The shape of the dark matter halo in the early-type galaxy NGC 2974

Anne-Marie Weijmans*, Davor Krajnovic, Glenn van de Ven, Tom A. Oosterloo, Raffaella Morganti, P. T. de Zeeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present HI observations of the elliptical galaxy NGC 2974, obtained with the Very Large Array. These observations reveal that the previously detected HI disc in this galaxy is in fact a ring. By studying the harmonic expansion of the velocity field along the ring, we constrain the elongation of the halo and find that the underlying gravitational potential is consistent with an axisymmetric shape.

We construct mass models of NGC 2974 by combining the HI rotation curve with the central kinematics of the ionized gas, obtained with the integral-field spectrograph SAURON. We introduce a new way of correcting the observed velocities of the ionized gas for asymmetric drift, and hereby disentangle the random motions of the gas caused by gravitational interaction from those caused by turbulence. To reproduce the observed flat rotation curve of the HI gas, we need to include a dark halo in our mass models. A pseudo-isothermal sphere provides the best model to fit our data, but we also tested an NFW halo and modified Newtonian dynamics, which fit the data marginally worse.

The mass-to-light ratio M/L-1 increases in NGC 2974 from 4.3M(circle dot)/L-circle dot,(I) at one effective radius to 8.5M(circle dot)/L-circle dot,(I) at 5 Re. This increase of M/L already suggests the presence of dark matter: we find that within 5 Re at least 55 per cent of the total mass is dark.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1358
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume383
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008

Keywords

  • dark matter
  • galaxies : individual : NGC 2974
  • TO-LIGHT RATIO
  • MODIFIED NEWTONIAN DYNAMICS
  • LINE KINEMATICS
  • galaxies : haloes
  • SURFACE BRIGHTNESS GALAXIES
  • LENTICULAR GALAXIES
  • SAURON PROJECT
  • ELLIPTIC GALAXIES
  • galaxies : elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • SPIRAL GALAXIES
  • NEUTRAL HYDROGEN
  • DECLINING ROTATION CURVES
  • galaxies : kinematics and dynamics

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