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 GHASP: an Hα kinematic survey of spiral and irregular galaxies - IV. 44 new velocity fields. Extension, shape and asymmetry of Hα rotation curvesWe present Fabry-Perot observations obtained in the frame of the GHASPsurvey (Gassendi HAlpha survey of SPirals). We have derived the Hαmap, the velocity field and the rotation curve for a new set of 44galaxies. The data presented in this paper are combined with the datapublished in the three previous papers providing a total number of 85 ofthe 96 galaxies observed up to now. This sample of kinematical data hasbeen divided into two groups: isolated (ISO) and softly interacting(SOFT) galaxies. In this paper, the extension of the Hα discs, theshape of the rotation curves, the kinematical asymmetry and theTully-Fisher relation have been investigated for both ISO and SOFTgalaxies. The Hα extension is roughly proportional toR25 for ISO as well as for SOFT galaxies. The smallestextensions of the ionized disc are found for ISO galaxies. The innerslope of the rotation curves is found to be correlated with the centralconcentration of light more clearly than with the type or thekinematical asymmetry, for ISO as well as for SOFT galaxies. The outerslope of the rotation curves increases with the type and with thekinematical asymmetry for ISO galaxies but shows no special trend forSOFT galaxies. No decreasing rotation curve is found for SOFT galaxies.The asymmetry of the rotation curves is correlated with themorphological type, the luminosity, the (B-V) colour and the maximalrotational velocity of galaxies. Our results show that the brightest,the most massive and the reddest galaxies, which are fast rotators, arethe least asymmetric, meaning that they are the most efficient withwhich to average the mass distribution on the whole disc. Asymmetry inthe rotation curves seems to be linked with local star formation,betraying disturbances of the gravitational potential. The Tully-Fisherrelation has a smaller slope for ISO than for SOFT galaxies. Hα Imaging of Early-Type Sa-Sab Spiral Galaxies. II. Global PropertiesNew results, based on one of the most comprehensive Hα imagingsurveys of nearby Sa-Sab spirals completed to date, reveals early-typespirals to be a diverse group of galaxies that span a wide range inmassive star formation rates. While the majority of Sa-Sab galaxies inour sample are forming stars at a modest rate, a significant fraction(~29%) exhibit star formation rates greater than 1 Msolaryr-1, rivaling the most prolifically star-forming late-typespirals. A similar diversity is apparent in the star formation historyof Sa-Sab spirals as measured by their Hα equivalent widths.Consistent with our preliminary results presented in the first paper inthis series, we find giant H II regions [L(Hα)>=1039ergs s-1] in the disks of ~37% of early-type spirals. Wesuspect that recent minor mergers or past interactions are responsiblefor the elevated levels of Hα emission and, perhaps, for thepresence of giant H II regions in these galaxies. Our results, however,are not in total agreement with the Hα study of Kennicutt &Kent, who did not find any early-type spirals with Hα equivalentwidths >14 Å. A close examination of the morphologicalclassification of galaxies, however, suggests that systematicdifferences between the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog and the SecondReference Catalogue may be responsible for the contrasting results.Based on observations obtained with the 3.5 m telescope at Apache PointObservatory (APO) and the 0.9 m telescope at Kitt Peak NationalObservatory (KPNO). The APO 3.5 m telescope is owned and operated by theAstrophysical Research Consortium. The Westerbork HI survey of spiral and irregular galaxies. III. HI observations of early-type disk galaxiesWe present Hi observations of 68 early-type disk galaxies from the WHISPsurvey. They have morphological types between S0 and Sab and absoluteB-band magnitudes between -14 and -22. These galaxies form the massive,high surface-brightness extreme of the disk galaxy population, few ofwhich have been imaged in Hi before. The Hi properties of the galaxiesin our sample span a large range; the average values of MHI/LB and DH I/D25 are comparableto the ones found in later-type spirals, but the dispersions around themean are larger. No significant differences are found between the S0/S0aand the Sa/Sab galaxies. Our early-type disk galaxies follow the same Himass-diameter relation as later-type spiral galaxies, but theireffective Hi surface densities are slightly lower than those found inlater-type systems. In some galaxies, distinct rings of Hi emissioncoincide with regions of enhanced star formation, even though theaverage gas densities are far below the threshold of star formationderived by Kennicutt (1989, ApJ, 344, 685). Apparently, additionalmechanisms, as yet unknown, regulate star formation at low surfacedensities. Many of the galaxies in our sample have lopsided gasmorphologies; in most cases this can be linked to recent or ongoinginteractions or merger events. Asymmetries are rare in quiescentgalaxies. Kinematic lopsidedness is rare, both in interacting andisolated systems. In the appendix, we present an atlas of the Hiobservations: for all galaxies we show Hi surface density maps, globalprofiles, velocity fields and radial surface density profiles. New H2O masers in Seyfert and FIR bright galaxiesUsing the Effelsberg 100-m telescope, detections of four extragalacticwater vapor masers are reported. Isotropic luminosities are ~50, 1000, 1and 230 Lȯ for Mrk 1066 (UGC 2456), Mrk 34, NGC 3556 andArp 299, respectively. Mrk 34 contains by far the most distant and oneof the most luminous water vapor megamasers so far reported in a Seyfertgalaxy. The interacting system Arp 299 appears to show two maserhotspots separated by approximately 20´´. With these newresults and even more recent data from Braatz et al. (2004, ApJ, 617,L29), the detection rate in our sample of Seyferts with known jet-NarrowLine Region interactions becomes 50% (7/14), while in star forminggalaxies with high (S100~μ m>50 Jy) far infrared fluxesthe detection rate is 22% (10/45). The jet-NLR interaction sample maynot only contain “jet-masers” but also a significant numberof accretion “disk-masers” like those seen in NGC 4258. Astatistical analysis of 53 extragalactic H2O sources (excluding theGalaxy and the Magellanic Clouds) indicates (1) that the correlationbetween IRAS Point Source and H2O luminosities, established forindividual star forming regions in the galactic disk, also holds forAGN-dominated megamaser galaxies; (2) that maser luminosities are notcorrelated with 60 μm/100 μm color temperatures; and (3) that onlya small fraction of the luminous megamasers (L_H_2O > 100Lȯ) detectable with 100-m sized telescopes have so farbeen identified. The H2O luminosity function (LF) suggests that thenumber of galaxies with 1 Lȯ < L_H_2O < 10Lȯ, the transition range between“kilomasers” (mostly star formation) and“megamasers” (active galactic nuclei), is small. The overallslope of the LF, ~-1.5, indicates that the number of detectable masersis almost independent of their luminosity. If the LF is not steepeningat very high maser luminosities and if it is possible to find suitablecandidate sources, H2O megamasers at significant redshifts should bedetectable even with present day state-of-the-art facilities. Starbursting nuclear CO disks of early-type spiral galaxiesWe have initiated the first CO interferometer survey of early-typespiral galaxies (S0-Sab). We observed five early-type spiral galaxieswith HII nuclei (indicating circumnuclear starburst activities). Theseobservations indicate gas masses for the central kiloparsec of 1{-}5%of the dynamical masses. Such low gas mass fractions suggest thatlarge-scale gravitational instability in the gas is unlikely to be thedriving cause for the starburst activities. We estimated Toomre Q valuesand found that these galaxies have Q>1 (mostly >3) within thecentral kiloparsec, indicating that the gas disks are globallygravitationally stable. From the brightness temperatures of the COemission we estimated the area filling factor of the gas disks withinthe central kiloparsec to be about 0.05. This small value indicates theexistence of lumpy structure, i.e. molecular clouds, in theglobally-gravitationally stable disks. The typical surface density ofthe molecular clouds is as high as 3000 {Mȯ} {pc}-2. In the light of these new observations, we reconsiderthe nature of the Toomre Q criterion, and conclude that the Toomre Qparameter from CO observations indicates neither star formation normolecular cloud formation. This argument should be valid not only forthe circumnuclear disks but also for any region in galactic disks. Wetentatively explore an alternative model as an initiating mechanism ofstar formation. Cloud-cloud collisions might account for the active starformation. The orientation parameters and rotation curves of 15 spiral galaxiesWe analyzed ionized gas motion and disk orientation parameters for 15spiral galaxies. Their velocity fields were measured with the Hαemission line by using the Fabry-Perot interferometer at the 6 mtelescope of SAO RAS. Special attention is paid to the problem ofestimating the position angle of the major axis (PA0) and theinclination (i) of a disk, which strongly affect the derived circularrotation velocity. We discuss and compare different methods of obtainingthese parameters from kinematic and photometric observations, takinginto account the presence of regular velocity (brightness) perturbationscaused by spiral density waves. It is shown that the commonly usedmethod of tilted rings may lead to systematic errors in the estimationof orientation parameters (and hence of circular velocity) being appliedto galaxies with an ordered spiral structure. Instead we recommend usingan assumption of constancy of i and PA0 along a radius, toestimate these parameters. For each galaxy of our sample we presentmonochromatic Hα- and continuum maps, velocity fields of ionizedgas, and the mean rotation curves in the frame of a model of purecircular gas motion. Significant deviations from circular motion withamplitudes of several tens of km s-1 (or higher) are found inalmost all galaxies. The character and possible nature of thenon-circular motion are briefly discussed.Based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope of the SpecialAstrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences(RAS), operated under the financial support of the Science Department ofRussia (registration number 01-43).Section 4 and Figs. 6-19 are only avalaible in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org 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. Missing Massive Stars in Starbursts: Stellar Temperature Diagnostics and the Initial Mass FunctionDetermining the properties of starbursts requires spectral diagnosticsof their ultraviolet radiation fields, to test whether very massivestars are present. We test several such diagnostics, using new models ofline ratio behavior combining CLOUDY, Starburst99, and up-to-datespectral atlases. For six galaxies we obtain new measurements of He I1.7 μm/Br10, a difficult to measure but physically simple (andtherefore reliable) diagnostic. We obtain new measurements of He I 2.06μm/Brγ in five galaxies. We find that He I 2.06 μm/Brγand [O III]/Hβ are generally unreliable diagnostics in starbursts.The heteronuclear and homonuclear mid-infrared line ratios (notably [NeIII] 15.6 μm/[Ne II] 12.8 μm) consistently agree with each otherand with He I 1.7 μm/Br10 this argues that the mid-infrared lineratios are reliable diagnostics of spectral hardness. In a sample of 27starbursts, [Ne III]/[Ne II] is significantly lower than modelpredictions for a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF) extending to 100Msolar. Plausible model alterations strengthen thisconclusion. By contrast, the low-mass and low-metallicity galaxies II Zw40 and NGC 5253 show relatively high neon line ratios, compatible with aSalpeter slope extending to at least ~40-60 Msolar. Onesolution for the low neon line ratios in the high-metallicity starburstswould be that they are deficient in >~40 Msolar starscompared to a Salpeter IMF. An alternative explanation, which we prefer,is that massive stars in high-metallicity starbursts spend much of theirlives embedded within ultracompact H II regions that prevent the near-and mid-infrared nebular lines from forming and escaping. Thishypothesis has important consequences for starburst modeling andinterpretation. Gravitational Bar and Spiral Arm Torques from Ks-band Observations and Implications for the Pattern SpeedsWe have obtained deep near-infrared Ks-band William HerschelTelescope observations of a sample of 15 nearby spiral galaxies having arange of Hubble types and apparent bar strengths. The near-infraredlight distributions are converted into gravitational potentials, and themaximum relative gravitational torques due to the bars and the spiralsare estimated. We find that spiral strength, Qs, and barstrength, Qb, correlate well with other measures of spiralarm and bar amplitudes and that spiral and bar strengths also correlatewell with each other. We also find a correlation between the positionangle of the end of the bar and the position angle of the inner spiral.These correlations suggest that the bars and spirals grow together withthe same rates and pattern speeds. We also show that the strongest barstend to have the most open spiral patterns. Because open spirals implyhigh disk-to-halo mass ratios, bars and spirals most likely growtogether as a combined disk instability. They stop growing for differentreasons, however, giving the observed variation in bar-spiralmorphologies. Bar growth stops because of saturation when most of theinner disk is in the bar, and spiral growth stops because of increasedstability as the gas leaves and the outer disk heats up. Inner-truncated Disks in GalaxiesWe present an analysis of the disk brightness profiles of 218 spiral andlenticular galaxies. At least 28% of disk galaxies exhibit innertruncations in these profiles. There are no significant trends oftruncation incidence with Hubble type, but the incidence among barredsystems is 49%, more than 4 times that for nonbarred galaxies. However,not all barred systems have inner truncations, and not allinner-truncated systems are currently barred. Truncations represent areal dearth of disk stars in the inner regions and are not an artifactof our selection or fitting procedures nor the result of obscuration bydust. Disk surface brightness profiles in the outer regions are wellrepresented by simple exponentials for both truncated and nontruncateddisks. However, truncated and nontruncated systems have systematicallydifferent slopes and central surface brightness parameters for theirdisk brightness distributions. Truncation radii do not appear tocorrelate well with the sizes or brightnesses of the bulges. Thissuggests that the low angular momentum material apparently missing fromthe inner disk was not simply consumed in forming the bulge population.Disk parameters and the statistics of bar orientations in our sampleindicate that the missing stars of the inner disk have not simply beenredistributed azimuthally into bar structures. The sharpness of thebrightness truncations and their locations with respect to othergalactic structures suggest that resonances associated with diskkinematics, or tidal interactions with the mass of bulge stars, might beresponsible for this phenomenon. The Hα galaxy survey. I. The galaxy sample, Hα narrow-band observations and star formation parameters for 334 galaxiesWe discuss the selection and observations of a large sample of nearbygalaxies, which we are using to quantify the star formation activity inthe local Universe. The sample consists of 334 galaxies across allHubble types from S0/a to Im and with recession velocities of between 0and 3000 km s-1. The basic data for each galaxy are narrowband H\alpha +[NII] and R-band imaging, from which we derive starformation rates, H\alpha +[NII] equivalent widths and surfacebrightnesses, and R-band total magnitudes. A strong correlation is foundbetween total star formation rate and Hubble type, with the strongeststar formation in isolated galaxies occurring in Sc and Sbc types. Moresurprisingly, no significant trend is found between H\alpha +[NII]equivalent width and galaxy R-band luminosity. More detailed analyses ofthe data set presented here will be described in subsequent papers.Based on observations made with the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope operatedon the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the SpanishObservatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto deAstrofísica de Canarias.The full version of Table \ref{tab3} is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/23 Reduced image datafor this survey can be downloaded fromhttp://www.astro.livjm.ac.uk/HaGS/ 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. The Role of Interactions in the Evolution of Highly Star-forming Early-Type (Sa-Sab) Spiral GalaxiesWe present a search for the signatures of galaxy-galaxy interactions inthe neutral gas of early-type spirals. New neutral hydrogen observationsfor four highly star-forming early-type spirals are presented here,along with H I data for three additional galaxies from other sources. HI maps of six of seven galaxies reveal unambiguous signs of a recentencounter, via tidal tails and H I bridges. Most of these galaxiesappear undisturbed in the optical, and these interactions probably wouldhave gone unnoticed without H I mapping. Such high rates of interactionsuggest that galactic encounters may play an important role in theevolution of early-type spiral galaxies. The WSRT wide-field H I survey. I. The background galaxy sampleWe have used the Westerbork array to carry out an unbiased wide-fieldsurvey for H I emission features, achieving an RMS sensitivity of about18 mJy/Beam at a velocity resolution of 17 km s-1 over 1800deg2 and between -1000 < VHel <+6500 kms-1. The primary data consists of auto-correlation spectrawith an effective angular resolution of 49' FWHM, althoughcross-correlation data were also acquired. The survey region is centeredapproximately on the position of Messier 31 and is Nyquist-sampled over60x 30o in RA x Dec. More than 100 distinct features aredetected at high significance in each of the two velocity regimes(negative and positive LGSR velocities). In this paper we present theresults for our H I detections of external galaxies at positive LGSRvelocity. We detect 155 external galaxies in excess of 8sigma inintegrated H I flux density. Plausible optical associations are foundwithin a 30' search radius for all but one of our H I detections in DSSimages, although several are not previously cataloged or do not havepublished red-shift determinations. Our detection without a DSSassociation is at low galactic latitude. Twenty-three of our objects aredetected in H I for the first time. We classify almost half of ourdetections as confused'', since one or more companions is catalogedwithin a radius of 30' and a velocity interval of 400 km s-1.We identify a handful of instances of significant positional offsetsexceeding 10 kpc of unconfused optical galaxies with the associated H Icentroid, possibly indicative of severe tidal distortions or uncatalogedgas-rich companions. A possible trend is found for an excess of detectedH I flux in unconfused galaxies within our large survey beam relative tothat detected previously in smaller telescope beams, both as function ofincreasing distance and increasing gas mass. This may be an indicationfor a diffuse gaseous component on 100 kpc scales in the environment ofmassive galaxies or a population of uncataloged low mass companions. Weuse our galaxy sample to estimate the H I mass function from our surveyvolume. Good agreement is found with the HIPASS BGC results, but onlyafter explicit correction for galaxy density variations with distance.Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/406/829 and Fig. 3 is onlyavailable in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org A new catalogue of ISM content of normal galaxiesWe have compiled a catalogue of the gas content for a sample of 1916galaxies, considered to be a fair representation of normality''. Thedefinition of a normal'' galaxy adopted in this work implies that wehave purposely excluded from the catalogue galaxies having distortedmorphology (such as interaction bridges, tails or lopsidedness) and/orany signature of peculiar kinematics (such as polar rings,counterrotating disks or other decoupled components). In contrast, wehave included systems hosting active galactic nuclei (AGN) in thecatalogue. This catalogue revises previous compendia on the ISM contentof galaxies published by \citet{bregman} and \citet{casoli}, andcompiles data available in the literature from several small samples ofgalaxies. Masses for warm dust, atomic and molecular gas, as well asX-ray luminosities have been converted to a uniform distance scale takenfrom the Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC). We have used twodifferent normalization factors to explore the variation of the gascontent along the Hubble sequence: the blue luminosity (LB)and the square of linear diameter (D225). Ourcatalogue significantly improves the statistics of previous referencecatalogues and can be used in future studies to define a template ISMcontent for normal'' galaxies along the Hubble sequence. The cataloguecan be accessed on-line and is also available at the Centre desDonnées Stellaires (CDS).The catalogue is available in electronic form athttp://dipastro.pd.astro.it/galletta/ismcat and at the CDS via anonymousftp to\ cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via\http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/405/5 GHASP: A 3-D Survey of Spiral and Irregular Galaxies at HαNot Available 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. Physical Interpretation Of Asymmetry Parameter in GalaxiesEarly type galaxies, in general, appear to be more symmetric than latetype galaxies. There have been attempts to quantify this trend into anasymmetry parameter, aiming to determine the morphological type ofdistant galaxies. Studies conducted on samples of nearby galaxies find afairly reasonable correlation between asymmetry and morphological typeof galaxies. However, it is important to understand the correlationphysically before the correlation could be used to classify distantgalaxies. With this purpose we carried out a multi-band analysis ofasymmetry of nearby galaxies. We find a dependence between asymmetryparameter and wavelength which can be explained by a model, i n whichrecently formed stars play an important role. The model also reproducesthe correlation of asymmetry parameter with global quantities such ascolor and Hα flux of galaxies. From these analyses, we concludethat asymmetry parameter is closely tied to the current star formationrate and hence its use as a morphological indicator is limited. Combined Color Indices and Photometric Structures of the Galaxies NGC 834 and NGC 1134Surface BVRI photometry is presented for two spiral galaxies with acomplex photometric structure: NGC 834 and NGC 1134. We propose tointroduce the combined color indices QBVI and QVRIto investigate the photometric structure of the galaxies. These colorindices depend only slightly on selective absorption, which allows themto be used to study the photometric structure of "dusty" galaxies.Evolutionary stellar-population models show that QBVI is mostsensitive to the presence of blue stars, while QVRI dependson local H_alpha equivalent width. A ring with active star formationmanifests itself on the QBVI map for NGC 834 at a distance of15 arcsec from its center, and a spiral structure shows up on theQVRI map for NGC 1134 in its inner region. TheQBVI-QVRI diagram can provide information aboutthe current stage of a star's formation in various galactic regions. Acomparison of the color indices for the galaxies with their model valuesallows us to estimate the color excesses and extinction in variousgalactic regions. Star Formation in Extragalactic HII Regions. Determination of Parameters of the Initial Mass FunctionA method for using the colors of star-forming complexes to derive theslope and upper mass limit of the initial mass function (IMF) and theage of the complex is proposed in the framework of syntheticevolutionary models of star-cluster populations. The star-formationparameters of 105 complexes in 20 spiral and irregular galaxies aredetermined. The IMF slopes in different star-forming complexes differappreciably, and their dependence on the luminosities and masses of thecomplexes is derived. The duration of the star-formation periodincreases with the luminosity of the complex, and complexes with longerstar-formation periods are richer in metals. The slope of the integratedIMF in a Galaxy depends on the mass spectrum of its complexes, and theupper mass limit of the IMF is lower in early-type spirals. A Study of the Emission-Line Spectra and the Stellar Populations of Starburst GalaxiesBased on optical-NIR spectra, we discuss the nebular properties andstellar populations of starburst nuclei. Starbursts are found to havehigher electron densities and higher excitations than HII nuclei. Theemission lines have been used to estimate the nebular oxygen abundances,ionization parameter and radiation softness parameter. From a study ofthe H_α emission-line equivalent widths and the CaII tripletabsorption line equivalent widths, we infer the ages and stellar contentof the starburst regions. Most of the nuclei show evidence for acomposite population - a young, ionizing population co-existing withevolved, non-ionizing stars of about 5-7 Myr, which are evolving towardsthe peak of RSG distribution. Study of the emission line spectra and the stellar populations of starburst galaxiesBased on the optical-NIR spectra, we discuss the nebular properties andstellar populations of starburst nuclei. Starbursts are found to havehigher electron densities and higher excitations compared to HII nuclei.We find evidence for a composite population of young, ionizing massivestars (less than 3 Myr old) co-existing with the evolved RSG populations(about 5 to 7 Myr old) in most of our sample starburst nuclei. The Effect of Projection on the Observed Gas Velocity Fields in Barred GalaxiesThe problem of determining the pattern of gas motions in the centralregions of disk spiral galaxies is considered. Two fundamentallydifferent cases - noncircular motions in the triaxial bar potential andmotions in circular orbits but with orientation parameters differentfrom those of the main disk - are shown to have similar observationalmanifestations in the line-of-sight velocity field of the gas. Areliable criterion is needed for the observational data to be properlyinterpreted. To find such a criterion, we analyze two-dimensionalnonlinear hydrodynamic models of gas motions in barred disk galaxies.The gas line-of-sight velocity and surface brightness distributions inthe plane of the sky are constructed for various inclinations of thegalactic plane to the line of sight and bar orientation angles. We showthat using models of circular motions for inclinations i >60Â°deg to analyze the velocity field can lead to theerroneous conclusions of a "tilted (polar) disk" at the galaxy center.However, it is possible to distinguish bars from tilted disks bycomparing the mutual orientations of the photometric and dynamical axes.As an example, we consider the velocity field of the ionized gas in thegalaxy NGC972. Massive Star Formation and Evolution in Starburst Galaxies: Mid-infrared Spectroscopy with the ISO Short Wavelength SpectrometerWe present new Infrared Space Observatory Short Wavelength Spectrometerdata for a sample of 27 starburst galaxies, and with these data weexamine the issues of formation and evolution of the most massive starsin starburst galaxies. Using starburst models which incorporate timeevolution, new stellar atmosphere models for massive stars, and astarburst model geometry derived from observations of the prototypicalstarburst M82, we model the integrated mid-infrared line ratio [NeIII](15.6 μm)/[Ne II](12.8 μm). This line ratio is sensitive tothe hardness of the stellar energy distribution and therefore to themost massive stars present. We conclude from our models, withconsideration of recent determinations of the stellar census in local,high-mass star-forming regions, that the [Ne III]/[Ne II] ratios wemeasure are consistent with the formation of massive (~50-100Msolar) stars in most starbursts. In this framework, the lownebular excitation inferred from the measured line ratios can beattributed to aging effects. By including estimates of the ratio ofinfrared-to-Lyman continuum luminosity for the galaxies in our sample,we further find that most starbursts are relatively short-lived(106-107 yr), only a few O star lifetimes. Wediscuss a possible cause of such short events: the effectiveness ofstellar winds and supernovae in destroying the starburst environment.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands, and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISASand NASA. The SWS is a joint project of SRON and MPE. Arcsecond Positions of UGC GalaxiesWe present accurate B1950 and J2000 positions for all confirmed galaxiesin the Uppsala General Catalog (UGC). The positions were measuredvisually from Digitized Sky Survey images with rms uncertaintiesσ<=[(1.2")2+(θ/100)2]1/2,where θ is the major-axis diameter. We compared each galaxymeasured with the original UGC description to ensure high reliability.The full position list is available in the electronic version only. Hα Imaging of Early-Type (SA-SAB) Spiral Galaxies. I.Hα and continuum images are presented for 27 nearby early-type(Sa-Sab) spiral galaxies. Contrary to popular perception, the imagesreveal copious massive star formation in some of these galaxies. Adetermination of the Hα morphology and a measure of the Hαluminosity suggest that early-type spirals can be classified into twobroad categories based on the luminosity of the largest H II region inthe disk. The first category includes galaxies for which the individualH II regions have L_Hα<10^39 ergs s^-1. Most of the category 1galaxies appear to be morphologically undisturbed but show a widediversity in nuclear Hα properties. The second category includesgalaxies that have at least one H II region in the disk withL_Hα>=10^39 ergs s^-1. All category 2 galaxies show eitherprominent dust lanes or other morphological peculiarities such as tidaltails, which suggests that the anomalously luminous H II regions incategory 2 galaxies may have formed as a result of a recent interaction.The observations, which are part of an ongoing Hα survey, revealearly-type spirals to be a heterogeneous class of galaxies that areevolving in the current epoch. We have also identified some systematicdifferences between the classifications of spiral galaxies in the SecondGeneral Catalog and the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog that may be tracedto subtle variations in the application of the criteria used forclassifying spiral galaxies. An examination of earlier studies suggeststhat perceptions concerning the Hubble-type dependence of star formationrates among spiral galaxies depends on the choice of catalog. An Infrared Search for Extinguished Supernovae in Starburst GalaxiesIR and radio-band observations of heavily extinguished regions instarburst galaxies suggest a high supernova (SN) rate associated withsuch regions. Optically measured SN rates may therefore underestimatethe total SN rate by factors of up to 10, as a result of the very highextinction (A_B~10-20 mag) to core-collapse SNe in starburst regions.The IR/radio SN rates come from a variety of indirect means, however,which suffer from model dependence and other problems. We describe adirect measurement of the SN rate from a regular patrol of starburstgalaxies done with K'-band imaging to minimize the effects ofextinction. A collection of K'-band measurements of core-collapse SNenear maximum light is presented. Such measurements (excluding 1987A) arenot well reported in the literature. Results of a preliminary K'-bandsearch, using the MIRC camera at the Wyoming Infrared Observatory and animproved search strategy using the new ORCA optics, are described. Amonthly patrol of a sample of IRAS bright (mostly starburst) galaxieswithin 25 Mpc should yield 1-6 SNe yr^-1, corresponding to the range ofestimated SN rates. Our initial MIRC search with low resolution (2.2"pixels) failed to find extinguished SNe in the IRAS galaxies, limitingthe SN rate outside the nucleus (at greater than 15" radius) to lessthan 3.8 far-IR SN rate units (SNe per century per 10^10 L_solarmeasured at 60 and 100 mum, or FIRSRU) at 90% confidence. The MIRCcamera had insufficient resolution to search nuclear starburst regions,where starburst and SN activity is concentrated; therefore, we wereunable to rigorously test the hypothesis of high SN rates in heavilyobscured star-forming regions. We conclude that high-resolution nuclearSN searches in starburst galaxies with small fields are more productivethan low-resolution, large-field searches, even for our sample of large(often several arcminutes) galaxies. With our ORCA high-resolutionoptics, we could limit the total SN rate to less than 1.3 FIRSRU at 90%confidence in 3 years of observations, lower than most estimates. The Star Formation Efficiency within GalaxiesWe combine Hα imaging with the CO-line observations of the FiveCollege Radio Astronomy Observatory Extragalactic CO Survey to study therelationship between molecular gas and high-mass star formation for 568regions in 121 galaxies at 45" resolution. Our study finds a strongcorrelation between these quantities when sampled locally withingalaxies, consistent with recent studies of globally averagedquantities. For spiral galaxies, there are no strong radial gradients inthe star formation efficiency across the star-forming disk, althoughstar formation efficiencies measured in the outermost regions (R>9kpc) of midsized galaxies tend to be systematically low. Additionally,star formation efficiencies in large (D_0>60 kpc) galaxies areuniformly low at all radii compared with smaller galaxies. As a functionof morphology and environment, the behavior of the star formationefficiency within galaxies is consistent with the results of ourprevious investigation of the global quantities. Among spirals the starformation efficiency does not depend on Hubble type, with a similarrange of efficiencies within each type and less than 25% variation inthe mean from type to type. Finally, relative to an isolated galaxysample, the star formation efficiency is found to be sensitive only toextreme variations in the galaxy environment. The star formationefficiency decreases steadily with increasing H I deficiency among Virgocluster spirals, and it is enhanced in strong interactions and mergers.
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