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Session 13 - Galaxies & Globular Clusters.
Oral session, Monday, June 09
North Main Hall F/G,

[13.03] Edge-on Disk Galaxies in the Near-Infrared - Looking through the Dust

R. de Grijs (Kapteyn Institute, Groningen)

We present a detailed study of a statistically complete sample of highly inclined disk galaxies in the near-infrared K' band. Since the K'-band light is relatively insensitive to contamination by galactic dust, we have been able to follow the vertical light distributions all the way down to the galaxy planes. We find that the sharpness of the peak of the vertical profiles, characterized by the exponent 2/n of the generalized family of fitting functions proposed by van der Kruit (1988), varies little with position along the major axis. This result is independent of galaxy type. The mean levels for the sharpness of the K'-band luminosity peaks indicate that the vertical luminosity distributions are more peaked than expected for the intermediate sech(z) distribution, but rounder than exponential. It is shown that the mean 2/n values for both the K' band and the I-band light profiles are similar, \langle 2/n \rangle = 0.538 \pm 0.198. The fact that we observe this in all our sample galaxies indicates that the formation process of the galaxy disks perpendicular to the galaxy planes is a process intrinsic to the disks themselves.

Program listing for Monday