Journal Article

Inclination- and dust-corrected galaxy parameters: bulge-to-disc ratios and size–luminosity relations

Alister W. Graham and C. Clare Worley

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 4, pages 1708-1728
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Inclination- and dust-corrected galaxy parameters: bulge-to-disc ratios and size–luminosity relations

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While galactic bulges may contain no significant dust of their own, the dust within galaxy discs can strongly attenuate the light from their embedded bulges. Furthermore, such dust inhibits the ability of observationally determined inclination corrections to recover intrinsic (i.e. dust-free) galaxy parameters. Using the sophisticated 3D radiative transfer model of Popescu et al. and Tuffs et al., together with the recent determination of the average face-on opacity by Driver et al. in nearby disc galaxies, we provide simple equations to correct (observed) disc central surface brightness and scalelengths for the effects of both inclination and dust in the B, V, I, J and K passbands. We then collate and homogenize various literature data sets and determine the typical intrinsic scalelengths, central surface brightness and magnitudes of galaxy discs as a function of morphological type. All galaxies have been carefully modelled in their respective papers with a Sérsic R1/n bulge plus an exponential disc. Using the bulge magnitude corrections from Driver et al., we additionally derive the average, dust-corrected, bulge-to-disc flux ratio as a function of galaxy type. With values typically less than 1/3, this places somewhat uncomfortable constraints on some current semi-analytic simulations. Typical bulge sizes, profile shapes, surface brightness and deprojected densities are provided. Finally, given the two-component nature of disc galaxies, we present luminosity–size and (surface brightness)–size diagrams for discs and bulges. We also show that the distribution of elliptical galaxies in the luminosity–size diagram is not linear but strongly curved.

Keywords: radiative transfer; dust, extinction; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: photometry; galaxies: spiral; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  16881 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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