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Title: CHARACTERISTICS OF SPIRAL ARMS IN LATE-TYPE GALAXIES

We have measured the positions of large numbers of H II regions in four nearly face-on, late-type, spiral galaxies: NGC 628 (M74), NGC 1232, NGC 3184, and NGC 5194 (M51). Fitting log-periodic spiral models to segments of each arm yields local estimates of spiral pitch angle and arm width. While pitch angles vary considerably along individual arms, among arms within a galaxy, and among galaxies, we find no systematic trend with galactocentric distance. We estimate the widths of the arm segments from the scatter in the distances of the H II regions from the spiral model. All major arms in these galaxies show spiral arm width increasing with distance from the galactic center, similar to the trend seen in the Milky Way. However, in the outermost parts of the galaxies, where massive star formation declines, some arms reverse this trend and narrow. We find that spiral arms often appear to be composed of segments of ∼5 kpc length, which join to form kinks and abrupt changes in pitch angle and arm width; these characteristics are consistent with properties seen in the large N-body simulations of D'Onghia et al. and others.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364208
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 800; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; DISTANCE; GALAXY CLUSTERS; H2 REGIONS; INCLINATION; LENGTH; MILKY WAY; PERIODICITY; STAR CLUSTERS; STAR MODELS; STARS