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Dust and the observed dark matter content of galaxies

  • Maarten Baes (a1), Herwig Dejonghe (a1) and Jonathan I. Davies (a2)

Abstract

Using detailed Monte Carlo radiative transfer modeling, we examine the effects of absorption and scattering by interstellar dust on the observed kinematics of galaxies. Our modeling results have a direct impact on the derivation of the properties of dark matter haloes around both elliptical and spiral galaxies. We find that interstellar dust has a very significant effect on the observed stellar kinematics of elliptical galaxies, in the way that it mimics the presence of a dark matter halo. Taking dust into account in kinematical modeling procedures can reduce or even eliminate the need for dark matter at a few effective radii. Dust profoundly affects the optical rotation curve and stellar kinematics of edge-on disc galaxies. This effect, however, is significantly reduced when the galaxy is more than a few degrees from strictly edge-on. These results demonstrate that dust attenuation cannot be invoked as a possible mechanism to reconcile the discrepancies between the observed shallow slopes of LSB galaxy rotation curves and the dark matter cusps found in CDM cosmological simulations.

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Copyright

References

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Baes, M., Dejonghe, H., 2001, ApJ, 563, L19.
Baes, M., Dejonghe, H., 2002, MNRAS, 335, 441.
Baes, M., et al., 2003, MNRAS, 343, 1081.

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