University of Oulu

Labini, Francesco Sylos; Benhaiem, David; Comerón, Sébastien; López-Corredoira, Martín (2019) Nonaxisymmetric models of galaxy velocity maps. Astronomy & Astrophysics 622, A58.

Nonaxisymmetric models of galaxy velocity maps

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Author: Labini, Francesco Sylos1,2,3; Benhaiem, David2; Comerón, Sébastien4;
Organizations: 1Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche Enrico Fermi, 00184 Rome, Italy
2Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 00185 Roma, Italy
3Istituto Nazionale Fisica Nucleare, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università “Sapienza”, 00185 Roma, Italy
4University of Oulu, Astronomy Resear Unit, PO Box 3000, 90014 Finland
5Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
6Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 22.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: EDP Sciences, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-02-19


Galaxy velocity mapsoften show the typical pattern of a rotating disk, consistent with the dynamical model where emitters rotate in circular orbits around the galactic center. The simplest template used to fit these maps consists in the rotating disk model (RDM) where the amplitude of circular velocities is fixed by the observed velocity profile along the kinematic axis. A more sophisticated template is the rotating tilted-ring model (RTRM) that takes into account the presence of warps and allows a radius-dependent orientation of the kinematic axis. In both cases, axisymmetry is assumed and residuals between the observed and the model velocity fields are interpreted as noncircular motions. We show that if a galaxy is not axisymmetric, there is an intrinsic degeneracy between a rotational and a radial velocity field. We then introduce a new galaxy template, the radial ellipse model (REM), that is not axisymmetric and has a purely radial velocity field with an amplitude that is correlated with the major axis of the ellipse. We show that best fits to the observed two-dimensional velocity fields of 28 galaxies extracted from the THINGS sample with both the REM and the RDM give residuals with similar amplitudes, where the REM residuals trace nonradial motions. Best fits obtained with the RTRM, because of its larger number of free parameters, give the smallest residuals: however, we argue that this does not necessarily imply that the RTRM gives the most accurate representation of a galaxy velocity field. Instead, we show that this method is not able to disentangle between circular and radial motions for the case of nonaxisymmetric systems. We then discuss a refinement of the REM, able to describe the properties of a more heterogeneous velocity field where circular and radial motions are respectively predominant at small and large distances from the galaxy center. Finally, we consider the physical motivation of the REM, and discuss how the interpretation of galactic dynamics changes if one assumes that the main component of a galaxy velocity field is modeled as a RDM/RTRM or as a REM.

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Series: Astronomy and astrophysics
ISSN: 0004-6361
ISSN-E: 1432-0746
ISSN-L: 0004-6361
Volume: 622
Article number: A58
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201833834
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: MLC was supported by the grant AYA2015-66506-P of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO).
Copyright information: © ESO 2019.