Spiral Galaxy Mass Models:

Stars-only & Halo Models

The following is the abstract for a paper entitled `Mass Models for Spiral Galaxies from 2-D Velocity Maps', which has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal.

We model the mass distributions of 40 high surface brightness spiral galaxies inside their optical radii, deriving parameters of mass models by matching the predicted velocities to observed velocity maps. We use constant mass-to-light disk and bulge models, and we have tried fits with no halo and with three different halo density profiles. The data require a halo in most, but not all, cases, while in others the best fit occurs with negligible mass in the luminous component, which we regard as unphysical. All three adopted halo profiles lead to fits of about the same quality, and our data therefore do not constrain the functional form of the halo profile. The halo parameters display large degeneracies for two of the three adopted halo functions, but the separate luminous and dark masses are better constrained. However, the fitted disk and halo masses vary substantially between the adopted halo models, indicating that even high quality 2-D optical velocity maps do not provide significant constraints on the dark matter content of a galaxy. We demonstrate that data from longslit observations are likely to provide still weaker constraints. We conclude that additional information is needed in order to constrain the separate disk and halo masses in a galaxy.