High-resolution rotation curves and galaxy mass models from THINGS

W.J.G. de Blok, F. Walter, E. Brinks, C. Trachternach, S.H. Oh, R.C. Kennicutt

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601 Citations (Scopus)


We present rotation curves of 19 galaxies from The H I Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS). The high spatial and velocity resolution of THINGS make these the highest quality H I rotation curves available to date for a large sample of nearby galaxies, spanning a wide range of H I masses and luminosities. The high quality of the data allows us to derive the geometric and dynamical parameters using H I data alone. We do not find any declining rotation curves unambiguously associated with a cut-off in the mass distribution out to the last measured point. The rotation curves are combined with 3.6 μm data from the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey to construct mass models. Our best-fit dynamical disk masses, derived from the rotation curves, are in good agreement with photometric disk masses derived from the 3.6 μm images in combination with stellar population synthesis arguments and two different assumptions for the stellar initial mass function (IMF). We test the cold dark matter (CDM) motivated cusp model, and the observationally motivated central density core model and find that (independent of IMF) for massive, disk-dominated galaxies, all halo models fit apparently equally well; for low-mass galaxies, however, a core-dominated halo is clearly preferred over a cusp-like halo. The empirically derived densities of the dark matter halos of the late-type galaxies in our sample are half of what is predicted by CDM simulations, again independent of the assumed IMF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2648-2719
JournalThe Astronomical Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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