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Tilted-ring models of the prolate spiral galaxies NGC 5033 and 5055Observations of the kinematics of H I in the disks of spiral galaxies have shown that isovelocity contours often exhibit a twisted pattern. The shape of a galaxy's gravitational potential well (whether due to luminous matter or dark matter) can be determined from the direction of the twist. If this twist is a manifestation of the precession of a nonsteady-state disk, it is shown that the twists of NGC 5033 and 5055 imply an overall prolate shape, with the major axis of the potential well aligned along the rotation axis of the disk. Therefore, the luminous disks of these galaxies must be embedded in dark halos that are prolate spheroids or prolatelike triaxial figures.
Document ID
19890024087
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Christodoulou, Dimitris M. (Louisiana State Univ. Baton Rouge, LA, United States)
Tohline, Joel E. (Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, United States)
Steiman-Cameron, Thomas Y. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 13, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1988
Publication Information
Publication: Astronomical Journal
Volume: 96
ISSN: 0004-6256
Subject Category
ASTROPHYSICS
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF AST-87-01503
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF AST-83-51997
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other