What Can Polar Ring Galaxies Tell Us About The Flattening Of The Dark Halo?

Type Conference Paper
Names Linda Sparke
Proceedings Title Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Conference Name American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #211, #109.09
Volume 39
Pages 938
Date December 1, 2007
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AAS...21110909S
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract In a polar ring system, a ring of gas, dust and stars orbits almost over the pole of a central `host’ that is generally a gas-poor S0 or elliptical galaxy. Gas orbits in the ring and stellar orbits in the host galaxy sample the gravitational potential in two near-orthogonal planes. I will discuss how polar rings can be used as a rare probe of the shape of the galaxy's unseen halo. Results for nearby polar rings point to a wide dispersion in shape, from a nearly round halo to a halo that is almost as flattened as the luminous disk. I would like to thank the National Science Foundation and UW-Madison for their support of my work on polar ring galaxies.
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