CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

A Fundamental Plane of Spiral Structure in Disk Galaxies

Davis, Benjamin L. and Kennefick, Daniel and Kennefick, Julia and Westfall, Kyle B. and Shields, Douglas W. and Flatman, Russell and Hartley, Matthew T. and Berrier, Joel C. and Martinsson, Thomas P. K. and Swaters, Rob A. (2015) A Fundamental Plane of Spiral Structure in Disk Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 802 (1). Art. No. L13. ISSN 2041-8205. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150416-113929318

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

374Kb
[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.

264Kb

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150416-113929318

Abstract

Spiral structure is the most distinctive feature of disk galaxies and yet debate persists about which theory of spiral structure is correct. Many versions of the density wave theory demand that the pitch angle be uniquely determined by the distribution of mass in the bulge and disk of the galaxy. We present evidence that the tangent of the pitch angle of logarithmic spiral arms in disk galaxies correlates strongly with the density of neutral atomic hydrogen in the disk and with the central stellar bulge mass of the galaxy. These three quantities, when plotted against each other, form a planar relationship that we argue should be fundamental to our understanding of spiral structure in disk galaxies. We further argue that any successful theory of spiral structure must be able to explain this relationship.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/802/1/L13DOIArticle
http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/802/1PublisherArticle
http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.03070arXivDiscussion Paper
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 29 December 2014, accepted for publication 8 March 2015; Published 24 March 2015. The authors thank Marc Seigar and Matthew Bershady, who provided valuable comments on drafts of the Letter. We thank the National Optical Astronomy Observatory for observing time on the WIYN 3.5 m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. We acknowledge the use of data obtained with PPak and SparsePak IFUs on the Calar Alto and WIYN 3.5 m telescopes, made available by the DiskMass Survey team. This research has made use of 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. Plots were generated using Mathematica. Numerical computations and statistical analyses were performed with Matlab. We also thank the National Science Foundation (NSF) for REU Site grant No. 0851150, which contributed to a significant part of the data collection for this Letter. This research has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System. K.B.W. acknowledges support from NSF (USA) grant OISE-0754437 and NWO (NL) grant 614.000.807.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF0851150
NSFOISE-0754437
NWO614.000.807
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: spiral; galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150416-113929318
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150416-113929318
Official Citation:A Fundamental Plane of Spiral Structure in Disk Galaxies Benjamin L. Davis et al. 2015 ApJ 802 L13
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56726
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:17 Apr 2015 03:06
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:16

Repository Staff Only: item control page