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 A Virgo high-resolution Hα kinematical survey - II. The AtlasA catalogue of ionized gas velocity fields for a sample of 30 spiral andirregular galaxies of the Virgo cluster has been obtained by using 3Doptical data. The aim of this survey is to study the influence ofhigh-density environments on the gaseous kinematics of local clustergalaxies. Observations of the Hα line by means of Fabry-Perotinterferometry have been performed at the Canada-France-HawaiiTelescope, European Southern Observatory 3.6-m telescope, Observatoirede Haute-Provence 1.93-m telescope and Observatoire du montMégantic telescope at angular and spectral samplings from 0.4 to1.6arcsec and 7 to 16kms-1. A recently developed, automaticand adaptive spatial binning technique is used to reach a nearlyconstant signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) over the whole field of view,allowing us to keep a high spatial resolution in high-S/N regions andextend the detection of signal in low-S/N regions. This paper is part ofa series and presents the integrated emission-line and velocity maps ofthe galaxies. Both Hα morphologies and kinematics exhibit signs ofperturbations in the form of, for example, external filaments, inner andnuclear spiral- and ring-like structures, inner kinematical twists,kinematical decoupling of a nuclear spiral, streaming motions alongspiral arms and misalignment between kinematical and photometricorientation axes. Magnetic Fields in Starburst Galaxies and the Origin of the FIR-Radio CorrelationWe estimate minimum energy magnetic fields (Bmin) for asample of galaxies with measured gas surface densities, spanning morethan four orders of magnitude in surface density, from normal spirals toluminous starbursts. We show that the ratio of the minimum energymagnetic pressure to the total pressure in the ISM decreasessubstantially with increasing surface density. For the ultraluminousinfrared galaxy Arp 220, this ratio is ~10-4. Therefore, ifthe minimum energy estimate is applicable, magnetic fields in starburstsare dynamically weak compared to gravity, in contrast to normalstar-forming spiral galaxies. We argue, however, that rapid cooling ofrelativistic electrons in starbursts invalidates the minimum energyestimate. We assess a number of independent constraints on the magneticfield strength in starburst galaxies. In particular, we argue that theexistence of the FIR-radio correlation implies that the synchrotroncooling timescale for cosmic-ray electrons is much shorter than theirescape time from the galactic disk; this in turn implies that the truemagnetic field in starbursts is significantly larger thanBmin. The strongest argument against such large fields isthat one might expect starbursts to have steep radio spectra indicativeof strong synchrotron cooling, which is not observed. However, we showthat ionization and bremsstrahlung losses can flatten the nonthermalspectra of starburst galaxies even in the presence of rapid cooling,providing much better agreement with observed spectra. We furtherdemonstrate that ionization and bremsstrahlung losses are likely to beimportant in shaping the radio spectra of most starbursts at GHzfrequencies, thereby preserving the linearity of the FIR-radiocorrelation. We thus conclude that magnetic fields in starbursts aresignificantly larger than Bmin. We highlight severalobservations that can test this conclusion. A Comparison of Hα and Stellar Scale Lengths in Virgo and Field SpiralsThe scale lengths of the old stars and ionized gas distributions arecompared for similar samples of Virgo Cluster members and field spiralgalaxies via Hα and broad R-band surface photometry. While theR-band and Hα scale lengths are, on average, comparable for thecombined sample, we find significant differences between the field andcluster samples. While the Hα scale lengths of the field galaxiesare a factor of 1.14+/-0.07 longer, on average, than their R-band scalelengths, the Hα scale lengths of Virgo Cluster members are, onaverage, 20% smaller than their R-band scale lengths. Furthermore, inVirgo, the scale length ratios are correlated with the size of thestar-forming disk: galaxies with smaller overall Hα extents alsoshow steeper radial falloff of star formation activity. At the sametime, we find no strong trends in scale length ratio as a function ofother galaxy properties, including galaxy luminosity, inclination,morphological type, central R-band light concentration, or bar type. Ourresults for Hα emission are similar to other results for dustemission, suggesting that Hα and dust have similar distributions.The environmental dependence of the Hα scale length placesadditional constraints on the evolutionary process(es) that cause gasdepletion and a suppression of the star formation rate in clusters ofgalaxies. Abundance segregation in Virgo spiral galaxiesAims.To derive O/H, N/O, and S/O abundances of ion{H}{ii} regionslocated in nine Virgo spiral galaxies, as well as to verify what is thecause of the abundance segregation found. Methods: .We employedphotoionization models to reproduce observed emission-line intensitiesof ion{H}{ii} regions located in the galaxies considered. The abundancegradients obtained were interpreted using a grid of chemical evolutionmodels. Results: .Our models indicate that galaxies near to thecore of the Virgo cluster are overabundant in O/H, N/O, and S/O by about0.25 dex in comparison to the ones at the periphery. With one exception,models with upper stellar mass limit of Mu = 30-40Mȯ and age of the ionizing star cluster ranging from 1.5to 2.5 Myr were able to reproduce the observational data. Chemicalmodels indicate the collapse time-scale for inner regions of galaxiesnear to the Virgo core is larger than the one in galaxies located at theintermediate and peripheral positions in the cluster, what can be due tothe dense environment existing in Virgo Cluster core. The Distribution of Bar and Spiral Arm Strengths in Disk GalaxiesThe distribution of bar strengths in disk galaxies is a fundamentalproperty of the galaxy population that has only begun to be explored. Wehave applied the bar-spiral separation method of Buta and coworkers toderive the distribution of maximum relative gravitational bar torques,Qb, for 147 spiral galaxies in the statistically well-definedOhio State University Bright Galaxy Survey (OSUBGS) sample. Our goal isto examine the properties of bars as independently as possible of theirassociated spirals. We find that the distribution of bar strengthdeclines smoothly with increasing Qb, with more than 40% ofthe sample having Qb<=0.1. In the context of recurrent barformation, this suggests that strongly barred states are relativelyshort-lived compared to weakly barred or nonbarred states. We do notfind compelling evidence for a bimodal distribution of bar strengths.Instead, the distribution is fairly smooth in the range0.0<=Qb<0.8. Our analysis also provides a first look atspiral strengths Qs in the OSUBGS sample, based on the sametorque indicator. We are able to verify a possible weak correlationbetween Qs and Qb, in the sense that galaxies withthe strongest bars tend to also have strong spirals. The Opacity of Spiral Galaxy Disks. IV. Radial Extinction Profiles from Counts of Distant Galaxies Seen through Foreground DisksDust extinction can be determined from the number of distant fieldgalaxies seen through a spiral disk. To calibrate this number for thecrowding and confusion introduced by the foreground image,González et al. and Holwerda et al. developed the Synthetic FieldMethod (SFM), which analyzes synthetic fields constructed by addingvarious deep exposures of unobstructed background fields to thecandidate foreground galaxy field. The advantage of the SFM is that itgives the average opacity for the area of a galaxy disk without makingassumptions about either the distribution of absorbers or of the diskstarlight. However, it is limited by poor statistics on the survivingfield galaxies, hence the need to combine a larger sample of fields.This paper presents the first results for a sample of 32 deep HubbleSpace Telescope (HST)/WFPC2 archival fields of 29 spiral galaxies. Theradial profiles of average dust extinction in spiral galaxies based oncalibrated counts of distant field galaxies is presented here, both forindividual galaxies and for composites from our sample. The effects ofinclination, spiral arms, and Hubble type on the radial extinctionprofile are discussed. The dust opacity of the disk apparently arisesfrom two distinct components: an optically thicker (AI=0.5-4mag) but radially dependent component associated with the spiral armsand a relatively constant optically thinner disk (AI~0.5mag). These results are in complete agreement with earlier work onocculted galaxies. The early-type spiral disks in our sample show lessextinction than the later types. Low surface brightness galaxies, andpossibly Sd's, appear effectively transparent. The average color of thefield galaxies seen through foreground disks does not appear to changewith radius or opacity. This gray behavior is most likely due to thepatchy nature of opaque clouds. The average extinction of a radialannulus and its average surface brightness seem to correlate for thebrighter regions. This leads to the conclusion that the brighter partsof the spiral disk, such as spiral arms, are also the ones with the mostextinction associated with them. The opacity of spiral galaxy disks. VI. Extinction, stellar light and colorIn this paper we explore the relation between dust extinction andstellar light distribution in disks of spiral galaxies. Extinctioninfluences our dynamical and photometric perception of disks, since itcan distort our measurement of the contribution of the stellarcomponent. To characterize the total extinction by a foreground disk,González et al. (1998, ApJ, 506, 152) proposed the "SyntheticField Method" (SFM), which uses the calibrated number of distantgalaxies seen through the foreground disk as a direct indication ofextinction. The method is described in González et al. (1998,ApJ, 506, 152) and Holwerda et al. (2005a, AJ, 129, 1381). To obtaingood statistics, the method was applied to a set of HST/WFPC2 fields(Holwerda et al. 2005b, AJ, 129, 1396) and radial extinction profileswere derived, based on these counts. In the present paper, we explorethe relation of opacity with surface brightness or color from 2MASSimages, as well as the relation between the scalelengths for extinctionand light in the I band. We find that there is indeed a relation betweenthe opacity (AI) and the surface brightness, particularly atthe higher surface brightnesses. No strong relation between nearinfrared (H-J, H-K) color and opacity is found. The scalelengths of theextinction are uncertain for individual galaxies but seem to indicatethat the dust distribution is much more extended than the stellar light.The results from the distant galaxy counts are also compared to thereddening derived from the Cepheids light-curves (Freedman et al. 2001,ApJ, 553, 47). The extinction values are consistent, provided theselection effect against Cepheids with higher values of AI istaken into account. The implications from these relations for diskphotometry, M/L conversion and galaxy dynamical modeling are brieflydiscussed. The opacity of spiral galaxy disks. V. Dust opacity, HI distributions and sub-mm emissionThe opacity of spiral galaxy disks, from counts of distant galaxies, iscompared to HI column densities. The opacity measurements are calibratedusing the "Synthetic Field Method" from González et al. (1998,ApJ, 506, 152), Holwerda et al. (2005a, AJ, 129, 1381). When comparedfor individual disks, the HI column density and dust opacity do not seemto be correlated as HI and opacity follow different radial profiles. Toimprove statistics, an average radial opacity profile is compared to anaverage HI profile. Compared to dust-to-HI estimates from theliterature, more extinction is found in this profile. This differencemay be accounted for by an underestimate of the dust in earliermeasurements due to their dependence on dust temperature. Since the SFMis insensitive to the dust temperature, the ratio between the SFMopacity and HI could very well be indicative of the true ratio. Earlierclaims for a radially extended cold dust disk were based on sub-mmobservations. A comparison between sub-mm observations and counts ofdistant galaxies is therefore desirable. We present the best currentexample of such a comparison, M 51, for which the measurements seem toagree. However, this remains an area where improved counts of distantgalaxies, sub-mm observations and our understanding of dust emissivityare needed. Completing H I observations of galaxies in the Virgo clusterHigh sensitivity (rms noise  0.5 mJy) 21-cm H I line observationswere made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbishedArecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. Thesedata, combined with the measurements available from the literature,provide the first set of H I data that is complete for all 355 late-type(Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with mp ≤ 18.0mag. The Virgo cluster H I mass function (HIMF) that was derived forthis optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMFderived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS H I survey and isinconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this richcluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarilyassociated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions fromearly-type galaxies and isolated H I clouds. The inconsistency betweenthe cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference inthe optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the twoenvironments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur ingalaxies in rich clusters.Tables \ref{t1, \ref{sample_dat} and Appendix A are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org The Impact of Space Experiments on our Knowledge of the Physics of the UniverseWith the advent of space experiments it was demonstrated that cosmicsources emit energy practically across all the electromagnetic spectrumvia different physical processes. Several physical quantities givewitness to these processes which usually are not stationary; thosephysical observable quantities are then generally variable. Thereforesimultaneous multifrequency observations are strictly necessary in orderto understand the actual behaviour of cosmic sources. Space experimentshave opened practically all the electromagnetic windows on the Universe.A discussion of the most important results coming from multifrequencyphotonic astrophysics experiments will provide new inputs for theadvance of the knowledge of the physics, very often in its more extremeconditions. A multitude of high quality data across practically thewhole electromagnetic spectrum came at the scientific community'sdisposal a few years after the beginning of the Space Era. With thesedata we are attempting to explain the physics governing the Universeand, moreover, its origin, which has been and still is a matter of thegreatest curiosity for humanity. In this paper we will try to describethe last steps of the investigation born with the advent of spaceexperiments, to note upon the most important results and open problemsstill existing, and to comment upon the perspectives we can reasonablyexpect. Once the idea of this paper was well accepted by ourselves, wehad the problem of how to plan the exposition. Indeed, the exposition ofthe results can be made in different ways, following several points ofview, according to: - a division in diffuse and discrete sources; -different classes of cosmic sources; - different spectral ranges, whichimplies in turn a sub-classification in accordance with differenttechniques of observations; - different physical emission mechanisms ofelectromagnetic radiation; - different vehicles used for launching theexperiments (aircraft, balloons, rockets, satellites, observatories). Inorder to exhaustively present The Impact of Space Experiments on ourKnowledge of the Physics of the Universe it would then have beennecessary to write a kind of Encyclopaedia of the Astronomical SpaceResearch, which is not our desire. On the contrary, since our goal is toprovide an useful tool for the reader who has not specialized in spaceastrophysics and for the students, we decided to write this paper in theform of a review, the length of which can be still consideredreasonable, taking into account the complexity of the argumentsdiscussed. Because of the impossibility of realizing a complete pictureof the physics governing the Universe, we were obliged to select how toproceed, the subjects to be discussed the more or the less, or those tobe rejected. Because this work was born in the Ph.D. thesis of one of us(LSG) (Sabau-Graziati, 1990) we decided to follow the astronomicaltradition' used there, namely: the spectral energy ranges. Although suchenergy ranges do not determine physical objects (even if in many casessuch ranges are used to define the sources as: radio, infrared, optical,ultraviolet, X-ray, γ-ray emitters), they do determine themethods of study, and from the technical point of view they define thetechnology employed in the relative experiments. However, since then wehave decided to avoid a deep description of the experiments, satellites,and observatories, simply to grant a preference to the physical results,rather than to technologies, however fundamental for obtaining thoseresults. The exposition, after an introduction (Section 1) and somecrucial results from space astronomy (Section 2), has been focussed intothree parts: the physics of the diffuse cosmic sources deduced fromspace experiments (Section 3), the physics of cosmic rays from ground-and space-based experiments (Section 4), and the physics of discretecosmic sources deduced from space experiments (Section 5). In this firstpart of the paper we have used the logic of describing the main resultsobtained in different energy ranges, which in turn characterize theexperiments on board space vehicles. Within each energy range we havediscussed the contributions to the knowledge of various kind of cosmicsources coming from different experiments. And this part is mainlyderived by the bulk of the introductory part of LSG's Ph.D. thesis. Inthe second part of the paper, starting from Section 6, we have preferredto discuss several classes of cosmic sources independently of the energyranges, mainly focussing the results from a multifrequency point ofview, making a preference for the knowledge of the physics governing thewhole class. This was decided also because of the multitude of new spaceexperiments launched in the last fifteen years, which would haverendered almost impossible a discussion of the results divided intoenergy ranges without weakening the construction of the entire puzzle.We do not pretend to cover every aspect of every subject consideredunder the heading of the physics of the universe. Instead a crosssection of essays on historical, modern, and philosophical topics areoffered and combined with personal views into tricks of the spaceastrophysics trade. The reader is, then, invited to accept this papereven though it obviously lacks completeness and the arguments discussedare certainly biased by a selection effect owed essentially to ourknowledge, and to it being of a reasonable length. Some parts of itcould seem, in certain sense, to belong to an older paper, in which thenews' is not reported. But this is owed to our own choice, just in fullaccord with the goals of the text: we want to present those resultswhich have, in our opinion, been really important, in the development ofthe science. These impacting results do not necessarily constitute thelast news. This text was formally closed just on the day of the launchof the INTEGRAL satellite: October 17, 2002. After that date onlyfinishing touches have been added. Bar-induced perturbation strengths of the galaxies in the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey - IBar-induced perturbation strengths are calculated for a well-definedmagnitude-limited sample of 180 spiral galaxies, based on the Ohio StateUniversity Bright Galaxy Survey. We use a gravitational torque method,the ratio of the maximal tangential force to the mean axisymmetricradial force, as a quantitative measure of the bar strength. Thegravitational potential is inferred from an H-band light distribution byassuming that the M/L ratio is constant throughout the disc. Galaxiesare deprojected using orientation parameters based on B-band images. Inorder to eliminate artificial stretching of the bulge, two-dimensionalbar-bulge-disc decomposition has been used to derive a reliable bulgemodel. This bulge model is subtracted from an image, the disc isdeprojected assuming it is thin, and then the bulge is added back byassuming that its mass distribution is spherically symmetric. We findthat removing the artificial bulge stretch is important especially forgalaxies having bars inside large bulges. We also find that the massesof the bulges can be significantly overestimated if bars are not takeninto account in the decomposition.Bars are identified using Fourier methods by requiring that the phasesof the main modes (m= 2, m= 4) are maintained nearly constant in the barregion. With such methods, bars are found in 65 per cent of the galaxiesin our sample, most of them being classified as SB-type systems in thenear-infrared by Eskridge and co-workers. We also suggest that as muchas ~70 per cent of the galaxies classified as SAB-types in thenear-infrared might actually be non-barred systems, many of them havingcentral ovals. It is also possible that a small fraction of the SAB-typegalaxies have weak non-classical bars with spiral-like morphologies. Intracluster Planetary Nebulae in the Virgo Cluster. III. Luminosity of the Intracluster Light and Tests of the Spatial DistributionIntracluster planetary nebulae are a useful tracer of the evolution ofgalaxies and galaxy clusters. We analyze our catalog of 318 intraclusterplanetary nebulae candidates found in 0.89 deg-2 of the VirgoCluster. We give additional evidence for the great depth of the VirgoCluster's intracluster stellar population, which implies that the bulkof the intracluster stars come from late-type galaxies and dwarfs. Wealso provide evidence that the intracluster stars are clustered on thesky on arcminute scales, in agreement with tidal-stripping scenarios ofintracluster star production. Although significant systematicuncertainties exist, we find that the average fraction of intraclusterstarlight in the Virgo Cluster is 15.8%+/-3.0%(statistical)+/-5.0%(systematic) and may be higher if the intracluster stars have a largespatial line-of-sight depth. We find that the intracluster star densitychanges little with radius or projected density over the range surveyed.These results, along with other intracluster star observations, implythat intracluster star production in Virgo is ongoing and consistentwith the cluster's known dynamical youth. Hα Morphologies and Environmental Effects in Virgo Cluster Spiral GalaxiesWe describe the various Hα morphologies of Virgo Cluster andisolated spiral galaxies and associate the Hα morphologies withthe types of environmental interactions that have altered the clustergalaxies. The spatial distributions of Hα and R-band emission areused to divide the star formation morphologies of the 52 Virgo Clusterspiral galaxies into several categories: normal (37%), anemic (6%),enhanced (6%), and (spatially) truncated (52%). Truncated galaxies arefurther subdivided on the basis of their inner star formation rates intotruncated/normal (37%), truncated/compact (6%), truncated/anemic (8%),and truncated/enhanced (2%). The fraction of anemic galaxies isrelatively small (6%-13%) in both environments, suggesting thatstarvation is not a major factor in the reduced star formation rates ofVirgo spiral galaxies. The majority of Virgo spiral galaxies have theirHα disks truncated (52%), whereas truncated Hα disks arerarer in isolated galaxies (12%). Most of the Hα-truncatedgalaxies have relatively undisturbed stellar disks and normal toslightly enhanced inner disk star formation rates, suggesting thatintracluster medium-interstellar medium (ICM-ISM) stripping is the mainmechanism causing the reduced star formation rates of Virgo spiralgalaxies. Several of the truncated galaxies are peculiar, with enhancedcentral star formation rates, disturbed stellar disks, and barlikedistributions of luminous H II complexes inside the central 1 kpc but nostar formation beyond, suggesting that recent tidal interactions orminor mergers have also influenced their morphology. Two highly inclinedHα-truncated spiral galaxies have numerous extraplanar H IIregions and are likely in an active phase of ICM-ISM stripping. Severalspiral galaxies have one-sided Hα enhancements at the outer edgeof their truncated Hα disks, suggesting modest local enhancementsin their star formation rates due to ICM-ISM interactions. Low-velocitytidal interactions and perhaps outer cluster H I accretion seem to bethe triggers for enhanced global star formation in four Virgo galaxies.These results indicate that most Virgo spiral galaxies experienceICM-ISM stripping, many experience significant tidal effects, and manyexperience both. A New Nonparametric Approach to Galaxy Morphological ClassificationWe present two new nonparametric methods for quantifying galaxymorphology: the relative distribution of the galaxy pixel flux values(the Gini coefficient or G) and the second-order moment of the brightest20% of the galaxy's flux (M20). We test the robustness of Gand M20 to decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and spatialresolution and find that both measures are reliable to within 10% forimages with average S/N per pixel greater than 2 and resolutions betterthan 1000 and 500 pc, respectively. We have measured G andM20, as well as concentration (C), asymmetry (A), andclumpiness (S) in the rest-frame near-ultraviolet/optical wavelengthsfor 148 bright local normal'' Hubble-type galaxies (E-Sd) galaxies, 22dwarf irregulars, and 73 0.05 Inner-truncated Disks in GalaxiesWe present an analysis of the disk brightness profiles of 218 spiral andlenticular galaxies. At least 28% of disk galaxies exhibit innertruncations in these profiles. There are no significant trends oftruncation incidence with Hubble type, but the incidence among barredsystems is 49%, more than 4 times that for nonbarred galaxies. However,not all barred systems have inner truncations, and not allinner-truncated systems are currently barred. Truncations represent areal dearth of disk stars in the inner regions and are not an artifactof our selection or fitting procedures nor the result of obscuration bydust. Disk surface brightness profiles in the outer regions are wellrepresented by simple exponentials for both truncated and nontruncateddisks. However, truncated and nontruncated systems have systematicallydifferent slopes and central surface brightness parameters for theirdisk brightness distributions. Truncation radii do not appear tocorrelate well with the sizes or brightnesses of the bulges. Thissuggests that the low angular momentum material apparently missing fromthe inner disk was not simply consumed in forming the bulge population.Disk parameters and the statistics of bar orientations in our sampleindicate that the missing stars of the inner disk have not simply beenredistributed azimuthally into bar structures. The sharpness of thebrightness truncations and their locations with respect to othergalactic structures suggest that resonances associated with diskkinematics, or tidal interactions with the mass of bulge stars, might beresponsible for this phenomenon. Oxygen and nitrogen abundances in nearby galaxies. Correlations between oxygen abundance and macroscopic propertiesWe performed a compilation of more than 1000 published spectra of H IIregions in spiral galaxies. The oxygen and nitrogen abundances in each HII region were recomputed in a homogeneous way, using the P-method. Theradial distributions of oxygen and nitrogen abundances were derived. Thecorrelations between oxygen abundance and macroscopic properties areexamined. We found that the oxygen abundance in spiral galaxiescorrelates with its luminosity, rotation velocity, and morphologicaltype: the correlation with the rotation velocity may be slightlytighter. There is a significant difference between theluminosity-metallicity relationship obtained here and that based on theoxygen abundances determined through the R23-calibrations.The oxygen abundance of NGC 5457 recently determined using directmeasurements of Te (Kennicutt et al. \cite{Kennicutt2003})agrees with the luminosity-metallicity relationship derived in thispaper, but is in conflict with the luminosity-metallicity relationshipderived with the R23-based oxygen abundances. The obtainedluminosity-metallicity relation for spiral galaxies is compared to thatfor irregular galaxies. Our sample of galaxies shows evidence that theslope of the O/H - MB relationship for spirals (-0.079± 0.018) is slightly more shallow than that for irregulargalaxies (-0.139 ± 0.011). The effective oxygen yields wereestimated for spiral and irregular galaxies. The effective oxygen yieldincreases with increasing luminosity from MB  -11 toMB  -18 (or with increasing rotation velocity fromVrot  10 km s-1 to Vrot  100km s-1) and then remains approximately constant. Irregulargalaxies from our sample have effective oxygen yields lowered by afactor of 3 at maximum, i.e. irregular galaxies usually keep at least1/3 of the oxygen they manufactured during their evolution.Appendix, Tables \ref{table:refero}, \ref{table:referV}, and Figs.\ref{figure:sample2}-\ref{figure:sample5} are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org} Deprojecting spiral galaxies using Fourier analysis. Application to the Ohio sampleWe use two new methods developed recently (Barberàet al.\cite{bar03}, A&A, 415, 849), as well as information obtained fromthe literature, to calculate the orientation parameters of the spiralgalaxies in the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey. We comparethe results of these methods with data from the literature, and find ingeneral good agreement. We provide a homogeneous set of mean orientationparameters which can be used to approximately deproject the disks of thegalaxies and facilitate a number of statistical studies of galaxyproperties.Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/421/595 Minor-axis velocity gradients in disk galaxiesWe present the ionized-gas kinematics and photometry of a sample of 4spiral galaxies which are characterized by a zero-velocity plateau alongthe major axis and a velocity gradient along the minor axis,respectively. By combining these new kinematical data with thoseavailable in the literature for the ionized-gas component of the S0s andspirals listed in the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog of Bright Galaxies werealized that about 50% of unbarred galaxies show a remarkable gasvelocity gradient along the optical minor axis. This fraction rises toabout 60% if we include unbarred galaxies with an irregular velocityprofile along the minor axis. This phenomenon is observed all along theHubble sequence of disk galaxies, and it is particularly frequent inearly-type spirals. Since minor-axis velocity gradients are unexpectedif the gas is moving onto circular orbits in a disk coplanar to thestellar one, we conclude that non-circular and off-plane gas motions arenot rare in the inner regions of disk galaxies.Based on observations carried out at the European Southern Observatoryin La Silla (Chile) (ESO 69.B-0706 and 70.B-0338), with the MultipleMirror Telescope which is a joint facility of the SmithsonianInstitution and the University of Arizona, and with the ItalianTelescopio Nazionale Galileo (AOT-5, 3-18) at the Observatorio del Roquede los Muchachos in La Palma (Spain).Table 1 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org. Table 5 is only available in electronic format the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/416/507 Deprojecting spiral galaxies using Fourier analysis. Application to the Frei sampleWe present two methods that can be used to deproject spirals, based onFourier analysis of their images, and discuss their potential andrestrictions. Our methods perform particularly well for galaxies moreinclined than 50° or for non-barred galaxies moreinclined than 35°. They are fast and straightforward touse, and thus ideal for large samples of galaxies. Moreover, they arevery robust for low resolutions and thus are appropriate for samples ofcosmological interest. The relevant software is available from us uponrequest. We use these methods to determine the values of the positionand inclination angles for a sample of 79 spiral galaxies contained inthe Frei et al. (\cite{frei96}) sample. We compare our results with thevalues found in the literature, based on other methods. We findstatistically very good agreementTable 7 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/415/849 The Virgo High-Resolution CO Survey: I. CO AtlasWe present the results of the Virgo high-resolution CO survey (ViCS)obtained with the Nobeyama Millimeter-wave Array (NMA). This survey wasmade during the course of a long-term project at Nobeyama from 1999December through 2002 April. The objects were selected from Virgocluster members, while considering the CO richness from the single-dishflux, mild inclination, and a lack of strong tidal perturbations. Thecentral 1' regions ( 4.7 kpc) of 15 spiral galaxies were observedwith resolutions of 2'' - 5'' and 10--20 km s-120 kms-1, and sensitivities of  20 mJy beam-1 fora 10 km s-1 channel. The objects lie at the same distance ofthe Virgo cluster (16.1Mpc), which is advantageous for comparisons amongindividual galaxies. We describe the details of observations and datareduction, and present an atlas of integrated CO intensity maps,velocity fields and position-velocity diagrams along the major axes. Themolecular g as morphology in the Virgo galaxies shows a wealth ofvariety, not specifically depending on the Hubble types. Severalgalaxies show a strong concentration of gas in the central few kpcregion, where the CO morphology shows either a single-peak'' or atwin-peaks''. The morphology of more extended CO components can beclassified into arm-type'', bar-type'', and amorphous-type''. The star formation rate in disc galaxies: thresholds and dependence on gas amountWe reassess the applicability of the Toomre criterion in galactic discsand we study the local star formation law in 16 disc galaxies for whichabundance gradients are published. The data we use consist of stellarlight profiles, atomic and molecular gas (deduced from CO with ametallicity-dependent conversion factor), star formation rates (fromHα emissivities), metallicities, dispersion velocities androtation curves. We show that the Toomre criterion applies successfullyto the case of the Milky Way disc, but it has limited success with thedata of our sample; depending on whether or not the stellar component isincluded in the stability analysis, we find average values for thethreshold ratio of the gas surface density to the critical surfacedensity in the range 0.5-0.7. We also test various star formation lawsproposed in the literature, i.e. either the simple Schmidt law ormodifications of it, that take into account dynamical factors. We findonly small differences among them as far as the overall fit to our datais concerned; in particular, we find that all three star formation laws(with parameters derived from the fits to our data) match observationsin the Milky Way disc particularly well. In all cases we find that theexponent n of our best-fitting star formation rate has slightly highervalues than in other recent works and we suggest several reasons thatmay cause that discrepancy. The Relationship between Stellar Light Distributions of Galaxies and Their Formation HistoriesA major problem in extragalactic astronomy is the inability todistinguish in a robust, physical, and model-independent way how galaxypopulations are physically related to each other and to their formationhistories. A similar, but distinct, and also long-standing question iswhether the structural appearances of galaxies, as seen through theirstellar light distributions, contain enough physical information tooffer this classification. We argue through the use of 240 images ofnearby galaxies that three model-independent parameters measured on asingle galaxy image reveal its major ongoing and past formation modesand can be used as a robust classification system. These parametersquantitatively measure: the concentration (C), asymmetry (A), andclumpiness (S) of a galaxy's stellar light distribution. When combinedinto a three-dimensional CAS'' volume all major classes of galaxies invarious phases of evolution are cleanly distinguished. We argue thatthese three parameters correlate with important modes of galaxyevolution: star formation and major merging activity. This is arguedthrough the strong correlation of Hα equivalent width andbroadband colors with the clumpiness parameter S, the uniquely largeasymmetries of 66 galaxies undergoing mergers, and the correlation ofbulge to total light ratios, and stellar masses, with the concentrationindex. As an obvious goal is to use this system at high redshifts totrace evolution, we demonstrate that these parameters can be measured,within a reasonable and quantifiable uncertainty with available data outto z~3 using the Hubble Space Telescope GOODS ACS and Hubble Deep Fieldimages. Galaxy classification using fractal signatureFractal geometry is becoming increasingly important in the study ofimage characteristics. For recognition of regions and objects in naturalscenes, there is always a need for features that are invariant and theyprovide a good set of descriptive values for the region. There are manyfractal features that can be generated from an image. In this paper,fractal signatures of nearby galaxies are studied with the aim ofclassifying them. The fractal signature over a range of scales proved tobe an efficient feature set with good discriminating power. Classifierswere designed using nearest neighbour method and neural networktechnique. Using the nearest distance approach, classification rate wasfound to be 92%. By the neural network method it has been found toincrease to 95%. GHASP: A 3-D Survey of Spiral and Irregular Galaxies at HαNot Available The Three-dimensional Structure of the Virgo Cluster Region from Tully-Fisher and H I DataThe distances and H I contents of 161 spiral galaxies in the region ofthe Virgo cluster are used to gain insight into the complicatedstructure of this galaxy system. Special attention has been paid to theinvestigation of the suggestion presented in an earlier work that someperipheral Virgo groups may contain strongly gas-deficient spiralgalaxies. The three-dimensional galaxy distribution has been inferredfrom quality distance estimates obtained by averaging distance modulibased on the Tully-Fisher relationship taken from eight published datasets previously homogenized, resulting in a relation with a dispersionof 0.41 mag. Previous findings that the spiral distribution issubstantially more elongated along the line of sight than in the planeof the sky are confirmed by the current data. In addition, an importanteast-west disparity in this effect has been detected. The overallwidth-to-depth ratio of the Virgo cluster region is about 1:4, with themost distant objects concentrated in the western half. The filamentarystructure of the spiral population and its orientation are alsoreflected by the H I-deficient objects alone. The H I deficiency patternshows a central enhancement extending from ~16 to 22 Mpc inline-of-sight distance; most of this enhancement arises from galaxiesthat belong to the Virgo cluster proper. However, significant gasdeficiencies are also detected outside the main body of the cluster in aprobable group of galaxies at line-of-sight distances ~25-30 Mpc, lyingin the region dominated by the southern edge of the M49 subcluster andclouds W' and W, as well as in various foreground galaxies. In the Virgoregion, the H I content of the galaxies then is not a straightforwardindicator of cluster membership. Bar Galaxies and Their EnvironmentsThe prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment. Arm Structure in Anemic Spiral GalaxiesAnemic galaxies have less prominent star formation than normal galaxiesof the same Hubble type. Previous studies showed they are deficient intotal atomic hydrogen but not in molecular hydrogen. Here we compare thecombined surface densities of H I and H2 at mid-disk radiiwith the Kennicutt threshold for star formation. The anemic galaxies arebelow the threshold, which explains their lack of prominent starformation, but they are not much different than other early-typegalaxies, which also tend to be below threshold. The spiral waveamplitudes of anemic and normal galaxies were also compared, usingimages in B and J passbands from the OSU Bright Spiral Galaxy Survey.Anemic galaxies have normal spiral wave properties too, with the sameamplitudes and radial dependencies as other galaxies of the same armclass. Because of the lack of gas, spiral waves in early-type galaxiesand anemics do not have a continuous supply of stars with low velocitydispersions to maintain a marginally stable disk. As a result, they areeither short lived, evolving toward lenticulars and S0 types in only afew rotations at mid-disk, or they are driven by the asymmetriesassociated with gas removal in the cluster environment. The UZC-SSRS2 Group CatalogWe apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers. Hα surface photometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster. IV. The current star formation in nearby clusters of galaxiesHα +[NII] imaging observations of 369 late-type (spiral) galaxiesin the Virgo cluster and in the Coma/A1367 supercluster are analyzed,covering 3 rich nearby clusters (A1367, Coma and Virgo) and nearlyisolated galaxies in the Great-Wall. They constitute an opticallyselected sample (mp<16.0) observed with ~ 60 %completeness. These observations provide us with the current(T<107 yrs) star formation properties of galaxies that westudy as a function of the clustercentric projected distances (Theta ).The expected decrease of the star formation rate (SFR), as traced by theHα EW, with decreasing Theta is found only when galaxies brighterthan Mp ~ -19.5 are considered. Fainter objects show no orreverse trends. We also include in our analysis Near Infrared data,providing information on the old (T>109 yrs) stars. Puttogether, the young and the old stellar indicators give the ratio ofcurrently formed stars over the stars formed in the past, orbirthrate'' parameter b. For the considered galaxies we also determinethe global gas content'' combining HI with CO observations. We definethe gas deficiency'' parameter as the logarithmic difference betweenthe gas content of isolated galaxies of a given Hubble type and themeasured gas content. For the isolated objects we find that b decreaseswith increasing NIR luminosity. In other words less massive galaxies arecurrently forming stars at a higher rate than their giant counterpartswhich experienced most of their star formation activity at earliercosmological epochs. The gas-deficient objects, primarily members of theVirgo cluster, have a birthrate significantly lower than the isolatedobjects with normal gas content and of similar NIR luminosity. Thisindicates that the current star formation is regulated by the gaseouscontent of spirals. Whatever mechanism (most plausibly ram-pressurestripping) is responsible for the pattern of gas deficiency observed inspiral galaxies members of rich clusters, it also produces the observedquenching of the current star formation. A significant fraction of gashealthy'' (i.e. with a gas deficiency parameter less than 0.4) andcurrently star forming galaxies is unexpectedly found projected near thecenter of the Virgo cluster. Their average Tully-Fisher distance isfound approximately one magnitude further away (muo = 31.77)than the distance of their gas-deficient counterparts (muo =30.85), suggesting that the gas healthy objects belong to a cloudprojected onto the cluster center, but in fact lying a few Mpc behindVirgo, thus unaffected by the dense IGM of the cluster. Based onobservations taken at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional(Mexico), the OHP (France), Calar Alto and NOT (Spain) observatories.Table \ref{tab4} is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Oxygen and nitrogen abundances in Virgo and field spiralsThe oxygen and nitrogen abundances in the H II regions of the nine Virgospirals of the sample from Skillman et al. (1996) and in nine fieldspiral galaxies are re-determined with the recently suggested P-method.We confirm that there is an abundance segregation in the sample of Virgospirals in the sense that the H I deficient Virgo spirals near the coreof the cluster have higher oxygen abundances in comparison to thespirals at the periphery of the Virgo cluster. At the same time both theVirgo periphery and core spirals have counterparts among field spirals.Some field spirals have H I to optical radius ratios, similar to that inH I deficient Virgo core spirals. We conclude that if there is adifference in the abundance properties of the Virgo and field spirals,this difference appears to be small and masked by the observationalerrors.
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