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Title: Non-axisymmetric structure in the satellite dwarf galaxy NGC 2976: Implications for its dark/bright mass distribution and evolution

We present the result of an extensive search for non-axisymmetric structures in the dwarf satellite galaxy of M81, NGC 2976, using multiwavelength archival observations. The galaxy is known to present kinematic evidence for a bisymmetric distortion; however, the stellar bar presence is controversial. This controversy motivated the possible interpretation of NGC 2976 as presenting an elliptical disk triggered by a prolate dark matter halo. We applied diagnostics used in spiral galaxies in order to detect stellar bars or spiral arms. The m = 2 Fourier phase has a jump around 60 arcsec, consistent with a central bar and bisymmetric arms. The CO, 3.6 μm surface brightness, and the dust lanes are consistent with a gas-rich central bar and possibly with gaseous spiral arms. The bar-like feature is offset close to 20° from the disk position angle, in agreement with kinematic estimations. The kinematic jumps related to the dust lanes suggest that the bar perturbation in the disk kinematics is non-negligible and the reported non-circular motions, the central gas excess, and the nuclear X-ray source (active galactic nucleus/starburst) might be produced by the central bar. Smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of disks inside triaxial dark halos suggest that the two symmetric spotsmore » at 130 arcsec and the narrow arms may be produced by gas at turning points in an elliptical disk, or, alternatively, the potential ellipticity can be produced by a tidally induced strong stellar bar/arms; in both cases the rotation curve interpretation is, importantly, biased. The M81 group is a natural candidate to trigger the bisymmetric distortion and the related evolution as suggested by the H I tidal bridge detected by Chynoweth et al. We conclude that both mechanisms, the gas-rich bar and spiral arms triggered by the environment (tidal stirring) and primordial halo triaxiality, can explain most of the NGC 2976 non-circular motions, mass redistribution, and nuclear activity. Distinguishing between them requires detailed modeling of environmental effects. A similar analysis to ours may reveal such structures in other nearby dwarf satellite galaxies; if this is confirmed, the same evolutionary scenario will be applicable to them. This implies biases in constraining their dark matter distribution and also in making comparisons against theoretical predictions for isolated galaxies.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de Mexico, A.P. 70-264, 04510 México, D.F. (Mexico)
  2. Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Optica y Electrónica, Calle Luis Enrique Erro 1, 72840 Sta. Maria Tonantzintla, Puebla (Mexico)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 (United States)
  4. School of Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050 (South Africa)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340027
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AXIAL SYMMETRY; BRIGHTNESS; CARBON MONOXIDE; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DIAGRAMS; DISTURBANCES; DUSTS; EVOLUTION; FORECASTING; GALAXIES; HYDRODYNAMICS; MASS; MASS DISTRIBUTION; NONLUMINOUS MATTER; PERTURBATION THEORY; ROTATION; SATELLITES; SIMULATION; SURFACES; X-RAY SOURCES