A Caltech Library Service

Scaling Relations of Spiral Galaxies

Courteau, Stéphane and Dutton, Aaron A. and van den Bosch, Frank C. and MacArthur, Lauren A. and Dekel, Avishai and McIntosh, Daniel H. and Dale, Daniel A. (2007) Scaling Relations of Spiral Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 671 (1). pp. 203-225. ISSN 0004-637X.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We construct a large data set of global structural parameters for 1300 field and cluster spiral galaxies and explore the joint distribution of luminosity L, optical rotation velocity V, and disk size R at I and 2MASS K bands. The I- and K-band velocity-luminosity (VL) relations have log slopes of 0.29 and 0.27, respectively, with σ_(ln)(VL) ~ 0.13, and show a small dependence on color and morphological type in the sense that redder, earlier type disk galaxies rotate faster than bluer, later type disk galaxies for most luminosities. The VL relation at I and K bands is independent of surface brightness, size, and light concentration. The log slope of the I- and K-band size-luminosity (RL) relations is a strong function of morphology and varies from 0.25 to 0.5, with a mean of 0.32 for all Hubble types. At most luminosities, early-type disk galaxies have shorter scale lengths than later type ones. The average dispersion σ_(ln)(RL) decreases from 0.33 at I band to 0.29 at K, likely due to the 2MASS selection bias against lower surface brightness galaxies. The VL and RL residuals are largely uncorrelated with each other with a correlation coefficient r = -0.16 and Δ log V|L/Δ log R|L = -0.07 ± 0.01; the RV - RL residuals show a weak positive correlation with r = 0.53. These correlations suggest that scatter in luminosity is not a significant source of the scatter in the VL and RL relations. We discuss in two Appendices various pitfalls of standard analytical derivations of galaxy scaling relations, including the Tully-Fisher relation with different slopes. Our galaxy database is available at

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Dekel, Avishai0000-0003-4174-0374
Dale, Daniel A.0000-0002-5782-9093
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2003 October 15; accepted 2007 July 30. This research has made use of (1) the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as NASA’s Astrophysics Data System; (2), the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation; and (3) the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Funding for the creation and distribution of the SDSS Archive has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, and the Max Planck Society. The SDSS Web site is http://www.sdss .org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium( ARC) for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the University of Chicago, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, The Johns Hopkins University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max- Planck-Institut fur Astronomie (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astrophysik (MPA), New Mexico State University, University of Pittsburgh, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Japanese MonbukagakushoUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:dark matter; galaxies : formation; galaxies : kinematics and dynamics; galaxies : spiral; galaxies : structure
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20091109-151629441
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Scaling Relations of Spiral Galaxies Stéphane Courteau, Aaron A. Dutton, Frank C. van den Bosch, Lauren A. MacArthur, Avishai Dekel, Daniel H. McIntosh, and Daniel A. Dale 2007 ApJ 671 203-225 doi: 10.1086/522193
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16630
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 17:17
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page