EDP Sciences
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Volume 478, Number 1, January IV 2008
Page(s) 57 - 69
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077117

A&A 478, 57-69 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077117

Geometrical tests of cosmological models

II. Calibration of rotational widths and disc scaling relations
A. Saintonge1, 2, K. L. Masters3, C. Marinoni4, K. Spekkens5, 6, R. Giovanelli1, and M. P. Haynes1

1  Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
    e-mail: amelie@physik.uzh.ch
2  Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
3  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02143, USA
4  Centre de Physique Théorique (Centre de Physique Théorique is UMR 6207 - "Unité Mixte de Recherche" of CNRS and of the Universities "de Provence", "de la Méditerranée" and "du Sud Toulon-Var" - Laboratory affiliated to FRUMAM (FR 2291).) , CNRS-Université de Provence, Case 907, 13288 Marseille, France
5  National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) (NRAO is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.)
6  Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
    e-mail: kmasters@cfa.harvard.edu; christian.marinoni@cpt.univ-mrs.fr; spekkens@physics.rutgers.edu; [riccardo;haynes]@astro.cornell.edu

(Received 17 January 2007 / Accepted 2 November 2007)

This is the second in a series of three papers dedicated to a new technique to select galaxies that can act as standard rods and standard candles in order to perform geometrical tests on large samples of high redshift galaxies to constrain different cosmological parameters. The goals of this paper are (1) to compare different rotation indicators in order to understand the relation between rotation velocities extracted from observations of the H$\alpha$$\lambda$6563 Å line and the [OII]$\lambda$3727 Å line; and (2) to determine the scaling relations between physical size, surface brightness and magnitude of disc galaxies and their rotation velocity using the SFI++, a large catalog of nearby galaxies observed at I-band. A good correlation is observed between the rotation curve-derived velocities of the H$\alpha$ and [OII] observations, as well as between those calculated from velocity histograms, justifying the direct comparison of velocities measured from H$\alpha$ rotation curves in nearby galaxies and from [OII] line widths at higher redshifts. To provide calibration for the geometrical tests, we give expressions for the different scaling relations between properties of galaxies (size, surface brightness, magnitude) and their rotation speeds. We use Malmquist bias-corrected distances from the SFI++ template Tully-Fisher relation to generate a size-rotation velocity relation with unprecedentedly small scatter. We show how the best size-rotation velocity relation is derived when size is estimated not from disc scale lengths but from the isophotal diameter r23.5, once these have been corrected for inclination and extinction effects.

Key words: galaxies: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: evolution -- cosmology: cosmological parameters -- cosmology: observations -- galaxies: high-redshift

© ESO 2008