Chemistry and Physics Faculty Articles

Title

The Edge-On Perspective of Bulgeless, Simple Disk Galaxies

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Keywords

IYA Review

Publication Title

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

ISSN

0004-6280

Volume

121

Issue/No.

886

First Page

1297

Last Page

1306

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

This review focuses on flat and superthin galaxies. These are edge-on bulgeless galaxies, which are composed of a simple, stellar disk. The properties of these simple disks are at the end of a continuum that extends smoothly from bulge-dominated disk galaxies to the pure disks. On average, simple disks are low-mass galaxies with low surface brightnesses, blue colors, and slow rotational velocities. Widely-accepted cosmological models of galaxy formation and evolution were challenged by a relatively large observed fraction of pure disk galaxies, and only very recent models can explain the existence of simple disk galaxies. This makes simple disks an optimal galaxy type for the study of galaxy formation in a hierarchical universe. They enable us to analyze the environmental and internal influence on galaxy evolution, to study the stability of the disks, and to explain the nature and distribution of dark matter in galaxies. This review summarizes the current status of edge-on simple disk galaxies in the universe.

DOI

10.1086/649607

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