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# NGC 7217

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 Dark and Baryonic Matter in Bright Spiral Galaxies. I. Near-Infrared and Optical Broadband Surface Photometry of 30 GalaxiesWe present photometrically calibrated images and surface photometry inthe B, V, R, J, H, and K bands of 25, and in the g, r, and K bands offive nearby bright (B0T<12.5 mag) spiralgalaxies with inclinations of 30°-65° spanning the Hubblesequence from Sa to Scd. Data are from The Ohio State University BrightSpiral Galaxy Survey, the Two Micron All Sky Survey, and the SloanDigital Sky Survey Second Data Release. Radial surface brightnessprofiles are extracted, and integrated magnitudes are measured from theprofiles. Axis ratios, position angles, and scale lengths are measuredfrom the near-infrared images. A one-dimensional bulge/diskdecomposition is performed on the near-infrared images of galaxies witha nonnegligible bulge component, and an exponential disk is fit to theradial surface brightness profiles of the remaining galaxies.Based in part on observations obtained at the Cerro TololoInter-American Observatory, operated by the Association of Universitiesfor Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with theNational Science Foundation. Dark and Baryonic Matter in Bright Spiral Galaxies. II. Radial Distributions for 34 GalaxiesWe decompose the rotation curves of 34 bright spiral galaxies intobaryonic and dark matter components. Stellar mass profiles are createdby applying color-M/L relations to near-infrared and optical photometry.We find that the radial profile of the baryonic-to-dark-matter ratio isself-similar for all galaxies, when scaled to the radius at which thecontribution of the baryonic mass to the rotation curve equals that ofthe dark matter (RX). We argue that this is due to thequasi-exponential nature of disks and rotation curves that are nearlyflat after an initial rise. The radius RX is found tocorrelate most strongly with baryonic rotation speed, such that galaxieswith RX measurements that lie further out in their disksrotate faster. This quantity also correlates very strongly with stellarmass, Hubble type, and observed rotation speed; B-band central surfacebrightness is less related to RX than these other galaxyproperties. Most of the galaxies in our sample appear to be close tomaximal disk. For these galaxies, we find that maximum observed rotationspeeds are tightly correlated with maximum rotation speeds predictedfrom the baryon distributions, such that one can create a Tully-Fisherrelation based on surface photometry and redshifts alone. Finally, wecompare our data to the NFW parameterization for dark matter profileswith and without including adiabatic contraction as it is most commonlyimplemented. Fits are generally poor, and all but two galaxies arebetter fit if adiabatic contraction is not performed. In order to havebetter fits, and especially to accommodate adiabatic contraction,baryons would need to contribute very little to the total mass in theinner parts of galaxies, seemingly in contrast with other observationalconstraints. Nature of Nuclear Rings in Unbarred Galaxies: NGC 7742 and NGC 7217We have studied an unbarred Sb galaxy with a nuclear star-forming ring,NGC 7742, by means of two-dimensional spectroscopy, long-slitspectroscopy, and imaging and have compared the results with theproperties of another galaxy of this type, NGC 7217, which was studiedby us earlier. Both galaxies have many peculiar features in common: eachhas two global exponential stellar disks with different scale lengths,each possesses a circumnuclear inclined gaseous disk with a radius of300 pc, and each has a global counterrotating subsystem, a gaseous onein NGC 7742 and a stellar one in NGC 7217. We suggest that a past minormerger is the probable cause of all these peculiarities, including theappearance of nuclear star-forming rings without global bars; the ringsmight be produced as resonance features by tidally induced ovaldistortions of the global stellar disks. A Comparison of Hα and Stellar Scale Lengths in Virgo and Field SpiralsThe scale lengths of the old stars and ionized gas distributions arecompared for similar samples of Virgo Cluster members and field spiralgalaxies via Hα and broad R-band surface photometry. While theR-band and Hα scale lengths are, on average, comparable for thecombined sample, we find significant differences between the field andcluster samples. While the Hα scale lengths of the field galaxiesare a factor of 1.14+/-0.07 longer, on average, than their R-band scalelengths, the Hα scale lengths of Virgo Cluster members are, onaverage, 20% smaller than their R-band scale lengths. Furthermore, inVirgo, the scale length ratios are correlated with the size of thestar-forming disk: galaxies with smaller overall Hα extents alsoshow steeper radial falloff of star formation activity. At the sametime, we find no strong trends in scale length ratio as a function ofother galaxy properties, including galaxy luminosity, inclination,morphological type, central R-band light concentration, or bar type. Ourresults for Hα emission are similar to other results for dustemission, suggesting that Hα and dust have similar distributions.The environmental dependence of the Hα scale length placesadditional constraints on the evolutionary process(es) that cause gasdepletion and a suppression of the star formation rate in clusters ofgalaxies. 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. 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. The connection between shear and star formation in spiral galaxiesWe present a sample of 33 galaxies for which we have calculated (i) theaverage rate of shear from published rotation curves, (ii) thefar-infrared luminosity from IRAS fluxes, and (iii) theKs-band luminosity from the Two Micron All Sky Survey(2MASS). We show that a correlation exists between the shear rate andthe ratio of the far-infrared to Ks-band luminosity. Thisratio is essentially a measure of the star formation rate per unit mass,or the specific star formation rate. From this correlation we show thata critical shear rate exists, above which star formation would turn offin the discs of spiral galaxies. Using the correlation between shearrate and spiral arm pitch angle, this shear rate corresponds to thelowest pitch angles typically measured in near-infrared images of spiralgalaxies. New photometric and spectroscopic observations of the Seyfert galaxy Mrk 315We present new important results about the intermediate-type Seyfertgalaxy Mrk 315, recently observed through optical imaging andintegral-field spectroscopy. Broad-band images were used to study themorphology of the host galaxy, narrow-band Hα images to trace thestar-forming regions, and middle-band [OIII] images to evidence thedistribution of the highly ionized gas. Some extended emission regionswere isolated and their physical properties studied by means offlux-calibrated spectra. High-resolution spectroscopy was used toseparate different kinematic components in the velocity fields of gasand stars. Some peculiar features characterize this apparentlyundisturbed and moderately isolated active galaxy. Such features,already investigated by other authors, are re-analysed and discussed inthe light of these new observations. The most relevant results weobtained are: the multitiers structure of the disc; the presence of aquasi-ring of regions with star formation much higher than previousclaims; a secondary nucleus confirmed by a stellar componentkinematically decoupled by the main galaxy; a new hypothesis about thecontroversial nature of the long filament, initially described as hookshaped, and more likely made of two independent filaments caused byinteraction events between the main galaxy and two dwarf companions. 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. Chemically Decoupled Nuclei in Five Lenticular Galaxies from SAURON DataWe analyze data from the SAURON integral-field spectrograph of theWilliam Herschel 4-m telescope for five lenticular galaxies in which wepreviously found chemically decoupled nuclei from observations with theMultipupil Fiber Spectrograph of the 6-m Special AstrophysicalObservatory telescope. In a larger field of view, we confirmed thepresence of peaks of the equivalent width of the Mg Ib λ5175absorption line in the nuclei of all five galaxies. However, thestructure of the chemically decoupled regions turned out to be highlyvaried even in such a small sample: from compact unresolved knots todisks with an extent of several hundred parsecs and, in one case, atriaxial compact minibar-type structure. We confirmed the presence of aninner gaseous polar ring in NGC 7280 and found it in NGC 7332. In theirouter parts, the planes of these polar rings are warped toward the planeof stellar rotation in such a way that the gas counterrotates withrespect to the stars. This behavior of the gas in a triaxial potentialwas predicted by several theoretical models. Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data AnalysisX-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources. On the Relation between Circular Velocity and Central Velocity Dispersion in High and Low Surface Brightness GalaxiesIn order to investigate the correlation between the circular velocityVc and the central velocity dispersion of the spheroidalcomponent σc, we analyzed these quantities for a sampleof 40 high surface brightness (HSB) disk galaxies, eight giant lowsurface brightness (LSB) spiral galaxies, and 24 elliptical galaxiescharacterized by flat rotation curves. Galaxies have been selected tohave a velocity gradient <=2 km s-1 kpc-1 forR>=0.35R25. We used these data to better define theprevious Vc-σc correlation for spiralgalaxies (which turned out to be HSB) and elliptical galaxies,especially at the lower end of the σc values. We findthat the Vc-σc relation is described by alinear law out to velocity dispersions as low as σc~50km s-1, while in previous works a power law was adopted forgalaxies with σc>80 km s-1. Ellipticalgalaxies with Vc based on dynamical models or directlyderived from the H I rotation curves follow the same relation as the HSBgalaxies in the Vc-σc plane. On the otherhand, the LSB galaxies follow a different relation, since most of themshow either higher Vc or lower σc withrespect to the HSB galaxies. This argues against the relevance of baryoncollapse to the radial density profile of the dark matter halos of LSBgalaxies. Moreover, if the Vc-σc relation isequivalent to one between the mass of the dark matter halo and that ofthe supermassive black hole, then these results suggest that the LSBgalaxies host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) with a smaller masscompared to HSB galaxies with an equal dark matter halo. On the otherhand, if the fundamental correlation of SMBH mass is with the halocircular velocity, then LSB galaxies should have larger black holemasses for a given bulge dispersion. Elliptical galaxies withVc derived from H I data and LSB galaxies were not consideredin previous studies.Based on observations made with European Southern Observatory telescopesat the Paranal Observatory under programs 67.B-0283, 69.B-0573, and70.B-0171. 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. The Distribution of Bar and Spiral Arm Strengths in Disk GalaxiesThe 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. 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. Molecular gas in NUclei of GAlaxies (NUGA). IV. Gravitational torques and AGN feedingWe discuss the efficiency of stellar gravity torques as a mechanism toaccount for the feeding of the central engines of four low luminosityActive Galactic Nuclei (AGN): NGC 4321 (HII nucleus/LINER), NGC 4826(HII nucleus/LINER), NGC 4579 (LINER 1.9/Seyfert 1.9) and NGC 6951(Seyfert 2). These galaxies have been observed as part of the NUclei ofGAlaxies-(NUGA) CO project, aimed at the study of AGN fuelingmechanisms. Our calculations allow us to derive the characteristictime-scales for gas flows and discuss whether torques from the stellarpotentials are efficient enough to drain the gas angular momentum in theinner 1 kpc of these galaxies. The stellar potentials are derived usinghigh-resolution near infrared (NIR) images and the averaged effectivetorques on the gas are estimated using the high-resolution(~0.5´´-2´´) CO maps of the galaxies. Resultsindicate paradoxically that feeding should be thwarted close to theAGNs: in the four cases analyzed, gravity torques are mostly positiveinside r 200 pc, resulting in no inflow on these scales. As apossible solution for the paradox, we speculate that the agentresponsible for driving inflow to still smaller radii is transient andthus presently absent in the stellar potential. Alternatively, thegravity torque barrier associated with the Inner Lindblad Resonance ofthe bars in these galaxies could be overcome by other mechanisms thatbecome competitive in due time against gravity torques. In particular,we estimate on a case-by-case basis the efficiency of viscosity versusgravity torques to drive AGN fueling. We find that viscosity cancounteract moderate-to-low gravity torques on the gas if it acts on anuclear ring of high gas surface density contrast and ~a few 100 pcsize. We propose an evolutionary scenario in which gravity torques andviscosity act in concert to produce recurrent episodes of activityduring the typical lifetime of any galaxy. In this scenario therecurrence of activity in galaxies is indirectly related to that of thebar instabilities although the active phases are not necessarilycoincident with the maximum strength of a single bar episode. Thegeneral implications of these results for the current understanding offueling of low-luminosity AGN are discussed. A survey for OB associations in the Sculptor Group spiral galaxy NGC 7793We report on the results from application of an objective algorithm(PLC) to find OB associations, to B and V images of the Sculptor spiralgalaxy NGC 7793, which were obtained with the ESO VLT and FORSinstrument and basically cover the entire spatial extent of the galaxy.We detected 148 associations. Statistical tests show that less than 6 ofthese detections are caused by randomly concentrated blue stars. In thesize distribution, a sharp peak is observed at a value of about 35microradians, which corresponds to a linear diameter of 135 pc, assuminga distance of 3.91 Mpc to the galaxy. We also find 25 much largerobjects. A second application of the PLC technique shows that 20 of themare stellar complexes consisting of multiple sub-associations withtypical sizes on the order of 130 pc. A comparison of the sizedistribution of the detected OB associations in NGC 7793 with observeddistributions in other galaxies suggests that the conditions in twoSculptor Group galaxies (NGC 300 and NGC 7793) favour the formation oflarge associations. We provide a catalog giving coordinates and physicalparameters for all the associations and stellar complexes we have foundin our survey. 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. Structural parameters of nearby emission-line galaxies We present the results of an investigation on the main structuralproperties derived from VRI and Hα surface photometry of galaxieshosting nuclear emission-line regions [including Seyfert 1, Seyfert 2,low-ionization nuclear emission region (LINER) and starburst galaxies]as compared with normal galaxies. Our original sample comprises 22active galaxies, four starbursts and one normal galaxy and has beenextended with several samples obtained from the literature. Bulge anddisc parameters, along with the bulge-to-disc luminosity ratio, havebeen derived applying an iterative procedure. The resulting parametershave been combined with additional data in order to reach astatistically significant sample. We find some differences in the bulgedistribution across the different nuclear types that could implyfamilies of bulges with different physical properties. Bulge and disccharacteristic colours have been defined and derived for our sample andcompared with a control sample of early-type objects. The resultssuggest that bulge and disc stellar populations are comparable in normaland active galaxies. Radial Distributions of Dark and Luminous Matter in Bright Spiral GalaxiesWe present a work in progress investigating the radial distributions ofdark and luminous matter in local bright spiral galaxies spanning arange of Hubble types. The distributions are derived from multi-bandimaging (BVRJHK) predominately from the Ohio State University BrightSpiral Galaxy Survey (OSUBSGS) and rotation curves from the literature.We use stellar colour-M/L relationships from Bell & de Jong (2001,ApJ, 550, 212) to create radial stellar mass surface density profilesfor each of our galaxies. These profiles are used to create rotationcurves for the stellar component; gas masses are derived from HI whenavailable. The resulting stellar and gas mass rotation curves arecompared to observed (total mass) rotation curves, and the rotation dueto dark matter is determined for each galaxy. Fits to Navarro, Frenk,& White (1996, ApJ, 462, 563; NFW) halo profiles are shown. Wepresent this analy sis for 2 example galaxies from our sample of nearly50. We will use this data to investigate correlations between these masscomponents and physical properties of galaxies. The mass distribution in early type disk galaxiesWe are studying the mass distribution in a sample of 50 early typespiral galaxies, with morphological type between S0 and Sab and absolutemagnitudes M_B between -18 and -22; they form the massive andhigh-surface brightness extreme of the disk galaxy population. Our studyis designed to investigate the relation between dark and luminous matterin these systems, of which very little yet is known.From a combination of WSRT HI observations and long-slit opticalspectra, we have obtained high-quality rotation curves. The rotationvelocities always rise very fast in the center; in the outer regions,they are often declining, with the outermost measured velocity 10-25%lower than the maximum.We decompose the rotation curves into contributions from the luminous(stellar and gaseous) and dark matter. The stellar disks and bulgesalways dominate the rotation curves within the inner few disk scalelengths, and are responsible for the decline in the outer parts. As anexample, we present here the decompositions for UGC 9133. We are able toput tight upper and lower limits on the stellar mass-to-light ratios. A Green Bank Telescope Search for Water Masers in Nearby Active Galactic NucleiUsing the Green Bank Telescope, we have conducted a survey for 1.3 cmwater maser emission toward the nuclei of nearby active galaxies, themost sensitive large survey for H2O masers to date. Among 145galaxies observed, maser emission was newly detected in 11 sources andconfirmed in one other. Our survey targeted nearby (v<12,000 kms-1), mainly type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) north ofδ=-20deg and includes a few additional sources as well.We find that more than one-third of Seyfert 2 galaxies have strong maseremission, although the detection rate declines beyond v~5000 kms-1 because of sensitivity limits. Two of the masersdiscovered during this survey are found in unexpected hosts: NGC 4151(Seyfert 1.5) and NGC 2782 (starburst). We discuss the possiblerelations between the large X-ray column to NGC 4151 and a possiblehidden AGN in NGC 2782 to the detected masers. Four of the masersdiscovered here, NGC 591, NGC 4388, NGC 5728, and NGC 6323, havehigh-velocity lines symmetrically spaced about the systemic velocity, alikely signature of molecular gas in a nuclear accretion disk. The masersource in NGC 6323, in particular, reveals the classic spectrum of adisk maser'' represented by three distinct groups of Dopplercomponents. Future single-dish and VLBI observations of these fourgalaxies could provide a measurement of the distance to each galaxy andof the Hubble constant, independent of standard candle calibrations. 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. 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 Polar Rings in Regular Lenticular GalaxiesWe have investigated a sample of S0 galaxies, mostly with circumnucleardust lanes orthogonal to their major axes, chosen from Hubble SpaceTelescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images. Two-dimensionalspectroscopy undertaken with the Multipupil Fiber Spectrograph of the 6m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the RussianAcademy of Sciences has revealed that indeed the ionized gas in thecenters of these eight lenticular galaxies rotate in the planes nearlyorthogonal to the rotation (and symmetry) planes of their centralstellar components. Although almost all the galaxies are located indense environments, an external origin of this rotation plane tilt isnot obvious because all the galaxies but one are known to have extendedH I disks, and in two cases where the angular resolution of H Iobservations allows, we find orthogonality of the external H I and innerionized gas disks. We discuss a possible relation of the inner gas polarrings to a triaxiality of galactic potential. The stellar populations inthe nuclei of all but two galaxies are very old, which excludes recentstar formation bursts and proves that the polar orbits of thecircumnuclear gas are rather stable. In the nuclei of NGC 2655 and NGC4111, we have found signatures of star formation bursts some 1.5-2 Gyrago. This finding can be related to very central gas in NGC 2655, whichis coplanar to the circumnuclear stellar disk and to radial gas inflowin NGC 4111; just these gas reservoirs and not the polar rings may beresponsible for fueling nuclear star formation.Partly based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope at theSpecial Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 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. Ionized gas and stellar kinematics of seventeen nearby spiral galaxiesIonized gas and stellar kinematics have been measured along the majoraxes of seventeen nearby spiral galaxies of intermediate to latemorphological type. We discuss the properties of each sample galaxy,distinguishing between those characterized by regular or peculiarkinematics. In most of the observed galaxies, ionized gas rotates morerapidly than stars and has a lower velocity dispersion, as is to beexpected if the gas is confined in the disc and supported by rotationwhile the stars are mostly supported by dynamical pressure. In a fewobjects, gas and stars show almost the same rotational velocity and lowvelocity dispersion, suggesting that their motion is dominated byrotation. Incorporating the spiral galaxies studied by Bertola et al.(\cite{Bertola1996}), Corsini et al. (\cite{Corsini1999},\cite{Corsini2003}) and Vega Beltrán et al. (\cite{Vega2001}) wehave compiled a sample of 50 S0/a-Scd galaxies, for which the major-axiskinematics of the ionized gas and stars have been obtained with the samespatial (≈1'') and spectral (≈50 km;s-1) resolution,and measured with the same analysis techniques. This allowed us toaddress the frequency of counter-rotation in spiral galaxies. It turnsout that less than 12% and less than 8% (at the 95% confidence level) ofthe sample galaxies host a counter-rotating gaseous and stellar disc,respectively. The comparison with S0 galaxies suggests that theretrograde acquisition of small amounts of external gas gives rise tocounter-rotating gaseous discs only in gas-poor S0s, while in gas-richspirals the newly acquired gas is swept away by the pre-existing gas.Counter-rotating gaseous and stellar discs in spirals are formed onlyfrom the retrograde acquisition of large amounts of gas exceeding thatof pre-existing gas, and subsequent star formation, respectively.Based on observations carried out at the European Southern Observatory,La Silla (Chile) (ESO 56.A-0684 and 57.A-0569).Tables 3 and 4 are 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/424/447Full Fig. \ref{fig:kinematics} and Figs. \ref{fig:gascomparison} and\ref{fig:starcomparison} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org
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