The DiskMass Survey. II. Error Budget

Type Journal Article
Names Matthew A. Bershady, Marc A. W. Verheijen, Kyle B. Westfall, David R. Andersen, Rob A. Swaters, Thomas Martinsson
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 716
Issue 1
Pages 234-268
Date June 1, 2010
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We present a performance analysis of the DiskMass Survey. The survey uses collisionless tracers in the form of disk stars to measure the surface density of spiral disks, to provide an absolute calibration of the stellar mass-to-light ratio (\Upsilon_{*}), and to yield robust estimates of the dark-matter halo density profile in the inner regions of galaxies. We find that a disk inclination range of 25°-35° is optimal for our measurements, consistent with our survey design to select nearly face-on galaxies. Uncertainties in disk scale heights are significant, but can be estimated from radial scale lengths to 25% now, and more precisely in the future. We detail the spectroscopic analysis used to derive line-of-sight velocity dispersions, precise at low surface-brightness, and accurate in the presence of composite stellar populations. Our methods take full advantage of large-grasp integral-field spectroscopy and an extensive library of observed stars. We show that the baryon-to-total mass fraction (\mathcal {F}_bar) is not a well-defined observational quantity because it is coupled to the halo mass model. This remains true even when the disk mass is known and spatially extended rotation curves are available. In contrast, the fraction of the rotation speed supplied by the disk at 2.2 scale lengths (disk maximality) is a robust observational indicator of the baryonic disk contribution to the potential. We construct the error budget for the key quantities: dynamical disk mass surface density (Σdyn), disk stellar mass-to-light ratio (\Upsilon^disk_{*}), and disk maximality (\mathcal {F}_{\ast,max}^disk\equiv V^disk_{\ast,\rm max}/ V_c). Random and systematic errors in these quantities for individual galaxies will be ~25%, while survey precision for sample quartiles are reduced to 10%, largely devoid of systematic errors outside of distance uncertainties.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, GALAXIES: FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETERS, GALAXIES: STELLAR CONTENT, GALAXIES: STRUCTURE, Galaxies: Halos, Techniques: Spectroscopic, dark matter, galaxies: formation, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: spiral, methods: data an
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