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The structure and dynamics of the gaseous and stellar components in Centaurus A
Nicholson, Richard A.; Bland-Hawthorn, Jonathan; Taylor, Keith
AA(Manchester, Victoria University, England), AB(Rice University, Houston, TX), AC(Anglo-Australian Observatory, Epping, Australia)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 387, March 10, 1992, p. 503-521. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Elliptical Galaxies, Galactic Structure, Gas Dynamics, Interstellar Gas, Ionized Gases, Stellar Motions, Astronomical Maps, Computational Astrophysics, Cosmic Dust, Fabry-Perot Interferometers, H Alpha Line, Kinematics
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A class of geometric models is presented that is successful in reproducing both the general appearance of the dust lane system seen in broadband optical images of Centaurus A and the salient and kinematic and morphological features detected in the Fabry-Perot observations. The resultant models are characterized by a thin warped disk geometry whose spatially averaged optical depth is sufficiently low as to allow emission from all positions with the disk to be observed. A key feature of these models is a structural discontinuity at intermediate radii, within which the structure twists away from the apparent plane defined by the dust band with decreasing radius. On the assumption of closed circular orbits, it is demonstrated that the H-alpha velocity field can be interpreted in a manner consistent with the rotation curve expected from the spheroidal r exp 1/4 law mass distribution indicated by photometric and velocity dispersion measurements of the stellar component. It is suggested that there is no evidence at present for a low M/L ratio in the nuclear regions of this system.

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