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RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.

Scalar potential model of redshift and discrete redshift
On the galactic scale the universe is inhomogeneous and redshift z isoccasionally less than zero. A scalar potential model (SPM) that linksthe galaxy scale z to the cosmological scale z of the Hubble Law ispostulated. Several differences among galaxy types suggest that spiralgalaxies are Sources and that early type, lenticular, and irregulargalaxies are Sinks of a scalar potential field. The morphology-radiusand the intragalactic medium cluster observations support the movementof matter from Source galaxies to Sink galaxies. A cell structure ofgalaxy groups and clusters is proposed to resolve a paradox concerningthe scalar potential like the Olber’s paradox concerning light.For the sample galaxies, the ratio of the luminosity of Source galaxiesto the luminosity of Sink galaxies approaches 2.7 ± 0.1. Anequation is derived from sample data, which is anisotropic andinhomogeneous, relating z of and the distance D to galaxies. Thecalculated z has a correlation coefficient of 0.88 with the measured zfor a sample of 32 spiral galaxies with D calculated using Cepheidvariable stars. The equation is consistent with z < 0 observations ofclose galaxies. At low cosmological distances, the equation reduces to z≈ exp(KD)‑1 ≈ KD, where K is a constant, positive value. Theequation predicts z from galaxies over 18 Gpc distant approaches aconstant value on the order of 500. The SPM of z provides a physicalbasis for the z of particle photons. Further, the SPM qualitativelysuggests the discrete variations in z, which was reported by Tifft[Tifft, W.G., 1997. Astrophy. J. 485, 465] and confirmed by others, areconsistent with the SPM.

Lifetime of nuclear velocity dispersion drops in barred galaxies
We have made hydro/N-body simulations with and without star formation toshed some light on the conditions under which a central kinematicallycold stellar component (characterized by a velocity dispersion drop orσ-drop) could be created in a hot medium (e.g. a bulge) andsurvive enough time to be observed. We found that the time-scale for aσ-drop formation could be short (less than 500 Myr), whereas itslifetime could be long (more than 1 Gyr) provided that the centralregion is continuously or regularly fed by fresh gas which leads to acontinuous star formation activity. Star formation in the centralregion, even at a low rate as 1Msolaryr-1, ismandatory to sustain a permanent σ-drop by replacing heatedparticles by new low-σ ones. We moreover show that as soon as starformation is switched off, the σ-drop begins to disappear.

Hαkinematics of the SINGS nearby galaxies survey - I*
This is the first part of an Hαkinematics follow-up survey of theSpitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) sample. The data for28galaxies are presented. The observations were done on three differenttelescopes with Fabry-Perot of New Technology for the Observatoire dumont Megantic (FaNTOmM), an integral field photon-counting spectrometer,installed in the respective focal reducer of each telescope. The datareduction was done through a newly built pipeline with the aim ofproducing the most homogenous data set possible. Adaptive spatialbinning was applied to the data cubes in order to get a constantsignal-to-noise ratio across the field of view. Radial velocity andmonochromatic maps were generated using a new algorithm, and thekinematical parameters were derived using tilted-ring models.

Optical Counterparts of Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources Identified from Archival HST WFPC2 Images
We present a systematic analysis of archival HST WFPC2 ``Association''data sets that correlate with the Chandra positions of a set of 44ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) of nearby galaxies. The mainmotivation is to address the nature of ULXs by searching for opticalcounterparts. Sixteen of the ULXs are found in early-type galaxies (RC3Hubble type <3). We have improved the Chandra/HST relative astrometrywhenever possible, resulting in errors circles of 0.3"-1.7" in size.Disparate numbers of potential ULX counterparts are found, and in somecases none are found. The lack of or low number of counterparts in somecases may be due to insufficient depth in the WFPC2 images. Particularlyin late-type galaxies, the HST image in the ULX region was often complexor crowded, requiring source detection to be performed manually. Wetherefore address various scenarios for the nature of the ULX since itis not known which, if any, of the sources found are true counterparts.The optical luminosities of the sources are typically in the range104-106 Lsolar, with (effective) Vmagnitudes typically in the range 22-24. In several cases colorinformation is available, with the colors roughly tending to be more redin early-type galaxies. This suggests that, in general, the (potential)counterparts found in early-type galaxies are likely to be older stellarpopulations and are probably globular clusters. Several early-typegalaxy counterparts have blue colors, which may be due to youngerstellar populations in the host galaxies, however, these could also bebackground sources. In spiral galaxies the sources may also be due tolocalized structure in the disks rather than bound stellar systems.Alternatively, some of the counterparts in late-type galaxies may beisolated supergiant stars. The observed X-ray/optical flux ratio isdiluted by the optical emission of the cluster in cases where the systemis an X-ray binary in a cluster, particularly in the case of a low-massX-ray binaries in an old cluster. If any of the counterparts are boundsystems with ~104-106 stars and are the truecounterparts to the ULX sources, then the X-ray luminosities of the ULXare generally well below the Eddington limit for a black hole with mass~0.1% of the cluster mass. Finally, we find that the optical flux of thecounterparts is consistent with being dominated by emission from anaccretion disk around an intermediate-mass black hole if the black holehappens to have a mass >~102 Msolar and isaccreting at close to the Eddington rate, unless the accretion disk isirradiated (which would result in high optical disk luminosities atlower black hole masses).Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained from the Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute,which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research inAstronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. This project isassociated with Archival proposal 9545.

Cepheid Distances to SNe Ia Host Galaxies Based on a Revised Photometric Zero Point of the HST WFPC2 and New PL Relations and Metallicity Corrections
With this paper we continue the preparation for a forthcoming summaryreport of our experiment with the HST to determine the Hubble constantusing Type Ia supernovae as standard candles. Two problems areaddressed. (1) We examine the need for, and determine the value of, thecorrections to the apparent magnitudes of our program Cepheids in the 11previous calibration papers due to sensitivity drifts and chargetransfer effects of the HST WFPC2 camera over the life time of theexperiment from 1992 to 2001. (2) The corrected apparent magnitudes areapplied to all our previous photometric data from which revised distancemoduli are calculated for the eight program galaxies that are parents tothe calibrator Ia supernovae. Two different Cepheid P-L relations areused; one for the Galaxy and one for the LMC. These differ both in slopeand zero point at a fixed period. The procedures for determining theabsorption and reddening corrections for each Cepheid are discussed.Corrections for the effects of metallicity differences between theprogram galaxies and the two adopted P-L relations are derived andapplied. The distance moduli derived here for the eight supernovaeprogram galaxies, and for 29 others, average 0.20 mag fainter (moredistant) than those derived by Gibson et al. and Freedman et al. intheir 2000 and 2001 summary papers for reasons discussed in this paper.The effect on the Hubble constant is the subject of our forthcomingsummary paper.

Mid-Infrared Spectral Diagnostics of Nuclear and Extranuclear Regions in Nearby Galaxies
Mid-infrared diagnostics are presented for a large portion of theSpitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) sample plus archivaldata from ISO and Spitzer. The SINGS data set includes low- andhigh-resolution spectral maps and broadband imaging in the infrared forover 160 nuclear and extranuclear regions within 75 nearby galaxiesspanning a wide range of morphologies, metallicities, luminosities, andstar formation rates. Our main result is that these mid-infrareddiagnostics effectively constrain a target's dominant power source. Thecombination of a high-ionization line index and PAH strength serves asan efficient discriminant between AGNs and star-forming nuclei,confirming progress made with ISO spectroscopy on starbursting andultraluminous infrared galaxies. The sensitivity of Spitzer allows us toprobe fainter nuclear and star-forming regions within galaxy disks. Wefind that both star-forming nuclei and extranuclear regions stand apartfrom nuclei that are powered by Seyfert or LINER activity. In fact, weidentify areas within four diagnostic diagrams containing >90%Seyfert/LINER nuclei or >90% H II regions/H II nuclei. We also findthat, compared to starbursting nuclei, extranuclear regions typicallyseparate even further from AGNs, especially for low-metallicityextranuclear environments. In addition, instead of the traditionalmid-infrared approach to differentiating between AGNs and star-formingsources that utilizes relatively weak high-ionization lines, we showthat strong low-ionization cooling lines of X-ray-dominated regions like[Si II] 34.82 μm can alternatively be used as excellentdiscriminants. Finally, the typical target in this sample showsrelatively modest interstellar electron density (~400 cm-3)and obscuration (AV~1.0 mag for a foreground screen),consistent with a lack of dense clumps of highly obscured gas and dustresiding in the emitting regions.

Star Formation in Satellite Galaxies
We present narrowband observations of the Hα emission in a sampleof 31 satellites orbiting isolated giant spiral galaxies. The samplestudied spans the range -19 mag

Objective Classification of Spiral Galaxies Having Extended Rotation Curves Beyond the Optical Radius
We carry out an objective classification of four samples of spiralgalaxies having extended rotation curves beyond the optical radius. Amultivariate statistical analysis (viz., principal component analysis[PCA]) shows that about 96% of the total variation is due to twocomponents, one being the combination of absolute blue magnitude andmaximum rotational velocity beyond the optical region and the otherbeing the central density of the halo. On the basis of PCA a fundamentalplane has been constructed that reduces the scatter in the Tully-Fisherrelation up to a maximum of 16%. A multiple stepwise regression analysisof the variation of the overall shape of the rotation curves shows thatit is mainly determined by the central surface brightness, while theshape purely in the outer part of the galaxy (beyond the optical radius)is mainly determined by the size of the galactic disk.

On the X-ray, optical emission line and black hole mass properties of local Seyfert galaxies
We investigate the relation between X-ray nuclear emission, opticalemission line luminosities and black hole masses for a sample of 47Seyfert galaxies. The sample, which has been selected from the Palomaroptical spectroscopic survey of nearby galaxies (Ho et al. 1997a, ApJS,112, 315), covers a wide range of nuclear powers, from L2-10keV ~ 1043 erg/s down to very low luminosities(L2-10 keV ~ 1038 erg/s). Best available data fromChandra, XMM-Newton and, in a few cases, ASCA observations have beenconsidered. Thanks to the good spatial resolution available from theseobservations and a proper modeling of the various spectral components,it has been possible to obtain accurate nuclear X-ray luminosities notcontaminated by off-nuclear sources and/or diffuse emission. X-rayluminosities have then been corrected taking into account the likelycandidate Compton thick sources, which are a high fraction (>30%)among type 2 Seyferts in our sample. The main result of this study isthat we confirm strong linear correlations between 2-10 keV,[OIII]λ5007, Hα luminosities which show the same slope asquasars and luminous Seyfert galaxies, independent of the level ofnuclear activity displayed. Moreover, despite the wide range ofEddington ratios (L/L_Edd) tested here (six orders of magnitude, from0.1 down to ~10-7), no correlation is found between the X-rayor optical emission line luminosities and the black hole mass. Ourresults suggest that Seyfert nuclei in our sample are consistent withbeing a scaled-down version of more luminous AGN.

The extragalactic Cepheid bias: a new test using the period-luminosity-color relation
We use the Period-Luminosity-Color relation (PLC) for Cepheids to testfor the existence of a bias in extragalactic distances derived from theclassical Period-Luminosity (PL) relation. We calculate the parametersof the PLC using several galaxies observed with the Hubble SpaceTelescope and show that this calculation must be conducted with a PLCwritten in a form where the parameters are independent. The coefficientsthus obtained are similar to those derived from theoretical models.Calibrating with a few unbiased galaxies, we apply this PLC to allgalaxies of the Hubble Space Telescope Key Program (HSTKP) and comparethe distance moduli with those published by the HSTKP team. The newdistance moduli are larger (more exactly, the larger the distance thelarger the difference), consistent with a bias. Further, the bias trendthat is observed is the same previously obtained from two independentmethods based either on the local Hubble law or on a theoretical modelof the bias. The results are quite stable but when we force the PLCrelation closer to the classical PL relation by using unrealisticparameters, the agreement with HSTKP distance moduli is retrieved. Thisalso suggests that the PL relation leads to biased distance moduli. Thenew distance moduli reduce the scatter in the calibration of theabsolute magnitude of supernovae SNIa at their maximum. This may alsosuggest that the relation between the amplitude at maximum and the decayof the light curve Δ m15 may not be as strong asbelieved.

A model for the X-ray absorption in Compton-thin AGN
The fraction of AGN with photoelectric absorption in the X-rays rangingfrom NH of 1022 up to about 1024cm-2 (Compton-thin) appears observationally to beanticorrelated to their luminosity L_x. This recently found evidence isused to investigate the location of the absorbing gas. The moleculartorus invoked in the unified picture of AGN, while it can be regarded asconfirmed on several grounds to explain the Compton-thick objects, donot conform to this new constraint, at least in its physical models asdeveloped so far. In the frame of observationally based evidence that inCompton-thin sources the absorbing gas might be located far away fromthe X-ray source, it is shown that the gravitational effects of theblack hole (BH) on the molecular gas in a disk, within 25-450 pc(depending on the BH mass, from 106 to10^9~Mȯ), leads naturally to the observedanticorrelation, under the assumption of a statistical correlationbetween the BH mass and L_x. Its normalization is also reproducedprovided that the surface density, Σ, of this gas is larger thanabout 150-200 Mȯ pc-2, and assuming that thebolometric luminosity is one tenth of the Eddington limit.Interestingly, the required values are consistent with the value of the300 pc molecular disk in our own galaxy, namely 500 Mȯpc-2. In a sample of nearby galaxies from the BIMA SONGsurvey, it is found that half of the objects have central Σ largerthan 150 Mȯ pc-2. Given the simplicity of theproposed model, this finding is very encouraging, waiting for futurehigher resolution surveys in CO on more distant galaxies.

X-ray spectral survey with XMM-Newton of a complete sample of nearby Seyfert galaxies
Results obtained from an X-ray spectral survey of nearby Seyfertgalaxies using XMM-Newton are reported. The sample was opticallyselected, well defined, complete in B magnitude, and distance limited:it consists of the nearest (D 22 Mpc) 27 Seyfert galaxies (9 oftype 1, 18 of type 2) taken from the Ho et al. (1997a, ApJS, 112, 315)sample. This is one of the largest atlases of hard X-ray spectra oflow-luminosity active galaxies ever assembled. All nuclear sourcesexcept two Seyfert 2s are detected between 2 and 10 keV, half for thefirst time ever, and average spectra are obtained for all of them.Nuclear luminosities reach values down to 1038 ergs-1. The shape of the distribution of X-ray parameters isaffected by the presence of Compton-thick objects (30% among type2s). The latter have been identified either directly from their intenseFeK line and flat X-ray spectra, or indirectly with flux diagnosticdiagrams which use isotropic indicators. After taking into account thesehighly absorbed sources, we find that (i) the intrinsic X-ray spectralproperties (i.e., spectral shapes and luminosities above 2 keV) areconsistent between type 1 and type 2 Seyferts, as expected from "unifiedmodels"; (ii) Seyfert galaxies as a whole are distributed fairlycontinuously over the entire range of N_H, between 1020 and1025 cm-2; and (iii) while Seyfert 1s tend to havelower NH and Seyfert 2s tend to have the highest, we find 30%and 10% exceptions, respectively. Overall the sample is of sufficientquality to well represent the average intrinsic X-ray spectralproperties of nearby active galactic nuclei, including a proper estimateof the distribution of their absorbing columns. Finally, we concludethat, with the exception of a few cases, the present study agrees withpredictions of unified models of Seyfert galaxies, and extends theirvalidity down to very low luminosities.

How large are the bars in barred galaxies?
I present a study of the sizes (semimajor axes) of bars in discgalaxies, combining a detailed R-band study of 65 S0-Sb galaxies withthe B-band measurements of 70 Sb-Sd galaxies from Martin (1995). As hasbeen noted before with smaller samples, bars in early-type (S0-Sb)galaxies are clearly larger than bars in late-type (Sc-Sd) galaxies;this is true both for relative sizes (bar length as fraction ofisophotal radius R25 or exponential disc scalelength h) andabsolute sizes (kpc). S0-Sab bars extend to ~1-10 kpc (mean ~ 3.3 kpc),~0.2-0.8R25 (mean ~ 0.38R25) and ~0.5-2.5h (mean ~1.4h). Late-type bars extend to only ~0.5-3.5 kpc,~0.05-0.35R25 and 0.2-1.5h their mean sizes are ~1.5 kpc, ~0.14R25 and ~0.6h. Sb galaxies resemble earlier-type galaxiesin terms of bar size relative to h; their smallerR25-relative sizes may be a side effect of higher starformation, which increases R25 but not h. Sbc galaxies form atransition between the early- and late-type regimes. For S0-Sbcgalaxies, bar size correlates well with disc size (both R25and h); these correlations are stronger than the known correlation withMB. All correlations appear to be weaker or absent forlate-type galaxies; in particular, there seems to be no correlationbetween bar size and either h or MB for Sc-Sd galaxies.Because bar size scales with disc size and galaxy magnitude for mostHubble types, studies of bar evolution with redshift should selectsamples with similar distributions of disc size or magnitude(extrapolated to present-day values); otherwise, bar frequencies andsizes could be mis-estimated. Because early-type galaxies tend to havelarger bars, resolution-limited studies will preferentially find bars inearly-type galaxies (assuming no significant differential evolution inbar sizes). I show that the bars detected in Hubble Space Telescope(HST) near-infrared(IR) images at z~ 1 by Sheth et al. have absolutesizes consistent with those in bright, nearby S0-Sb galaxies. I alsocompare the sizes of real bars with those produced in simulations anddiscuss some possible implications for scenarios of secular evolutionalong the Hubble sequence. Simulations often produce bars as large as(or larger than) those seen in S0-Sb galaxies, but rarely any as smallas those in Sc-Sd galaxies.

Supermassive Black Holes: Relation to Dark Halos
Estimates of the masses of supermassive black holes (M bh ) in thenuclei of disk galaxies with known rotation curves are compared withestimates of the rotational velocities V m and the“indicative” masses of the galaxies M i . Although there isa correlation between M bh and V m or M i , it is appreciably weakerthan the correlation with the central velocity dispersion. The values ofM bh for early-type galaxies (S0-Sab), which have more massive bulges,are, on average, higher than the values for late-type galaxies with thesame rotational velocities. We conclude that the black-hole masses aredetermined primarily by the properties of the bulge and not therotational velocity or the mass of the galaxy.

Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions of Nearby Galaxies
The Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) is carrying out acomprehensive multiwavelength survey on a sample of 75 nearby galaxies.The 1-850 μm spectral energy distributions (SEDs) are presented usingbroadband imaging data from Spitzer, 2MASS, ISO, IRAS, and SCUBA. Theinfrared colors derived from the globally integrated Spitzer data aregenerally consistent with the previous generation of models that weredeveloped using global data for normal star-forming galaxies, althoughsignificant deviations are observed. Spitzer's excellent sensitivity andresolution also allow a detailed investigation of the infrared SEDs forvarious locations within the three large, nearby galaxies NGC 3031(M81), NGC 5194 (M51), and NGC 7331. A wide variety of spectral shapesis found within each galaxy, especially for NGC 3031, the closest of thethree targets and thus the galaxy for which the smallest spatial scalescan be explored. Strong correlations exist between the local starformation rate and the infrared colors fν(70μm)/fν(160 μm) and fν(24μm)/fν(160 μm), suggesting that the 24 and 70 μmemission are useful tracers of the local star formation activity level.Preliminary evidence indicates that variations in the 24 μm emission,and not variations in the emission from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbonsat 8 μm, drive the variations in the fν(8.0μm)/fν(24 μm) colors within NGC 3031, NGC 5194, andNGC 7331. If the galaxy-to-galaxy variations in SEDs seen in our sampleare representative of the range present at high redshift, thenextrapolations of total infrared luminosities and star formation ratesfrom the observed 24 μm flux will be uncertain at the factor of 5level (total range). The corresponding uncertainties using theredshifted 8.0 μm flux (e.g., observed 24 μm flux for a z=2source) are factors of 10-20. Considerable caution should be used wheninterpreting such extrapolated infrared luminosities.

Secular Evolution via Bar-driven Gas Inflow: Results from BIMA SONG
We present an analysis of the molecular gas distributions in the 29barred and 15 unbarred spirals in the BIMA CO (J=1-0) Survey of NearbyGalaxies (SONG). For galaxies that are bright in CO, we confirm theconclusion by Sakamoto et al. that barred spirals have higher moleculargas concentrations in the central kiloparsec. The SONG sample alsoincludes 27 galaxies below the CO brightness limit used by Sakamoto etal. Even in these less CO-bright galaxies we show that high central gasconcentrations are more common in barred galaxies, consistent withradial inflow driven by the bar. However, there is a significantpopulation of early-type (Sa-Sbc) barred spirals (6 of 19) that have nomolecular gas detected in the nuclear region and have very little out tothe bar corotation radius. This suggests that in barred galaxies withgas-deficient nuclear regions, the bar has already driven most of thegas within the bar corotation radius to the nuclear region, where it hasbeen consumed by star formation. The median mass of nuclear moleculargas is over 4 times higher in early-type bars than in late-type (Sc-Sdm)bars. Since previous work has shown that the gas consumption rate is anorder of magnitude higher in early-type bars, this implies that theearly types have significantly higher bar-driven inflows. The loweraccretion rates in late-type bars can probably be attributed to theknown differences in bar structure between early and late types. Despitethe evidence for bar-driven inflows in both early and late Hubble-typespirals, the data indicate that it is highly unlikely for a late-typegalaxy to evolve into an early type via bar-induced gas inflow.Nonetheless, secular evolutionary processes are undoubtedly present, andpseudobulges are inevitable; evidence for pseudobulges is likely to beclearest in early-type galaxies because of their high gas inflow ratesand higher star formation activity.

Hα Imaging of Early-Type Sa-Sab Spiral Galaxies. II. Global Properties
New results, based on one of the most comprehensive Hα imagingsurveys of nearby Sa-Sab spirals completed to date, reveals early-typespirals to be a diverse group of galaxies that span a wide range inmassive star formation rates. While the majority of Sa-Sab galaxies inour sample are forming stars at a modest rate, a significant fraction(~29%) exhibit star formation rates greater than 1 Msolaryr-1, rivaling the most prolifically star-forming late-typespirals. A similar diversity is apparent in the star formation historyof Sa-Sab spirals as measured by their Hα equivalent widths.Consistent with our preliminary results presented in the first paper inthis series, we find giant H II regions [L(Hα)>=1039ergs s-1] in the disks of ~37% of early-type spirals. Wesuspect that recent minor mergers or past interactions are responsiblefor the elevated levels of Hα emission and, perhaps, for thepresence of giant H II regions in these galaxies. Our results, however,are not in total agreement with the Hα study of Kennicutt &Kent, who did not find any early-type spirals with Hα equivalentwidths >14 Å. A close examination of the morphologicalclassification of galaxies, however, suggests that systematicdifferences between the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog and the SecondReference Catalogue may be responsible for the contrasting results.Based on observations obtained with the 3.5 m telescope at Apache PointObservatory (APO) and the 0.9 m telescope at Kitt Peak NationalObservatory (KPNO). The APO 3.5 m telescope is owned and operated by theAstrophysical Research Consortium.

The Opacity of Spiral Galaxy Disks. IV. Radial Extinction Profiles from Counts of Distant Galaxies Seen through Foreground Disks
Dust 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.

Gas and Stars in an H I-Selected Galaxy Sample
We present the results of a J-band study of the H I-selected AreciboDual-Beam Survey and Arecibo Slice Survey galaxy samples using TwoMicron All Sky Survey data. We find that these galaxies span a widerange of stellar and gas properties. However, despite the diversitywithin the samples, we find a very tight correlation between luminosityand size in the J band, similar to that found in a previous paper byRosenberg & Schneider between the H I mass and size. We also findthat the correlation between the baryonic mass and the J-band diameteris even tighter than that between the baryonic mass and the rotationalvelocity.

The opacity of spiral galaxy disks. VI. Extinction, stellar light and color
In 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 emission
The 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.

The extragalactic Cepheid bias: significant influence on the cosmic distance scale
The unique measurements with the Hubble Space Telescope of Cepheidvariable stars in nearby galaxies led to extragalactic distances thatmade the HST Key Project conclude that the Hubble constant isH0 = 72 km s-1 Mpc-1. The idea thatH0 is now known is widely spread among the astronomicalcommunity. Some time ago, we suggested that a strong selection effectmay still exist in the Cepheid method, resulting in too short distances.Using a model similar to traditional bias corrections, we deduce herenew estimates of distances from HST and previous ground-basedobservations which are both affected by this effect, showing the sametrend which starts at different distances. The recent measurement of M83 with the VLT is unbiased. Revisiting the calibration of HSTKP's withour new scale, makes long-range distance criteria more concordant andreduces the value of H0 to ≈60 km s-1Mpc-1. Locally, the corrected Cepheid distances giveHlocal=56 km s-1 Mpc-1 and reduce thevelocity dispersion in the Hubble flow. These numbers are indicative ofthe influence of the suggested Cepheid bias in the context of the HSTKPstudies and are not final values.

The Westerbork HI survey of spiral and irregular galaxies. III. HI observations of early-type disk galaxies
We present Hi observations of 68 early-type disk galaxies from the WHISPsurvey. They have morphological types between S0 and Sab and absoluteB-band magnitudes between -14 and -22. These galaxies form the massive,high surface-brightness extreme of the disk galaxy population, few ofwhich have been imaged in Hi before. The Hi properties of the galaxiesin our sample span a large range; the average values of MHI/LB and DH I/D25 are comparableto the ones found in later-type spirals, but the dispersions around themean are larger. No significant differences are found between the S0/S0aand the Sa/Sab galaxies. Our early-type disk galaxies follow the same Himass-diameter relation as later-type spiral galaxies, but theireffective Hi surface densities are slightly lower than those found inlater-type systems. In some galaxies, distinct rings of Hi emissioncoincide with regions of enhanced star formation, even though theaverage gas densities are far below the threshold of star formationderived by Kennicutt (1989, ApJ, 344, 685). Apparently, additionalmechanisms, as yet unknown, regulate star formation at low surfacedensities. Many of the galaxies in our sample have lopsided gasmorphologies; in most cases this can be linked to recent or ongoinginteractions or merger events. Asymmetries are rare in quiescentgalaxies. Kinematic lopsidedness is rare, both in interacting andisolated systems. In the appendix, we present an atlas of the Hiobservations: for all galaxies we show Hi surface density maps, globalprofiles, velocity fields and radial surface density profiles.

Structure and star formation in disk galaxies. III. Nuclear and circumnuclear Hα emission
From Hα images of a carefully selected sample of 57 relativelylarge, Northern spiral galaxies with low inclination, we study thedistribution of the Hα emission in the circumnuclear and nuclearregions. At a resolution of around 100 parsec, we find that the nuclearHα emission in the sample galaxies is often peaked, andsignificantly more often so among AGN host galaxies. The circumnuclearHα emission, within a radius of two kpc, is often patchy inlate-type, and absent or in the form of a nuclear ring in early-typegalaxies. There is no clear correlation of nuclear or circumnuclearHα morphology with the presence or absence of a bar in the hostgalaxy, except for the nuclear rings which occur in barred hosts. Thepresence or absence of close bright companion galaxies does not affectthe circumnuclear Hα morphology, but their presence does correlatewith a higher fraction of nuclear Hα peaks. Nuclear rings occur inat least 21% (±5%) of spiral galaxies, and occur predominantly ingalaxies also hosting an AGN. Only two of our 12 nuclear rings occur ina galaxy which is neither an AGN nor a starburst host. We confirm thatweaker bars host larger nuclear rings. The implications of these resultson our understanding of the occurrence and morphology of massive starformation, as well as non-stellar activity, in the central regions ofgalaxies are discussed.

The Group Evolution Multiwavelength Study (GEMS): bimodal luminosity functions in galaxy groups
We present B- and R-band luminosity functions (LFs) for a sample of 25nearby groups of galaxies. We find that the LFs of the groups with lowX-ray luminosity (LX < 1041.7 ergs-1) are significantly different from those of the X-raybrighter groups, showing a prominent dip around MB=-18. Whileboth categories show lack of late-type galaxies in their centralregions, X-ray dim groups also show a more marked concentration ofoptical luminosity towards the centre. A toy simulation shows that inthe low velocity dispersion environment, as in the X-ray dim group,dynamical friction would facilitate more rapid merging, thus depletingintermediate-luminosity galaxies to form a few giant central galaxies,resulting in the prominent dip seen in our LFs. We suggest that X-raydim (or low velocity dispersion) groups are the present sites of rapiddynamical evolution rather than their X-ray bright counterparts, and maybe the modern precursors of fossil groups. We predict that these groupsof low velocity dispersion would harbour younger stellar populationsthan groups or clusters with higher velocity dispersion.

The GEMS project: X-ray analysis and statistical properties of the group sample
The Group Evolution Multiwavelength Study (GEMS) involves amultiwavelength study of a sample of 60 galaxy groups, chosen to span awide range of group properties. Substantial ROSAT Position SensitiveProportional Counter (PSPC) observations, available for all of thesegroups, are used to characterize the state of the intergalactic mediumin each. We present the results of a uniform analysis of these ROSATdata and a statistical investigation of the relationship between X-rayand optical properties across the sample. Our analysis improves inseveral respects on previous work: (i) we distinguish between systems inwhich the hot gas is a group-scale medium and those in which it appearsto be just a hot halo associated with a central galaxy; (ii) weextrapolate X-ray luminosities to a fixed overdensity radius(r500) using fitted surface brightness models, in order toavoid biases arising from the fact that cooler systems are detectable tosmaller radii, and (iii) optical properties have been rederived in auniform manner from the NASA Extragalactic Database, rather than relyingon the data in the disparate collection of group catalogues from whichour systems are drawn.The steepening of the LX-TX relation in the groupregime reported previously is not seen in our sample, which fits well onto the cluster trend, albeit with large non-statistical scatter. Anumber of biases affect the fitting of regression lines under thesecircumstances, and until the impact of these has been thoroughlyinvestigated it seems best to regard the slope of the groupLX-TX relation as being poorly determined. Asignificant problem in comparing the properties of groups and clustersis the derivation of system radii, to allow different systems to becompared within regions having the same overdensity. We find evidencethat group velocity dispersion (σv) provides a veryunreliable measure of system mass (and hence radius), with a number ofgroups having remarkably low values of σv, given thatthey appear from their X-ray properties to be collapsed systems. Weconfirm that the surface brightness profiles of groups are significantlyflatter than those of clusters - the maximum value of theβfit parameter for our sample is 0.58, lower than thetypical value of 0.67 seen in clusters - however, we find no significanttendency within our sample for cooler groups to show flatter profiles.This result is inconsistent with simple universal pre-heating models.The morphology of the galaxies in the GEMS groups is correlated to theirX-ray properties in a number of ways: we confirm the very strongrelationship between X-ray emission and a dominant early-type centralgalaxy, which has been noted since the early X-ray studies of groups,and also find that spiral fraction is correlated with the temperature ofthe hot gas and hence the depth of the gravitational potential. A classof spiral-rich groups with little or no X-ray emission probablycorresponds to groups that have not yet fully collapsed.

Scaling relations in early-type galaxies belonging to groups
We present a photometric analysis of a large sample of early-typegalaxies in 16 nearby groups, imaged with the Wide-Field Camera on theIsaac Newton Telescope. Using a two-dimensional surface brightnessdecomposition routine, we fit Sersic (r1/n) and exponentialmodels to their bulge and disc components, respectively. Dividing thegalaxies into three subsamples according to the X-ray luminosities oftheir parent groups, we compare their photometric properties. Galaxiesin X-ray luminous groups tend to be larger and more luminous than thosein groups with undetected or low X-ray luminosities, but no significantdifferences in n are seen. Both normal and dwarf elliptical galaxies inthe central regions of groups are found to have cuspier profiles thantheir counterparts in group outskirts.Structural differences between dwarf and normal elliptical galaxies areapparent in terms of an offset between their `photometric planes' in thespace of n, re and μ0. Dwarf ellipticals arefound to populate a surface, with remarkably low scatter, in this spacewith significant curvature, somewhat similar to the surfaces of constantentropy proposed by Màrquez et al. Normal ellipticals are offsetfrom this distribution in a direction of higher specific entropy. Thismay indicate that the two populations are distinguished by the action ofgalaxy merging on larger galaxies.

Probable intermediate-mass black holes in NGC 4559: XMM-Newton spectral and timing constraints
We have examined X-ray and optical observations of two ultraluminousX-ray sources, X7 and X10 in NGC 4559, using XMM-Newton, Chandra and theHubble Space Telescope (HST). The ultraviolet/X-ray luminosity of X7exceeds 2.1 × 1040 erg s-1 in the XMM-Newtonobservation, and that of X10 is > 1.3 × 1040 ergs-1. X7 has both thermal and power-law spectral components,The characteristic temperature of the thermal component is 0.12 keV. Thepower-law components in the two sources both have slopes with photonindex ~=2.1. A timing analysis of X7 indicates a break frequency at 28MHz in the power spectrum, while that for X10 is consistent with anunbroken power law. The luminosity of the blackbody component in theX-ray spectrum of X7 and the nature of its time-variability providesevidence that this object is an intermediate-mass black hole accretingat sub-Eddington rates, but other scenarios which require high advectionefficiencies from a hollowed-out disc might be possible. The emissionfrom X10 can be characterized by a single power-law. This source can beinterpreted either as an intermediate-mass black hole, or as a stellarmass black hole with relativistically beamed Comptonized emission. Thereare four optical counterparts in the error circle of X7. No counterpartsare evident in the error circle for X10.

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Constellation:Coma Berenices
Right ascension:12h50m26.60s
Aparent dimensions:9.772′ × 6.761′

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NGC 2000.0NGC 4725

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