Upload your image
DSS Images Other Images
Submit a new article
|The stellar dynamics of spiral arms in barred spiral galaxies|
A dynamical mechanism is proposed that explains the spiral structureobserved frequently as a continuation of the bars in barred spiralgalaxies. It is argued that the part of the spirals attached to the baris due to chaotic orbits. These are chaotic orbits that exhibit for longtime intervals a 4:1-resonance orbital behaviour. They are of the sametype of orbit as is responsible for the boxiness of the outer isophotesof the bar in cases like NGC 4314, as indicated by Patsis, Athanassoula& Quillen. The spirals formed this way are faint with respect to thebar, open as they wind out, and do not extend over an angle larger thanπ/2. A possible continuation of the spiral structure towards largerangles can be due to orbits trapped around stable periodic orbits at thecorotation region. We present a family of stable, banana-like periodicorbits, precessing as EJ increases, that can play this role.
|The SAURON project - VII. Integral-field absorption and emission-line kinematics of 24 spiral galaxy bulges|
We present observations of the stellar and gas kinematics for arepresentative sample of 24 Sa galaxies obtained with our custom-builtintegral-field spectrograph SAURON operating on the William HerschelTelescope. The data have been homogeneously reduced and analysed bymeans of a dedicated pipeline. All resulting data cubes were spatiallybinned to a minimum mean signal-to-noise ratio of 60 per spatial andspectral resolution element. Our maps typically cover thebulge-dominated region. We find a significant fraction of kinematicallydecoupled components (12/24), many of them displaying central velocitydispersion minima. They are mostly aligned and co-rotating with the mainbody of the galaxies, and are usually associated with dust discs andrings detected in unsharp-masked images. Almost all the galaxies in thesample (22/24) contain significant amounts of ionized gas which, ingeneral, is accompanied by the presence of dust. The kinematics of theionized gas are consistent with circular rotation in a disc co-rotatingwith respect to the stars. The distribution of mean misalignmentsbetween the stellar and gaseous angular momenta in the sample suggeststhat the gas has an internal origin. The [OIII]/Hβ ratio is usuallyvery low, indicative of current star formation, and shows variousmorphologies (ring-like structures, alignments with dust lanes oramorphous shapes). The star formation rates (SFRs) in the sample arecomparable with that of normal disc galaxies. Low gas velocitydispersion values appear to be linked to regions of intense starformation activity. We interpret this result as stars being formed fromdynamically cold gas in those regions. In the case of NGC5953, the datasuggest that we are witnessing the formation of a kinematicallydecoupled component from cold gas being acquired during the ongoinginteraction with NGC5954.
|On the Lengths, Colors, and Ages of 18 Face-on Bars|
Along with a brief analysis we present data obtained from BVRI andKs images of a sample of 19 galaxies (18 barred and 1unbarred), which will be further explored in a future paper. We measuredthe lengths and colors of the bars, created color maps, and estimatedglobal color gradients. Applying a method developed in a companionpaper, we could distinguish for seven galaxies in our sample those whosebars have been recently formed from the ones with already evolved bars.We estimated an average difference in the optical colors between youngand evolved bars that may be translated to an age difference of theorder of 10 Gyr, meaning that bars may be, at least in some cases,long-standing structures. Moreover, our results show that, on average,evolved bars are longer than young bars. This seems to indicate that,during its evolution, a bar grows longer by capturing stars from thedisk, in agreement with recent numerical and analytical results.Although the statistical significance of these results is low, andfurther studies are needed to confirm them, we discuss the implicationsfrom our results on the possibility of bars being a recurrentphenomenon. We also present isophotal contours for all our images aswell as radial profiles of relevant photometric and geometricparameters.
|The Central Engines of 19 LINERs as Viewed by Chandra|
Using archival Chandra observations of 19 LINERs, we explore the X-rayproperties of their inner kiloparsec to determine the origin of theirnuclear X-ray emission, to investigate the presence of an AGN, and toidentify the power source of the optical emission lines. The relativenumbers of LINER types in our sample are similar to those in opticalspectroscopic surveys. We find that diffuse, thermal emission is verycommon and is concentrated within the central few hundred parsecs. Theaverage spectra of the hot gas in spiral and elliptical galaxies arevery similar to those of normal galaxies. They can be fitted with athermal plasma (kT~0.5 keV) plus a power-law (photon index of 1.3-1.5)model. There are on average three detected point sources in their innerkiloparsec with 1037 ergss-1
|Low-Luminosity Active Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes|
Central black hole masses for 117 spiral galaxies representingmorphological stages S0/a through Sc and taken from the largespectroscopic survey of Ho et al. are derived using Ks-banddata from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Black hole masses are foundusing a calibrated black hole-Ks bulge luminosity relation,while bulge luminosities are measured by means of a two-dimensionalbulge-disk decomposition routine. The black hole masses are correlatedagainst a variety of parameters representing properties of the nucleusand host galaxy. Nuclear properties such as line width (FWHM [N II]), aswell as emission-line ratios (e.g., [O III]/Hβ, [O I]/Hα, [NII]/Hα, and [S II]/Hα), show a very high degree ofcorrelation with black hole mass. The excellent correlation with linewidth supports the view that the emission-line gas is in virialequilibrium with either the black hole or bulge potential. The very goodemission-line ratio correlations may indicate a change in ionizingcontinuum shape with black hole mass in the sense that more massiveblack holes generate harder spectra. Apart from theinclination-corrected rotational velocity, no excellent correlations arefound between black hole mass and host galaxy properties. Significantdifferences are found between the distributions of black hole masses inearly-, mid-, and late-type spiral galaxies (subsamples A, B, and C) inthe sense that early-type galaxies have preferentially larger centralblack holes, consistent with observations that Seyfert galaxies arefound preferentially in early-type systems. The line width distributionsshow a marked difference among subsamples A, B, and C in the sense thatearlier type galaxies have larger line widths. There are also cleardifferences in line ratios between subsamples A+B and C that likely arerelated to the level of ionization in the gas. Finally, aKs-band Simien & de Vaucouleurs diagram shows excellentagreement with the original B-band relation, although there is a largedispersion at a given morphological stage.
|Massive star formation in the central regions of spiral galaxies|
Context: . 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.
|How large are the bars in barred galaxies?|
I present a study of the sizes (semimajor axes) of bars in discgalaxies, combining a detailed R-band study of 65 S0-Sb galaxies withthe B-band measurements of 70 Sb-Sd galaxies from Martin (1995). As hasbeen noted before with smaller samples, bars in early-type (S0-Sb)galaxies are clearly larger than bars in late-type (Sc-Sd) galaxies;this is true both for relative sizes (bar length as fraction ofisophotal radius R25 or exponential disc scalelength h) andabsolute sizes (kpc). S0-Sab bars extend to ~1-10 kpc (mean ~ 3.3 kpc),~0.2-0.8R25 (mean ~ 0.38R25) and ~0.5-2.5h (mean ~1.4h). Late-type bars extend to only ~0.5-3.5 kpc,~0.05-0.35R25 and 0.2-1.5h their mean sizes are ~1.5 kpc, ~0.14R25 and ~0.6h. Sb galaxies resemble earlier-type galaxiesin terms of bar size relative to h; their smallerR25-relative sizes may be a side effect of higher starformation, which increases R25 but not h. Sbc galaxies form atransition between the early- and late-type regimes. For S0-Sbcgalaxies, bar size correlates well with disc size (both R25and h); these correlations are stronger than the known correlation withMB. All correlations appear to be weaker or absent forlate-type galaxies; in particular, there seems to be no correlationbetween bar size and either h or MB for Sc-Sd galaxies.Because bar size scales with disc size and galaxy magnitude for mostHubble types, studies of bar evolution with redshift should selectsamples with similar distributions of disc size or magnitude(extrapolated to present-day values); otherwise, bar frequencies andsizes could be mis-estimated. Because early-type galaxies tend to havelarger bars, resolution-limited studies will preferentially find bars inearly-type galaxies (assuming no significant differential evolution inbar sizes). I show that the bars detected in Hubble Space Telescope(HST) near-infrared(IR) images at z~ 1 by Sheth et al. have absolutesizes consistent with those in bright, nearby S0-Sb galaxies. I alsocompare the sizes of real bars with those produced in simulations anddiscuss some possible implications for scenarios of secular evolutionalong the Hubble sequence. Simulations often produce bars as large as(or larger than) those seen in S0-Sb galaxies, but rarely any as smallas those in Sc-Sd galaxies.
|On the relation between orbital structure and observed bar morphology|
We investigate the morphological relation between the orbits of thecentral family of periodic orbits (x1 family) and the baritself using models of test particles moving in a barred potential. Weshow that different bar morphologies may have as a backbone the same setof x1 periodic orbits. We point out that by populatinginitially axisymmetric stellar discs exponentially with test particlesin circular, or almost circular motion, we may end up with a responsebar which reveals a shape different in crucial details from that of theindividual stable x1 orbits. For example, a bar model inwhich the x1 orbits are pure ellipses may have a much morecomplicated response morphology. This depends on the particularinvariant curves around x1, which are populated in eachmodel.
|XMM-Newton observations of the interacting galaxy pairs NGC 7771/0 and NGC 2342/1|
We present XMM-Newton X-ray observations of the interacting galaxy pairsNGC 7771/7770 and NGC 2342/2341. In NGC 7771, for the first time we areable to resolve the X-ray emission into a bright central source plus twobright (LX > 1040 erg s-1)ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) located either end of the bar. In thebright central source (LX~ 1041 ergs-1), the soft emission is well-modelled by a two-temperaturethermal plasma with kT= 0.4/0.7 keV. The hard emission is modelled witha flat absorbed power-law (Γ~ 1.7, NH~ 1022cm-2), and this together with a low-significance (1.7σ)~ 300 eV equivalent width emission line at ~6 keV are the firstindications that NGC 7771 may host a low-luminosity AGN. For the barULXs, a power-law fit to X-1 is improved at the 2.5σ level withthe addition of a thermal plasma component (kT~ 0.3 keV), while X-2 isimproved only at the 1.3σ level with the addition of a discblackbody component with Tin~ 0.2 keV. Both sources arevariable on short time-scales implying that their emission is dominatedby single accreting X-ray binaries (XRBs). The three remaining galaxies,NGC 7770, NGC 2342 and NGC 2341, have observed X-ray luminosities of0.2, 1.8 and 0.9 × 1041 erg s-1,respectively (0.3-10 keV). Their integrated spectra are alsowell-modelled by multi-temperature thermal plasma components with kT=0.2-0.7 keV, plus power-law continua with slopes of Γ= 1.8-2.3that are likely to represent the integrated emission of populations ofXRBs as observed in other nearby merger systems. A comparison with otherisolated, interacting and merging systems shows that all four galaxiesfollow the established correlations for starburst galaxies betweenX-ray, far-infrared and radio luminosities, demonstrating that theirX-ray outputs are dominated by their starburst components.
|A Chandra Survey of Nearby Spiral Galaxies. I. Point Source Catalogs|
Emission from discrete point sources dominates the X-ray luminosity inspiral galaxies. We present results from a survey of 11 nearby, nearlyface-on spiral galaxies with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Thesegalaxies span the Hubble sequence for spirals, allowing insights intothe X-ray source population of many diverse systems. In this paper, wepresent source lists for the 11 galaxies along with fluxes,luminosities, X-ray colors, and variability properties. We brieflydiscuss X-ray luminosity functions and how they relate to star formationof the host galaxies. We also discuss source colors and variability andwhat these can tell us about the composition of the X-ray sourcepopulation.
|The Pattern Speeds of 38 Barred Galaxies|
We estimate the pattern speeds of 38 barred galaxies by simulationmodeling. We construct the gravitational potentials of the galaxies fromnear-IR photometry by assuming that the mass-to-light ratio (M/L) isconstant in the H band and a single pattern speed dominates in thestellar disk. We use the response of gaseous and stellar particle disksto a rigidly rotating potential to determine the pattern speed. If ourassumptions are correct, then the pattern speed depends on themorphological type: the average value of the ratio of the corotationresonance radius to the bar radius, ℛ, increases from about 1.1 intype SB0/a to 1.4 in SBb and 1.7 in SBc. Within the error estimates, allthe bars in galaxies of type SBab or earlier are fast rotators, havingℛ<=1.4, whereas late-type galaxies include both fast and slowrotators.
|The Central Region of Barred Galaxies: Molecular Environment, Starbursts, and Secular Evolution|
Stellar bars drive gas into the circumnuclear (CN) region of galaxies.To investigate the fate of the CN gas and star formation (SF), we studya sample of barred nonstarbursts and starbursts with high-resolution CO,optical, Hα, radio continuum, Brγ, and HST data, and findthe following. (1) The inner kiloparsec of bars differs markedly fromthe outer disk. It hosts molecular gas surface densitiesΣgas-m of 500-3500 Msolar pc-2,gas mass fractions of 10%-30%, and epicyclic frequencies of several100-1000 km s-1 kpc-1. Consequently, in the CNregion gravitational instabilities can only grow at high gas densitiesand on short timescales, explaining in part why powerful starburstsreside there. (2) Across the sample, we find bar pattern speeds withupper limits of 43-115 km s-1 pc-1 and outer innerLindblad resonance radii of >500 pc. (3) Barred starbursts andnonstarbursts have CN SF rates of 3-11 and 0.1-2 Msolaryr-1, despite similar CN gas masses. TheΣgas-m value in the starbursts is larger (1000-3500Msolar pc-2) and close to the Toomre criticaldensity over a large region. (4) Molecular gas makes up 10%-30% of theCN dynamical mass and fuels large CN SF rates in the starbursts,building young, massive, high-V/σ components. Implications forsecular evolution along the Hubble sequence are discussed.
|The Vertical Stellar Kinematics in Face-On Barred Galaxies: Estimating the Ages of Bars|
In order to perform a detailed study of the stellar kinematics in thevertical axis of bars, we obtained high signal-to-noise spectra alongthe major and minor axes of the bars in a sample of 14 face-on galaxiesand used them to determine the line-of-sight stellar velocitydistribution, parameterized as a Gauss-Hermite series. With these data,we developed a diagnostic tool that allows one to distinguish betweenrecently formed and evolved bars, as well as to estimate their ages,assuming that bars form in vertically thin disks that are recognizableby low values for the vertical velocity dispersion σz.Through N-body realizations of bar unstable disk galaxies we were alsoable to check the timescales involved in the processes that give bars animportant vertical structure. We show that σz inevolved bars is roughly 100 km s-1, which translates to aheight scale of about 1.4 kpc, giving support to scenarios in whichbulges form through disk material. Furthermore, the bars in ournumerical simulations have values for σz generallysmaller than 50 km s-1, even after evolving for 2 Gyr,suggesting that a slow process is responsible for making bars asvertically thick as we observe. We verify theoretically that theSpitzer-Schwarzschild mechanism is quantitatively able to explain theseobservations if we assume that giant molecular clouds are twice asconcentrated along the bar as in the rest of the disk.
|The Stellar Populations in the Central Parsecs of Galactic Bulges|
We present Hubble Space Telescope blue spectra at intermediate spectralresolution for the nuclei of 23 nearby disk galaxies. These objects wereselected to have nebular emission in their nuclei and span a range ofemission-line classifications, as well as Hubble types. In this paper wefocus on the stellar population as revealed by the continuum spectralenergy distribution measured within the central 0.13" (~8 pc) of thesegalaxies. The data were modeled with linear combinations of single-agestellar population synthesis models. The large majority (~80%) of thesurveyed nuclei have spectra whose features are consistent with apredominantly old (>~5×109 yr) stellar population.Approximately 25% of these nuclei show evidence of a component with ageyounger than 1 Gyr, with the incidence of these stars related to thenebular classification. Successful model fits imply an average reddeningcorresponding to AV~0.4 mag and a stellar metallicity of1-2.5 Zsolar. We discuss the implications of these resultsfor understanding the star formation history in the environment ofquiescent and active supermassive black holes. Our findings reinforcethe picture wherein Seyfert nuclei and the majority of low-ionizationnuclear emission-line regions are predominantly accretion-powered andsuggest that much of the central star formation in H II nuclei isactually circumnuclear.Based on observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, which isoperated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
|The Hubble Space Telescope View of LINER Nuclei: Evidence for a Dual Population?|
We study a complete, distance-limited sample of 25 LINERs, 21 of whichhave been imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope. In nine objects wedetect an unresolved nucleus. To study their physical properties, wecompare the radio and optical properties of the nuclei of LINERs withthose of other samples of local active galactic nuclei (AGNs), namely,Seyfert galaxies and low-luminosity radio galaxies (LLRGs). Our resultsshow that the LINER population is not homogeneous, as there are twosubclasses: (1) the first class is similar to the LLRG class, as itextends the population of radio-loud nuclei to lower luminosities; (2)the second is similar to Seyfert galaxies and extends the properties ofradio-quiet nuclei toward the lowest luminosities. The objects areoptimally discriminated in the plane formed by the black hole massversus nuclear radio loudness: all radio-loud LINERs haveMBH>~108Msolar, while Seyfertgalaxies and radio-quiet LINERs haveMBH<~108Msolar. The different natureof the various classes of local AGNs are best understood when thefraction of the Eddington luminosity they irradiate,Lo/LEdd, is plotted against the nuclearradio-loudness parameter: Seyfert galaxies are associated withrelatively high radiative efficienciesLo/LEdd>~10-4 (and high accretionrates onto low-mass black holes); LLRGs are associated with lowradiative efficiencies (and low accretion rates onto high-mass blackholes); all LINERs have low radiative efficiency (and accretion rates)and can be radio-loud or radio-quiet, depending on their black holemass.Based on observations obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute,which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research inAstronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
|Propeller Orbits in Barred Galaxy Models|
The central, or x1, family of periodic orbits is the mostimportant one in almost all two-dimensional numerical models of galacticbars in the literature. However, we present evidence that intwo-dimensional models with sufficiently large bar axial ratios(a/c>~6), stable orbits having propeller shapes play the dominantrole. In our models this propeller family is in fact a distant relativeof the x1 family. There are also intermediate cases in whichboth families are important. The dominance of one family over the othermay have direct consequences on the morphological properties of the barsthat can be constructed from them, properties such as face-on barthinness and strength as well as the boxiness of the outer isophotes.
|Nuclear Accretion in Galaxies of the Local Universe: Clues from Chandra Observations|
In order to find an explanation for the radiative quiescence ofsupermassive black holes in the local universe, the most accurateestimates for a sample of nearby galaxies are collected for the mass ofa central black hole (MBH), the nuclear X-ray luminosityLX,nuc, and the circumnuclear hot gas density andtemperature, by using Chandra data. The nuclear X-ray luminosityLX,nuc varies by ~3 orders of magnitude and does not show arelationship with MBH or with the Bondi mass accretion rateM˙B LX,nuc is always much lower than expectedif M˙B ends in a standard accretion disk with highradiative efficiency (this instead can be the case of the active nucleusof Cen A). Radiatively inefficient accretion as in the standardadvection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) modeling may explain the lowluminosities of a few cases; for others, the predicted luminosity isstill too high, and, in terms of Eddington-scaled quantities, it isincreasingly higher than that observed for increasingM˙B. Variants of the simple radiatively inefficientscenario including outflow and convection may reproduce the low emissionlevels observed, since the amount of matter actually accreted is reducedconsiderably. However, the most promising scenario includes feedbackfrom accretion on the surrounding gas; this has the important advantagesof naturally explaining the observed lack of relationship amongLX,nuc, MBH, and M˙B, and evadingthe problem of the fate of the material accumulating in the centralgalactic regions over cosmological times.
|A Chandra Snapshot Survey of Infrared-bright LINERs: A Possible Link Between Star Formation, Active Galactic Nucleus Fueling, and Mass Accretion|
We present results from a high-resolution X-ray imaging study of nearbyLINERs observed by ACIS on board Chandra. This study complements andextends previous X-ray studies of LINERs, focusing on the underexploredpopulation of nearby dust-enshrouded infrared-bright LINERs. The sampleconsists of 15 IR-bright LINERs (LFIR/LB>3),with distances that range from 11 to 26 Mpc. Combining our sample withprevious Chandra studies, we find that ~51% (28/55) of the LINERsdisplay compact hard X-ray cores. The nuclear 2-10 keV luminosities ofthe galaxies in this expanded sample range from ~2×1038to ~2×1044 ergs s-1. We find that the mostextreme IR-faint LINERs are exclusively active galactic nuclei (AGNs).The fraction of LINERs containing AGNs appears to decrease with IRbrightness and increase again at the highest values ofLFIR/LB. We find that of the 24 LINERs showingcompact nuclear hard X-ray cores in the expanded sample that wereobserved at Hα wavelengths, only eight actually show evidence of abroad line. Similarly, of the 14 LINERs showing compact nuclear hardX-ray cores with corresponding radio observations, only eight display acompact flat spectrum radio core. These findings emphasize the need forhigh-resolution X-ray imaging observations in the study of IR-brightLINERs. Finally, we find an intriguing trend in the Eddington ratioversus LFIR and LFIR/LB for theAGN-LINERs in the expanded sample that extends over 7 orders ofmagnitude in L/LEdd. This correlation may imply a linkbetween black hole growth, as measured by the Eddington ratio, and thestar formation rate, as measured by the far-IR luminosity andIR-brightness ratio. If the far-IR luminosity is an indicator of themolecular gas content in our sample of LINERs, our results may furtherindicate that the mass accretion rate scales with the host galaxy's fuelsupply. We discuss the potential implications of our results in theframework of black hole growth and AGN fueling in low-luminosity AGNs.
|The Distribution of Bar and Spiral Arm Strengths in Disk Galaxies|
The distribution of bar strengths in disk galaxies is a fundamentalproperty of the galaxy population that has only begun to be explored. Wehave applied the bar-spiral separation method of Buta and coworkers toderive the distribution of maximum relative gravitational bar torques,Qb, for 147 spiral galaxies in the statistically well-definedOhio State University Bright Galaxy Survey (OSUBGS) sample. Our goal isto examine the properties of bars as independently as possible of theirassociated spirals. We find that the distribution of bar strengthdeclines smoothly with increasing Qb, with more than 40% ofthe sample having Qb<=0.1. In the context of recurrent barformation, this suggests that strongly barred states are relativelyshort-lived compared to weakly barred or nonbarred states. We do notfind compelling evidence for a bimodal distribution of bar strengths.Instead, the distribution is fairly smooth in the range0.0<=Qb<0.8. Our analysis also provides a first look atspiral strengths Qs in the OSUBGS sample, based on the sametorque indicator. We are able to verify a possible weak correlationbetween Qs and Qb, in the sense that galaxies withthe strongest bars tend to also have strong spirals.
|CO in the Bipolar Radio Continuum Galaxy NGC 3367|
CO(1-0) emission has been imaged at 2" resolution in the central 10 kpcof the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3367. This galaxy has bipolarsynchrotron lobes out to a radius of 6 kpc, straddling the compactnucleus. The peak molecular emission is in a source of radius 2" (425pc) centered on the galaxy nucleus. The molecular gas mass is~3×108 Msolar in this peak and~5.9×108 Msolar within a radius of 4.5" (950pc). The very large gas masses in the central source imply extinctionssufficiently high to completely obscure optical emission lines (e.g.,broad-line region) associated with the nuclear radio source. Theobserved Balmer lines probably originate in the narrow-line region a fewhundred parsecs from the nucleus. The CO emission in the central regionis elongated northeast-southwest, very similar to the position angle ofthe large-scale synchrotron lobes. This elongation is likely due to thenonaxisymmetric gravitational potential of the stellar bar. We inferthat the northeast radio continuum lobe is on the far side of the galaxyand the southwest lobe is on the near side. The central mass ofmolecular gas is of sufficient mass to power the active galactic nucleusaccretion luminosity for over 108 yr at 3 Msolaryr-1.
|Structure and star formation in disk galaxies. III. Nuclear and circumnuclear Hα emission|
From Hα images of a carefully selected sample of 57 relativelylarge, Northern spiral galaxies with low inclination, we study thedistribution of the Hα emission in the circumnuclear and nuclearregions. At a resolution of around 100 parsec, we find that the nuclearHα emission in the sample galaxies is often peaked, andsignificantly more often so among AGN host galaxies. The circumnuclearHα emission, within a radius of two kpc, is often patchy inlate-type, and absent or in the form of a nuclear ring in early-typegalaxies. There is no clear correlation of nuclear or circumnuclearHα morphology with the presence or absence of a bar in the hostgalaxy, except for the nuclear rings which occur in barred hosts. Thepresence or absence of close bright companion galaxies does not affectthe circumnuclear Hα morphology, but their presence does correlatewith a higher fraction of nuclear Hα peaks. Nuclear rings occur inat least 21% (±5%) of spiral galaxies, and occur predominantly ingalaxies also hosting an AGN. Only two of our 12 nuclear rings occur ina galaxy which is neither an AGN nor a starburst host. We confirm thatweaker bars host larger nuclear rings. The implications of these resultson our understanding of the occurrence and morphology of massive starformation, as well as non-stellar activity, in the central regions ofgalaxies are discussed.
|Bar-induced perturbation strengths of the galaxies in the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey - I|
Bar-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.
|Nuclear spirals in galaxies: gas response to an asymmetric potential - II. Hydrodynamical models|
Nuclear spirals naturally form as a gas response to non-axisymmetry inthe galactic potential, even if the degree of this asymmetry is verysmall. Linear wave theory well describes weak nuclear spirals, butspirals induced by stronger asymmetries in the potential are clearlybeyond the linear regime. Hydrodynamical models indicate spiral shocksin this latter case that, depending on how the spiral intersects thex2 orbits, either get damped, leading to the formation of thenuclear ring, or get strengthened, and propagate towards the galaxycentre. A central massive black hole of sufficient mass can allow thespiral shocks to extend all the way to its immediate vicinity, and togenerate gas inflow up to 0.03 Msolar yr-1, whichcoincides with the accretion rates needed to power luminous local activegalactic nuclei.
|Dynamical modelling of the remarkable four-armed barred spiral galaxy ESO 566-24|
ESO 566-24 is an extraordinary barred galaxy that has four regularlyspaced spiral arms in blue light images. This type of spiral structure,which is rare among the spiral population, is also clearly seen innear-infrared (NIR) images, and thus is present in the old stellarpopulation. We have constructed dynamical models of ESO 566-24. Thegravitational potential is determined using NIR photometry, and the gasdynamics is modelled as inelastically colliding particles. The resultingmorphology and kinematics with different assumed pattern speeds, discvertical thicknesses and dark halo contributions are compared withobservations. Our models reproduce the main morphological features ofthis galaxy: the four-armed spiral, and the inner and nuclear rings. Thepattern speed of the bar is such that the corotation resonance is welloutside the bar radius, rCR/rb= 1.6 +/- 0.3. Thefour-armed spiral resides in the region between inner and outer 4/1resonances. In addition, the main kinematical features, includingbar-induced deviations from circular rotation, are explained by ourmodels. The best fit is obtained when the dark halo contribution is justenough to make the modelled rotation curve match the observed one. Thus,luminous matter dominates the rotation curve within the disc region.
|Secular Evolution and the Formation of Pseudobulges in Disk Galaxies|
The Universe is in transition. At early times, galactic evolution wasdominated by hierarchical clustering and merging, processes that areviolent and rapid. In the far future, evolution will mostly be secularthe slow rearrangement of energy and mass that results from interactionsinvolving collective phenomena such as bars, oval disks, spiralstructure, and triaxial dark halos. Both processes are important now.This review discusses internal secular evolution, concentrating on oneimportant consequence, the buildup of dense central components in diskgalaxies that look like classical, merger-built bulges but that weremade slowly out of disk gas. We call these pseudobulges.
|The Ultraluminous X-Ray Source Population from the Chandra Archive of Galaxies|
One hundred fifty-four discrete non-nuclear ultraluminous X-ray (ULX)sources, with spectroscopically determined intrinsic X-ray luminositiesgreater than 1039 ergs s-1, are identified in 82galaxies observed with Chandra's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer.Source positions, X-ray luminosities, and spectral and timingcharacteristics are tabulated. Statistical comparisons between theseX-ray properties and those of the weaker discrete sources in the samefields (mainly neutron star and stellar-mass black hole binaries) aremade. Sources above ~1038 ergs s-1 display similarspatial, spectral, color, and variability distributions. In particular,there is no compelling evidence in the sample for a new and distinctclass of X-ray object such as the intermediate-mass black holes.Eighty-three percent of ULX candidates have spectra that can bedescribed as absorbed power laws with index <Γ>=1.74 andcolumn density =2.24×1021cm-2, or ~5 times the average Galactic column. About 20% ofthe ULXs have much steeper indices indicative of a soft, and likelythermal, spectrum. The locations of ULXs in their host galaxies arestrongly peaked toward their galaxy centers. The deprojected radialdistribution of the ULX candidates is somewhat steeper than anexponential disk, indistinguishable from that of the weaker sources.About 5%-15% of ULX candidates are variable during the Chandraobservations (which average 39.5 ks). Comparison of the cumulative X-rayluminosity functions of the ULXs to Chandra Deep Field results suggests~25% of the sources may be background objects, including 14% of the ULXcandidates in the sample of spiral galaxies and 44% of those inelliptical galaxies, implying the elliptical galaxy ULX population isseverely compromised by background active galactic nuclei. Correlationswith host galaxy properties confirm the number and total X-rayluminosity of the ULXs are associated with recent star formation andwith galaxy merging and interactions. The preponderance of ULXs instar-forming galaxies as well as their similarities to less-luminoussources suggest they originate in a young but short-lived populationsuch as the high-mass X-ray binaries with a smaller contribution (basedon spectral slope) from recent supernovae. The number of ULXs inelliptical galaxies scales with host galaxy mass and can be explainedmost simply as the high-luminosity end of the low-mass X-ray binarypopulation.
|Circumnuclear Structure and Black Hole Fueling: Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Imaging of 250 Active and Normal Galaxies|
Why 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.
|Nuclear Spirals as Signatures of Supermassive Black Holes|
Recent high-resolution images of spiral galaxies show a wide variety offeatures, including grand-design nuclear spirals in the central region.The morphology of grand-design spirals can be further divided by theopenness of the arms, tightly wound spirals with winding angles ofaround 3π radians and open spirals with winding angles of around πradians. Based on hydrodynamical simulations, we have investigated themechanism responsible for the openness of nuclear spirals. Since the gasflow in the nuclear region is mainly governed by the central massconcentration near the nuclei and by the sound speed of the gas, we haveexamined various models with different mass concentrations, representedby the mass of the central black hole, and with different sound speeds.We found that the tightly wound spirals can be formed when the mass ofthe black hole is large enough to remove the inner-inner Lindbladresonances and when the sound speeds lie between 15 and 20 kms-1. Thus, the presence of tightly wound nuclear spiral armscould imply the presence of a relatively massive black hole in thecenter.
|Comparison of Bar Strengths and Fractions of Bars in Active and Nonactive Galaxies|
Gravitational perturbation strengths and bar fractions in active andnonactive galaxies are compared using the Ohio State University BrightGalaxy Survey, which forms a statistically well defined sample of 180disk galaxies. Bar fractions are studied using (1) the optical andnear-IR classification of bars made by Eskridge and coworkers in 2002and (2) our own bar classification based on Fourier decomposition ofnear-IR images (Fourier bars). The gravitational perturbation strengthsare calculated using the bar torque method, taking the maximum ratioQg of the tangential force to the mean background radialforce as a measure of the nonaxisymmetric perturbation. In addition,two-dimensional bulge-disk-bar decomposition is used to study theproperties of bulges of the sample galaxies. In the near-IR, Seyfertgalaxies, LINERs, and H II/starburst galaxies were found to have asimilar fraction, 72%, of Fourier bars (or SB-type bars), compared to55% in the nonactive galaxies. However, if SAB-type bars are alsoincluded, practically all (95%) H II/starburst galaxies have bars. Inaddition, a large fraction (34%) of bars in LINERs are obscured by dustin the optical region. We find that bars in early-type galaxies are atthe same time long and massive and have weak perturbation strengths.Weak perturbation strengths can be explained by dilution of thenonaxisymmetric forces by the massive bulges: for a bulge-to-disk massratio B/D ranging from 0 to 1, the dilution may reduce Qgfrom as high as 0.6 to as low as 0.1. On the other hand, bar length(relative to disk scale length) is not correlated with B/D, contrary toexpectation. Seyfert- or LINER-type nuclear activity is present in mostgalaxies that have thin and thick planar bar components, whereas nuclearactivity does not appear in those late-type galaxies that have extremelymassive bars and strong perturbation strengths.
|The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Observations|
We 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.
Submit a new link
Member of following groups:
Observation and Astrometry data
Catalogs and designations: