Volume 588, April 2016
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Published online||16 March 2016|
Asymmetric mass models of disk galaxies
I. Messier 99
1 Univ. Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
2 CNRS, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
3 INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo Enrico Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
4 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS & Université Pierre & Marie Curie (UMR 7095), 98 bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
5 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK
Received: 11 November 2015
Accepted: 6 January 2016
Mass models of galactic disks traditionally rely on axisymmetric density and rotation curves, paradoxically acting as if their most remarkable asymmetric features, such as lopsidedness or spiral arms, were not important. In this article, we relax the axisymmetry approximation and introduce a methodology that derives 3D gravitational potentials of disk-like objects and robustly estimates the impacts of asymmetries on circular velocities in the disk midplane. Mass distribution models can then be directly fitted to asymmetric line-of-sight velocity fields. Applied to the grand-design spiral M 99, the new strategy shows that circular velocities are highly nonuniform, particularly in the inner disk of the galaxy, as a natural response to the perturbed gravitational potential of luminous matter. A cuspy inner density profile of dark matter is found in M 99, in the usual case where luminous and dark matter share the same center. The impact of the velocity nonuniformity is to make the inner profile less steep, although the density remains cuspy. On another hand, a model where the halo is core dominated and shifted by 2.2−2.5 kpc from the luminous mass center is more appropriate to explain most of the kinematical lopsidedness evidenced in the velocity field of M 99. However, the gravitational potential of luminous baryons is not asymmetric enough to explain the kinematical lopsidedness of the innermost regions, irrespective of the density shape of dark matter. This discrepancy points out the necessity of an additional dynamical process in these regions: possibly a lopsided distribution of dark matter.
Key words: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: structure / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: individual: Messier 99 (NGC 4254) / dark matter
© ESO, 2016
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