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ID: 10383.0, MPI für Astrophysik / Cosmology
The central mass distribution in dwarf and low surface brightness galaxies
Authors:Swaters, R. A.; Madore, B. F.; van den Bosch, Frank C.; Balcells, M.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2003-02-01
Title of Journal:The Astrophysical Journal
Journal Abbrev.:Astrophys. J.
Issue / Number:2
Start Page:732
End Page:751
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
Abstract / Description:We present high-resolution Halpha rotation curves for a sample of 15 dwarf and low surface brightness galaxies. From these we derive limits on the slopes of the central mass distributions, using both a direct inversion of the rotation curves and detailed mass models. Assuming that the density distributions of dark matter halos follow a power law at small radii, rho(r) proportional to r(-alpha), we find inner slopes in the range 0 less than or similar to alpha less than or similar to 1 for most galaxies. Thus, even with the relatively high spatial resolution of the H rotation curves presented here, the inner slopes are poorly constrained. In general halos with constant density cores (alpha = 0) provide somewhat better fits, but the majority of our galaxies (similar to75%) are also consistent with alpha = 1, as long as the R-band stellar mass-to-light ratios are smaller than about 2. Halos with alpha = 1.5, however, are ruled out in virtually every case. In order to investigate the robustness of these results we discuss and model several possible causes of systematic errors, including noncircular motions, galaxy inclination, slit width, seeing, and slit alignment errors. Taking the associated uncertainties into account, we conclude that even for the similar to25% of the cases where alpha = 1 seems inconsistent with the rotation curves, we cannot rule out cusp slopes this steep. Inclusion of literature samples similar to the one presented here leads to the same conclusion when the possibility of systematic errors is taken into account. In the ongoing debate on whether the rotation curves of dwarf and low surface brightness galaxies are consistent with predictions for a cold dark matter universe, we argue that our sample and the literature samples discussed in this paper provide insufficient evidence to rule out halos with alpha = 1. At the same time, we note that none of the galaxies in these samples require halos with steep cusps, as most are equally well or better explained by halos with constant density cores.
Free Keywords:galaxies : dwarf; galaxies : halos; galaxies : kinematics and dynamics
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astrophysik
External Affiliations:Johns Hopkins Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, 3400 N Charles St,; Baltimore, MD 21218 USA; Johns Hopkins Univ, Dept Phys & Astron, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA; CALTECH, NASA, IPAC Extragalact Database, Pasadena, CA 91125 USA; Max Planck Inst Astrophys, D-85741 Garching, Germany; Inst Astrofis Canarias, E-38200 San Cristobal la Laguna, Spain; Space Telescope Sci Inst, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA; Carnegie Inst Washington, Dept Terr Magnetism, Washington, DC 20015 USA; Observ Carnegie Inst Washington, Pasadena, CA 91101 USA
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