Wednesday 15th May 2013


Evolution of Giant Molecular Clouds in Nearby Galaxies

Jin Koda (Stony Brook Univ.)

Studies of GMC evolution in galactic disks were limited to local, predominantly atom-rich small galaxies in the past, but have now been expanded to typical spiral galaxies with a rich molecular content. The evolution appears quite different between the two environments. GMCs exist almost exclusively along HI spiral arms and filaments in the disks of local small galaxies (LMC, M33), suggesting that GMCs form and end their short lives there. However, in a more molecular-rich environment (MW, M51), GMCs are present everywhere independent of HI structures. Indeed, the molecular gas fraction remains high and almost constant during arm passage into the next inter-arm region. The gas remains molecular, presumably in GMCs, for a long time. A transitional case has been found recently in the central region of the atom-rich galaxy M33 – GMCs do not coincide with HI there. Evolution of the physical conditions of molecular gas from spiral arms to inter-arm regions is also being revealed in molecule-rich galaxies. An increase of the CO J=2-1 and 1-0 line ratio in spiral arms in M51 suggests density and/or temperature increases by a factor of 2-3 in GMCs in the arms, compared to their counterparts in the inter-arm regions. An analysis of high-resolution Milky Way survey data revealed that the fraction of dense (or warm) clumps increases dramatically in the spiral arms.

A Mid-infrared, 3.4-micron Extension of the Tully-Fisher Relation Using WISE Photometry
David J. Lagattuta (1,2), Jeremy R. Mould (1,2), Lister Staveley-Smith (2,3), Tao Hong (2,3,4), Christopher M. Springob (2,3,5), Karen L. Masters (6,7), Bärbel S. Koribalski (8), D. Heath Jones (9)

We present a mid-infrared Tully-Fisher (TF) relation using photometry from the 3.4-micron W1 band of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite. The WISE TF relation is formed from 568 galaxies taken from the all-sky 2MASS Tully-Fisher (2MTF) galaxy catalog, spanning a range of environments including field, group, and cluster galaxies. This constitutes the largest mid-infrared TF relation constructed, to date. After applying a number of corrections to galaxy magnitudes and line widths, we measure a master TF relation given by M_corr = -22.24 – 10.05[log(W_corr) – 2.5], with an average dispersion of sigma_WISE = 0.686 magnitudes. There is some tension between WISE TF and a preliminary 3.6-micron relation, which has a shallower slope and almost no intrinsic dispersion. However, our results agree well with a more recent relation constructed from a large sample of cluster galaxies. We additionally compare WISE TF to the near-infrared 2MTF template relations, finding a good agreement between the TF parameters and total dispersions of WISE TF and the 2MTF K-band template. This fact, coupled with typical galaxy colors of (K – W1) ~ 0, suggests that these two bands are tracing similar stellar populations, including the older, centrally-located stars in the galactic bulge which can (for galaxies with a prominent bulge) dominate the light profile.


Activity in Galactic Nuclei of Compact Group Galaxies in the Local Universe

Jubee Sohn, Ho Seong Hwang, Myung Gyoon Lee, Gwang-Ho Lee, Jong Chul Lee

We study the nuclear activity of galaxies in local compact groups. We use a spectroscopic sample of 238 galaxies in 58 compact groups from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data release 7 to estimate the fraction of AGN-host galaxies in compact groups, and to compare it with those in cluster and field regions. We use emission-line ratio diagrams to identify AGN-host galaxies, and find that the AGN fraction of compact group galaxies is 17-42% depending on the AGN classification method. The AGN fraction in compact groups is not the highest among the galaxy environments. This trend remains even if we use several subsamples segregated by galaxy morphology and optical luminosity. The AGN fraction for early-type galaxies decreases with increasing galaxy number density, but the fraction for late-type galaxies changes little. We find no mid-infrared detected AGN-host galaxies in our sample of compact groups using Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer data. These results suggest that the nuclear activity of compact group galaxies (mostly early types) is not strong because of lack of gas supply even though they may experience frequent galaxy-galaxy interactions and mergers that could trigger nuclear activity.

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