Nordic OpticalTelescope (NOT), operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark,Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio delRoque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica deCanarias. The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. I. Ground-based ObservationsWe present a spectroscopic study of the stellar populations oflow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our main goal is todetermine whether the stars that live in the innermost (100 pc scale)regions of these galaxies are in some way related to the emission-lineproperties, which would imply a link between the stellar population andthe ionization mechanism. High signal-to-noise ratio, ground-basedlong-slit spectra in the 3500-5500 Å interval were collected for60 galaxies: 51 LINERs and LINER/H II transition objects, two starburstgalaxies, and seven nonactive galaxies. In this paper, the first of aseries, we (1) describe the sample; (2) present the nuclear spectra; (3)characterize the stellar populations of LLAGNs by means of an empiricalcomparison with normal galaxies; (4) measure a set of spectral indices,including several absorption-line equivalent widths and colorsindicative of stellar populations; and (5) correlate the stellar indiceswith emission-line ratios that may distinguish between possibleexcitation sources for the gas. Our main findings are as follows: (1)Few LLAGNs have a detectable young (<~107 yr) starburstcomponent, indicating that very massive stars do not contributesignificantly to the optical continuum. In particular, no features dueto Wolf-Rayet stars were convincingly detected. (2) High-order Balmerabsorption lines of H I (HOBLs), on the other hand, are detected in ~40%of LLAGNs. These features, which are strongest in108-109 yr intermediate-age stellar populations,are accompanied by diluted metal absorption lines and bluer colors thanother objects in the sample. (3) These intermediate-age populations arevery common (~50%) in LLAGNs with relatively weak [O I] emission([OI]/Hα<=0.25) but rare (~10%) in LLAGNs with stronger [O I].This is intriguing since LLAGNs with weak [O I] have been previouslyhypothesized to be transition objects'' in which both an AGN and youngstars contribute to the emission-line excitation. Massive stars, ifpresent, are completely outshone by intermediate-age and old stars inthe optical. This happens in at least a couple of objects whereindependent UV spectroscopy detects young starbursts not seen in theoptical. (4) Objects with predominantly old stars span the whole rangeof [O I]/Hα values, but (5) sources with significant young and/orintermediate-age populations are nearly all (~90%) weak-[O I] emitters.These new findings suggest a link between the stellar populations andthe gas ionization mechanism. The strong-[O I] objects are most likelytrue LLAGNs, with stellar processes being insignificant. However, theweak-[O I] objects may comprise two populations, one where theionization is dominated by stellar processes and another where it isgoverned by either an AGN or a more even mixture of stellar and AGNprocesses. Possible stellar sources for the ionization include weakstarbursts, supernova remnants, and evolved poststarburst populations.These scenarios are examined and constrained by means of complementaryobservations and detailed modeling of the stellar populations inforthcoming communications.Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operatedon the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofísica de Canárias. Neutral Hydrogen in Arp 158We present 21 cm observations of Arp 158. We have performed a study ofthe neutral hydrogen (H I) to help us understand the overall formationand evolution of this system. This is a disturbed system with distinctoptical knots connected by a linear structure embedded in luminousmaterial. There is also a diffuse spray to the southeast. The H I seemsto be made up of three distinct, kinematically separate systems. Arp 158bears a certain optical resemblance to NGC 520 (Arp 157), which has beenidentified as a mid-stage merger. From our 21 cm observations of Arp158, we also see a comparable H I content with NGC 520. Thesesimilarities suggest that Arp 158 is also an intermediate-stage merger. Properties of isolated disk galaxiesWe present a new sample of northern isolated galaxies, which are definedby the physical criterion that they were not affected by other galaxiesin their evolution during the last few Gyr. To find them we used thelogarithmic ratio, f, between inner and tidal forces acting upon thecandidate galaxy by a possible perturber. The analysis of thedistribution of the f-values for the galaxies in the Coma cluster leadus to adopt the criterion f ≤ -4.5 for isolated galaxies. Thecandidates were chosen from the CfA catalog of galaxies within thevolume defined by cz ≤5000 km s-1, galactic latitudehigher than 40o and declination ≥-2.5o. Theselection of the sample, based on redshift values (when available),magnitudes and sizes of the candidate galaxies and possible perturberspresent in the same field is discussed. The final list of selectedisolated galaxies includes 203 objects from the initial 1706. The listcontains only truly isolated galaxies in the sense defined, but it is byno means complete, since all the galaxies with possible companions underthe f-criterion but with unknown redshift were discarded. We alsoselected a sample of perturbed galaxies comprised of all the diskgalaxies from the initial list with companions (with known redshift)satisfying f ≥ -2 and \Delta(cz) ≤500 km s-1; a totalof 130 objects. The statistical comparison of both samples showssignificant differences in morphology, sizes, masses, luminosities andcolor indices. Confirming previous results, we found that late spiral,Sc-type galaxies are, in particular, more frequent among isolatedgalaxies, whereas Lenticular galaxies are more abundant among perturbedgalaxies. Isolated systems appear to be smaller, less luminous and bluerthan interacting objects. We also found that bars are twice as frequentamong perturbed galaxies compared to isolated galaxies, in particularfor early Spirals and Lenticulars. The perturbed galaxies have higherLFIR/LB and Mmol/LB ratios,but the atomic gas content is similar for the two samples. The analysisof the luminosity-size and mass-luminosity relations shows similartrends for both families, the main difference being the almost totalabsence of big, bright and massive galaxies among the family of isolatedsystems, together with the almost total absence of small, faint and lowmass galaxies among the perturbed systems. All these aspects indicatethat the evolution induced by interactions with neighbors would proceedfrom late, small, faint and low mass Spirals to earlier, bigger, moreluminous and more massive spiral and lenticular galaxies, producing atthe same time a larger fraction of barred galaxies but preserving thesame relations between global parameters. The properties we found forour sample of isolated galaxies appear similar to those of high redshiftgalaxies, suggesting that the present-day isolated galaxies could bequietly evolved, unused building blocks surviving in low densityenvironments.Tables \ref{t1} and \ref{t2} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Dust masses and star formation in bright IRAS galaxies. Application of a physical model for the interpretation of FIR observationsWe address the problem of modeling the far-infrared (FIR) spectrum andderiving the star-formation rate (SFR) and the dust mass of spiralgalaxies. We use the realistic physical model of Popescu et al.(\cite{popescu}) to describe the overall ultra-violet (UV), optical andFIR spectral energy distribution (SED) of a spiral galaxy. The modeltakes into account the 3-dimensional old and young stellar distributionsin the bulge and the disk of a galaxy, together with the dust geometry.The geometrical characteristics of the galaxy and the intrinsic opticaland near-infrared spectra are determined by the galaxy's observed K-bandphotometry. The UV part of the spectrum is assumed to be proportional tothe SFR through the use of population synthesis models. By solving theradiative transfer equation, we are able to determine the absorbedenergy, the dust temperature and the resulting FIR spectrum. The modelhas only three free parameters: SFR, dust mass, and the fraction of theUV radiation which is absorbed locally by dense dust in the HII regions.Using this model, we are able to fit well the FIR spectra of 62 brightIRAS galaxies from the SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey" of Dunne etal. (\cite{dunne1}). As a result, we are able to determine, amongothers, their SFR and dust mass. We find that, on average, the SFR (inabsolute units), the star-formation efficiency, the SFR surface densityand the ratio of FIR luminosity over the total intrinsic luminosity, arelarger than the respective values of typical spiral galaxies of the samemorphological type. We also find that the mean gas-to-dust mass ratio isclose to the Galactic value, while the average central face-on opticaldepth of these galaxies in the V band is 2.3. Finally, we find a strongcorrelation between SFR or dust mass and observed FIR quantities liketotal FIR luminosity or FIR luminosity at 100 and 850 μm. Thesecorrelations yield well-defined relations, which can be used todetermine a spiral galaxy's SFR and dust-mass content from FIRobservations. Supernovae 2003io, 2003iq, and 2003isIAUC 8225 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Supernovae 2003hl and 2003iq in NGC 772IAUC 8219 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Supernovae 2003hg, 2003hh, 2003hi, 2003hj, 2003hk, 2003hlIAUC 8184 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. The IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy SampleIRAS flux densities, redshifts, and infrared luminosities are reportedfor all sources identified in the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample(RBGS), a complete flux-limited survey of all extragalactic objects withtotal 60 μm flux density greater than 5.24 Jy, covering the entiresky surveyed by IRAS at Galactic latitudes |b|>5°. The RBGS includes629 objects, with median and mean sample redshifts of 0.0082 and 0.0126,respectively, and a maximum redshift of 0.0876. The RBGS supersedes theprevious two-part IRAS Bright Galaxy Samples(BGS1+BGS2), which were compiled before the final(Pass 3) calibration of the IRAS Level 1 Archive in 1990 May. The RBGSalso makes use of more accurate and consistent automated methods tomeasure the flux of objects with extended emission. The RBGS contains 39objects that were not present in the BGS1+BGS2,and 28 objects from the BGS1+BGS2 have beendropped from RBGS because their revised 60 μm flux densities are notgreater than 5.24 Jy. Comparison of revised flux measurements forsources in both surveys shows that most flux differences are in therange ~5%-25%, although some faint sources at 12 and 25 μm differ byas much as a factor of 2. Basic properties of the RBGS sources aresummarized, including estimated total infrared luminosities, as well asupdates to cross identifications with sources from optical galaxycatalogs established using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Inaddition, an atlas of images from the Digitized Sky Survey with overlaysof the IRAS position uncertainty ellipse and annotated scale bars isprovided for ease in visualizing the optical morphology in context withthe angular and metric size of each object. The revised bolometricinfrared luminosity function, φ(Lir), forinfrared-bright galaxies in the local universe remains best fit by adouble power law, φ(L)~Lα, withα=-0.6(+/-0.1) and α=-2.2(+/-0.1) below and above thecharacteristic'' infrared luminosityL*ir~1010.5Lsolar,respectively. A companion paper provides IRAS High Resolution (HIRES)processing of over 100 RBGS sources where improved spatial resolutionoften provides better IRAS source positions or allows for deconvolutionof close galaxy pairs. Revised positions for CIG galaxiesWe present revised positions for the 1051 galaxies belonging to theKarachentseva Catalog of Isolated Galaxies (CIG). New positions werecalculated by applying SExtractor to the Digitized Sky Survey CIG fieldswith a spatial resolution of 1 arcsper 2. We visually checked theresults and for 118 galaxies had to recompute the assigned positions dueto complex morphologies (e.g. distorted isophotes, undefined nuclei,knotty galaxies) or the presence of bright stars. We found differencesbetween older and newer positions of up to 38 arcsec with a mean valueof 2 arcsper 96 relative to SIMBAD and up to 38 arcsec and 2 arcsper 42respectively relative to UZC. Based on star positions from the APMcatalog we determined that the DSS astrometry of five CIG fields has amean offset in (alpha , delta ) of (-0 arcsper 90, 0 arcsper 93) with adispersion of 0 arcsper 4. These results have been confirmed using the2MASS All-Sky Catalog of Point Sources. The intrinsic errors of ourmethod combined with the astrometric ones are of the order of 0 arcsper5.Full Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/411/391 Dwarfs after mergers? The case of NGC 520, NGC 772, Arp 141, NGC 3226/7, NGC 3656 and Arp 299We present results from a survey of dwarf galaxy candidates in thevicinity of strongly interacting galaxies. The goal of the survey was atest of the hypothesis that massive condensations of stars and HI intidal tails of large interacting galaxies may be a significant source ofindependent, self-gravitating dwarf galaxies. These so called tidaldwarf galaxies (TDG) can be expected to resemble the blue luminous knotsfound in tidal tails, but also might appear as redder, evolved systemsif formed much before they are being observed. For the present study, ahomogeneous subsample of 6 fields was selected from the catalog ofextended objects in fields around 15 strongly interacting galaxies byDeeg et al. (\cite{Deeg98}). Criteria for the subsample were: similarredshifts of the central interacting galaxies, and photometriccompleteness of the extended objects in V and R. The number density ofthese TDG candidates was compared with expected background galaxydensities. Within the statistical errors, background galaxies accountfor most, if not all of the extended objects. There is no evidence for asubstantial locally formed dwarf galaxy population. Thus, we concludethat field galaxy-galaxy interactions are likely to result in theformation of only a few long-lived TDG. Bar strengths in spiral galaxies estimated from 2MASS imagesNon-axisymmetric forces are presented for a sample of 107 spiralgalaxies, of which 31 are barred (SB) and 53 show nuclear activity. As adata base we use JHK images from the 2 Micron All-sky Survey, and thenon-axisymmetries are characterized by the ratio of the tangential forceto the mean axisymmetric radial force field, following Buta & Block.Bar strengths have an important role in many extragalactic problems andtherefore it is important to verify that the different numerical methodsapplied for calculating the forces give mutually consistent results. Weapply both direct Cartesian integration and a polar grid integrationutilizing a limited number of azimuthal Fourier components of density.We find that the bar strength is independent of the method used toevaluate the gravitational potential. However, because of thedistance-dependent smoothing by Fourier decomposition, the polar methodis more suitable for weak and noisy images. The largest source ofuncertainty in the derived bar strength appears to be the uncertainty inthe vertical scaleheight, which is difficult to measure directly formost galaxies. On the other hand, the derived bar strength is ratherinsensitive to the possible gradient in the vertical scaleheight of thedisc or to the exact model of the vertical density distribution,provided that the same effective vertical dispersion is assumed in allmodels. In comparison with the pioneering study by Buta & Block, thebar strength estimate is improved here by taking into account thedependence of the vertical scaleheight on the Hubble type: we find thatfor thin discs bar strengths are stronger than for thick discs by anamount that may correspond to as much as one bar strength class. Weconfirm the previous result by Buta and co-workers showing that thedispersion in bar strength is large among all the de Vaucouleurs opticalbar classes. In the near-infrared 40 per cent of the galaxies in oursample have bars (showing constant phases in the m= 2 Fourier amplitudesin the bar region), while in the optical band one-third of these barsare obscured by dust. Significant non-axisymmetric forces can also beinduced by the spiral arms, generally in the outer parts of the galacticdiscs, which may have important implications on galaxy evolution.Possible biases of the selected sample are also studied: we find thatthe number of bars identified drops rapidly when the inclination of thegalactic disc is larger than 50°. A similar bias is found in theThird Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies, which might be of interestwhen comparing bar frequencies at high and low redshifts. The Properties of Satellite Galaxies in External Systems. I. Morphology and Structural ParametersWe present the first results of an ongoing project to study themorphological, kinematical, dynamical, and chemical properties ofsatellite galaxies of external giant spiral galaxies. The sample ofobjects has been selected from the catalog by Zaritsky et al. The paperanalyzes the morphology and structural parameters of a subsample of 60such objects. The satellites span a great variety of morphologies andsurface brightness profiles. About two-thirds of the sample are spiralsand irregulars, the remaining third being early-types. Some casesshowing interaction between pairs of satellites are presented andbriefly discussed. Nested and Single Bars in Seyfert and Non-Seyfert GalaxiesWe analyze the observed properties of nested and single stellar barsystems in disk galaxies. The 112 galaxies in our sample comprise thelargest matched Seyfert versus non-Seyfert galaxy sample of nearbygalaxies with complete near-infrared or optical imaging sensitive tolength scales ranging from tens of parsecs to tens of kiloparsecs. Thepresence of bars is deduced by fitting ellipses to isophotes in HubbleSpace Telescope (HST) H-band images up to 10" radius and in ground-basednear-infrared and optical images outside the H-band images. This is aconservative approach that is likely to result in an underestimate ofthe true bar fraction. We find that a significant fraction of the samplegalaxies, 17%+/-4%, have more than one bar, and that 28%+/-5% of barredgalaxies have nested bars. The bar fractions appear to be stableaccording to reasonable changes in our adopted bar criteria. For thenested bars, we detect a clear division in length between thelarge-scale (primary) bars and small-scale (secondary) bars, in bothabsolute and normalized (to the size of the galaxy) length. We arguethat this bimodal distribution can be understood within the framework ofdisk resonances, specifically the inner Lindblad resonances (ILRs),which are located where the gravitational potential of the innermostgalaxy switches effectively from three-dimensional to two-dimensional.This conclusion is further strengthened by the observed distribution ofthe sizes of nuclear rings which are dynamically associated with theILRs. While primary bar sizes are found to correlate with the hostgalaxy sizes, no such correlation is observed for the secondary bars.Moreover, we find that secondary bars differ morphologically from singlebars. Our matched Seyfert and non-Seyfert samples show a statisticallysignificant excess of bars among the Seyfert galaxies at practically alllength scales. We confirm our previous results that bars are moreabundant in Seyfert hosts than in non-Seyfert galaxies and that Seyfertgalaxies always show a preponderance of thick'' bars compared to thebars in non-Seyfert galaxies. Finally, no correlation is observedbetween the presence of a bar and that of companion galaxies, evenrelatively bright ones. Overall, since star formation and dustextinction can be significant even in the H band, the stellar dynamicsof the central kiloparsec cannot always be revealed reliably by the useof near-infrared surface photometry alone. Bar Galaxies and Their EnvironmentsThe prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment. Spiral Galaxies with HST/NICMOS. II. Isophotal Fits and Nuclear Cusp SlopesWe present surface brightness profiles for 56 of the 78 spiral galaxiesobserved in the HST/NICMOS2 F160W snapshot survey introduced in Paper Iof this series, as well as surface brightness profiles for 23 objectsout of the 41 that were also observed in the F110W filter. We fit thesesurface brightness profiles with the Nuker law of Lauer et al. and usethe smooth analytical descriptions of the data to compute the averagenuclear stellar cusp slopes <γ> in the 0.1"-0.5" radialrange. Our main result is the startling similarity between the nuclearstellar cusp slopes <γ> in the near-infrared compared withthose derived in the visual passband. This similarity has severalimplications: (1) Despite the significant local color variations thatare found in the nuclear regions of spirals and that are documented inPaper I, there are typically little or no optical-NIR global colorgradients, and thus no global stellar population variations, inside~50-100 pc from the nucleus in nearby spirals. (2) The large observedrange of the strength of the nuclear stellar cusps seen in the HSToptical study of spiral galaxies reflects a physical difference betweengalaxies and is not an artifact caused by nuclear dust and/or recentstar formation. (3) The dichotomy between R1/4 bulges, withsteep nuclear stellar cusps <γ>~1, and exponential bulges,with shallow nuclear stellar cusps <γ><0.3, is also notan artifact of the effects of dust or recent star formation. (4) Thepresence of a surrounding massive disk appears to have no effect on therise of the stellar density distribution within the innermost hundredparsecs of the R1/4 spheroids. These results imply abreakdown within the family of exponential bulges of the nuclear versusglobal relationships that have been found for the R1/4spheroids. Such a breakdown is likely to have significant implicationsconcerning the formation of exponential bulges and their connection withthe R1/4 spheroids. Based on observations with the NASA/ESAHubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Spiral Galaxies with HST/NICMOS. I. Nuclear Morphologies, Color Maps, and Distinct NucleiThis is the first of two papers where we present the analysis of anHST/NICMOS2 near-infrared (NIR) snapshot survey in the F160W (H) filterfor a sample of 78 spiral galaxies selected from the UGC and ESOLVcatalogs. For 69 of these objects we provide nuclear color informationderived by combining the H data either with additional NICMOS F110W (J)images or with V WFPC2/HST data. Here we present the NIR images and theoptical-NIR color maps. We focus our attention on the properties of thephotometrically distinct `nuclei'' which are found embedded in most ofthe galaxies and provide measurements of their half-light radii andmagnitudes in the H (and when available in the J) band. We find that (1)in the NIR the nuclei embedded in the bright early- to intermediate-typegalaxies span a much larger range in brightness than the nuclei whichare typically found embedded in bulgeless late-type disks: the nucleiembedded in the early- to intermediate-type galaxies reach, on thebright end, values up to HAB~-17.7 mag; (2) nuclei are foundin both nonbarred and barred hosts, in large-scale (>~1 kpc) as wellas in nuclear (up to a few 100 pc) bars; (3) there is a significantincrease in half-light radius with increasing luminosity of the nucleusin the early/intermediate types (a decade in radius for ~8 magbrightening), a correlation which was found in the V band and which isalso seen in the NIR data; (4) the nuclei of early/intermediate-typespirals cover a large range of optical-NIR colors, from V-H~-0.5 to 3.Some nuclei are bluer and others redder than the surroundinggalaxy,indicating the presence of activity or reddening by dust in many ofthese systems; (5) someearly/intermediate nuclei are elongated and/orslightly offset from the isophotal center of the host galaxy. Onaverage, however, these nuclei appear as centered, star-cluster-likestructures similar to those whichare found in the late-type disks. Basedon observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained atthe Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by Associationof Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
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