The DiskMass Survey. I. Overview

Type Journal Article
Names Matthew A. Bershady, Marc A. W. Verheijen, Rob A. Swaters, David R. Andersen, Kyle B. Westfall, Thomas Martinsson
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 716
Issue 1
Pages 198-233
Date June 1, 2010
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We present a survey of the mass surface density of spiral disks, motivated by outstanding uncertainties in rotation-curve decompositions. Our method exploits integral-field spectroscopy to measure stellar and gas kinematics in nearly face-on galaxies sampled at 515, 660, and 860 nm, using the custom-built SparsePak and PPak instruments. A two-tiered sample, selected from the UGC, includes 146 nearly face-on galaxies, with B < 14.7 and disk scale lengths between 10 and 20 arcsec, for which we have obtained Hα velocity fields; and a representative 46 galaxy subset for which we have obtained stellar velocities and velocity dispersions. Based on re-calibration of extant photometric and spectroscopic data, we show that these galaxies span factors of 100 in LK (0.03 < L/L* K < 3), 8 in LB /LK , 10 in R-band disk central surface brightness, with distances between 15 and 200 Mpc. The survey is augmented by 4-70 μm Spitzer IRAC and MIPS photometry, ground-based UBVRIJHK photometry, and H I aperture-synthesis imaging. We outline the spectroscopic analysis protocol for deriving precise and accurate line-of-sight stellar velocity dispersions. Our key measurement is the dynamical disk-mass surface density. Star formation rates and kinematic and photometric regularity of galaxy disks are also central products of the study. The survey is designed to yield random and systematic errors small enough (1) to confirm or disprove the maximum-disk hypothesis for intermediate-type disk galaxies, (2) to provide an absolute calibration of the stellar mass-to-light ratio well below uncertainties in present-day stellar-population synthesis models, and (3) to make significant progress in defining the shape of dark halos in the inner regions of disk galaxies.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, GALAXIES: FUNDAMENTAL PARAMETERS, GALAXIES: STELLAR CONTENT, GALAXIES: STRUCTURE, Galaxies: Halos, dark matter, galaxies: formation, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics, galaxies: spiral
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