Publication details

MOND implications for spectral line profiles of shell galaxies: shell formation history and mass-velocity scaling relations



Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Theoretical physics
Keywords gravitation; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: peculiar; galaxies: elliptical
Description Context. Many ellipticals are surrounded by round stellar shells probably stemming from minor mergers. A new method for constraining gravitational potential in elliptical galaxies has recently been suggested. It uses the spectral line profiles of these shells to measure the circular velocity at the edge of the shell and the expansion velocity of the shell itself. MOND is an alternative to the dark matter framework aiming to solve the missing mass problem. Aims. We study how the circular and expansion velocities behave in MOND for large shells. Methods. The asymptotic behavior for infinitely large shells is derived analytically. The applicability of the asymptotic results for finitely sized shells is studied numerically on a grid of galaxies modeled with Sersic spheres. Results. Circular velocity settles asymptotically at a value determined by the baryonic mass of the galaxy forming the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation known for disk galaxies. Shell expansion velocity also becomes asymptotically constant. The expansion velocities of large shells form a multibranched analogy to the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation, together with the galactic baryonic masses. For many - but not all - shell galaxies, the asymptotic values of these two types of velocities are reached under the effective radius. If MOND is assumed to work in ellipticals, then the shell spectra allow many details of the history to be revealed about the formation of the shell system, including its age. The results pertaining to circular velocities apply to all elliptical galaxies, not only those with shells.
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