1,765 research outputs found

    An Axisymmetric Distribution Function for the Galactic Bulge

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    We describe a method for parameterizing two-integral distribution functions, based on triangular tesselations of the integral plane. We apply the method to the axisymmetric isotropic rotator model for the Galactic bulge of Kent~(1992), and compare the results with observations of proper motions in Baade's Window, and with radial velocity surveys. In spite of mounting evidence from surface photometry and from study of the gas kinematics that the Galactic bulge is not axisymmetric, the stellar kinematics in Baade's Window are very similar to those of an isotropic oblate rotator. Another field at large radius does not fit this model, though. In any case, the edge-on kinematics of a hot stellar population are a poor handle on the existence or otherwise of a bar.Comment: 19 pages, 700 kb uu-encoded compressed postscript file, CfA preprin

    Weak weak lensing: correcting weak shear measurements accurately for PSF anisotropy

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    We have developed a new technique for weak lensing analysis, with which the effect of the point spread function (PSF) on small galaxy images can be corrected for accurately. Rather than relying on weighted second moments of detected images, which we show can leave residuals at the level of a percent in the shear, we directly fit (stacked or individual) galaxy images as PSF-convolved, sheared circular sources. We show by means of simulations that this technique is able to recover shears well below the percent level for a variety of PSF shapes, and that its noise properties are similar to existing methods.Comment: 11 pages, A&A, submitte

    Galactic Disk Warps

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    This review addresses recent developments in the field of disk galaxy warps. Both results from a new HI survey of edgeon disk galaxies, and of simulations of the interaction between a disk+halo and an orbiting satelite, will be discussed.Comment: paper presented at ``Galaxy Disks and Disk Galaxies'', Rome, June 200

    The Kinematics of Galactic Stellar Disks

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    The disks of galaxies are primarily stellar systems, and fundamentally dynamical entities. Thus, to fully understand galactic disks, we must study their stellar kinematics as well as their morphologies. Observational techniques have now advanced to a point where quite detailed stellar-kinematic information can be extracted from spectral observations. This review presents three illustrative examples of analyses that make use of such information to study the formation and evolution of these systems: the derivation of the pattern speed of the bar in NGC 936; the calculation of the complete velocity ellipsoid of random motions in NGC 488; and the strange phenomenon of counter-rotation seen in NGC 3593.Comment: 11 pages, LaTeX (including 7 figures), uses paspconf.sty and epsf.sty, to be published in Proceedings of the EC Summer School on 'Astrophysical Discs', eds J. A. Sellwood and J. Goodman, ASP Conf. Serie

    The Maximum Optical Depth Towards Bulge Stars From Axisymmetric Models of the Milky Way

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    It has been known that recent microlensing results towards the bulge imply mass densities that are surprisingly high given dynamical constraints on the Milky Way mass distribution. We derive the maximum optical depth towards the bulge that may be generated by axisymmetric structures in the Milky Way, and show that observations are close to surpassing these limits. This result argues in favor of a bar as a source of significantly enhanced microlensing. Several of the bar models in the literature are discussed.Comment: Latex, 6 pages, 4 figures, uses aas2pp4 and epsf style files. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

    The pattern speed of the bar in NGC 936

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    We have used the Tremaine-Weinberg method to measure the angular speed of rotation for the bar in the SB0 galaxy NGC 936. With this technique, the bar's pattern speed, Omega_p, can be derived from the luminosity and stellar-kinematic information in long-slit spectral observations taken parallel to the major axis of the galaxy. The kinematic measurement required is the mean line-of-sight velocity of all stellar light entering the slit. This quantity can only be calculated reliably if any asymmetry in the shape of the broadening function of the spectral lines is also measured, and so we present a method which allows for such asymmetry. The technique also returns a true measure of the RMS uncertainty in the estimate. Application of the analysis to a set of long-slit spectra of NGC 936 returns four separate measures of Omega_p which are mutually consistent. Combining these data produces a best estimate for the bar pattern speed of Omega_p = 60 +/- 14 km/s/kpc (assuming a distance of 16.6 Mpc). This result refines the only previous attempt to make this measurement, which yielded an estimate for Omega_p in NGC 936 of 104 +/- 37 km/s/kpc (Kent 1987). The new measurement places the co-rotation radius just beyond the end of the bar, in agreement with theoretical calculations.Comment: uuencoded compressed postscript file. 6 pages. Accepted for publication in MNRAS

    Hidden Bars and Boxy Bulges

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    It has been suggested that the boxy and peanut-shaped bulges found in some edge-on galaxies are galactic bars viewed from the side. We investigate this hypothesis by presenting emission-line spectra for a sample of 10 edge-on galaxies that display a variety of bulge morphologies. To avoid potential biases in the classification of this morphology, we use an objective measure of bulge shape. Generally, bulges classified as more boxy show the more complicated kinematics characteristic of edge-on bars, confirming the intimate relation between the two phenomena.Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure, to appear in A&ALett. Colour version of figure a vailable from http://www.astro.rug.nl/~kuijken/nutkinfig2.p
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