A Caltech Library Service

Is there a fundamental line for disk galaxies?

Simon, Joshua D. and Prada, Francisco and Vílchez, José M. and Blitz, Leo and Robertson, Brant (2006) Is there a fundamental line for disk galaxies? Astrophysical Journal, 649 (2). pp. 709-721. ISSN 0004-637X.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We show that there are strong local correlations between metallicity, surface brightness, and dynamical mass-to-light ratio with M33, analogous to the fundamental line of dwarf galaxies identified by Prada & Burkert. Using near-infrared imaging from 2MASS, the published rotation curve of M33, and literature measurements of the metallicities of H II regions and supergiant stars, we demonstrate that these correlations hold for points at radial distances between 140 pc and 6.2 kpc from the center of the galaxy. At a given metallicity or surface brightness, M33 has a mass-to-light ratio approximately 4 times as large as the Local Group dwarf galaxies; other than this constant offset, we see broad agreement between the M33 and dwarf galaxy data. We use analytical arguments to show that at least two of the three fundamental line correlations are basic properties of disk galaxies that can be derived from very general assumptions. We investigate the effect of supernova feedback on the fundamental line with numerical models and conclude that while feedback clearly controls the scatter in the fundamental line, it is not needed to create the fundamental line itself, in agreement with our analytical calculations. We also compare the M33 data with measurements of a simulated disk galaxy, finding that the simulation reproduces the trends in the data correctly and matches the fundamental line, although the metallicity of the simulated galaxy is too high, and the surface brightness is lower than that of M33.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Blitz, Leo0000-0002-4272-4432
Additional Information:© 2006 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2005 October 4; accepted 2006 June 20. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments. J.D.S. gratefully acknowledges the support of a Millikan Fellowship provided by the California Institute of Technology. F.P. is supported by the Spanish MEC under grant AYA2005-07789. This research was also partially supported by NSF grant AST 02-28963. The simulations were performed at the Center for Parallel Astrophysical Computing at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. We would like to thank Tom Jarrett for making the 2MASS data available to us prior to publication, and we acknowledge helpful discussions with Andrey Kravtsov. This publication makes use of data products from 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. This research has also 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, and NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services.
Subject Keywords:galaxies : abundances; galaxies : formation; galaxies : fundamental parameters; galaxies : individual (M33); galaxies : kinematics and dynamics; galaxies : spiral
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SIMapj06
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7308
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:29 Jan 2007
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page