We are studying the mass distribution in a sample of 50 early type spiral galaxies, with morphological type betweens SO and Sab and absolute magnitudes M
between −18 and −22; they form the massive and high-surface brightness extreme of the disk galaxy population. Our study is designed to investigate the relation between dark and luminous matter in these systems, of which very little yet is known.
From a combination of WSRT Hi observations and long-slit optical spectra, we have obtained high-quality rotation curves. the rotation velocities always rise very fast in the center; in the outer regions, they are often declining, with the outermost measured velocity 10-25% lower than the maximum.
We decompose the rotation curves into contributions from the luminous (stellar and gaseous) and dark matter. the stellar disks and bulges always dominate the rotation curves within the inner few disk scale lengths, and are responsible for the decline in the outer parts. As an example, we present here the decompositions for UGC 9133. We are able to put tight upper and lower limits on the stellar mass-to-light ratios.