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Comment regarding the functional form of the Schmidt law
Star formation rates on the galactic scale are describedphenomenologically by two distinct relationships, as emphasized recentlyby Elmegreen [Elmegreen, B.G., 2002. ApJ, 577, 206. astro-ph/0207114.].The first of these is the Schmidt law, which is a power-law relationbetween the star formation rate SFR and the column density Σ. Theother relationship is that there is a cutoff in the gas density belowwhich star formation shuts off. The purpose of this paper is to arguethat: (1) these two relationships can be accommodated by a singlefunctional form of the Schmidt law, (2) this functional form ismotivated by the hypothesis that star formation is a criticalphenomenon, and that as a corollary, (3) the existence of a sharp cutoffmay thus be an emergent property of galaxies, as was argued by Seiden[Seiden, P.E.,1983. ApJ, 266, 555.], as opposed to the classical viewthat this cutoff is due to an instability criterion.

Morphological classification of nearby galaxies based on asymmetry and luminosity concentration
We investigate the behaviour of the asymmetry parameter A as amorphological parameter using a `volume-limited' sample of 349 galaxies(distance <=25Mpc,MV<=-18.5mag) and a largermagnitude-limited sample of 707 nearby galaxies. We confirm thecorrelation of A with morphological type. The late-type galaxies (Sdm,Sm and Im) have larger A than early-type galaxies, and they tend to havelarger A than spiral galaxies. We investigate the usefulness of the Aversus concentration index Cin diagram as a tool for theregular-irregular and early-late classification. The diagram is not veryuseful to the regular versus late-type irregular classification, asinferred previously, but it is found to be useful to the early-lateclassification.

Late-type galaxies observed with SAURON: two-dimensional stellar and emission-line kinematics of 18 spirals
We present the stellar and gas kinematics of a sample of 18 nearbylate-type spiral galaxies (Hubble types ranging from Sb to Sd), observedwith the integral-field spectrograph SAURON at the 4.2-m WilliamHerschel Telescope. SAURON covers the spectral range 4800-5380Å,allowing us to measure the Hβ, Fe, Mgb absorption features and theemission in the Hβ line and the [OIII]λλ4959,5007Å and [NI]λλ5198, 5200Å doublets over a 33× 41-arcsec2 field of view. The maps cover the nuclearregion of these late-type galaxies and in all cases include the entirebulge. In many cases the stellar kinematics suggests the presence of acold inner region, as visible from a central drop in the stellarvelocity dispersion. The ionized gas is almost ubiquitous and behaves ina complicated fashion: the gas velocity fields often display morefeatures than the stellar ones, including wiggles in the zero-velocitylines, irregular distributions, ring-like structures. The line ratio[OIII]/Hβ often takes on low values over most of the field,probably indicating a wide-spread star formation.

A Virgo high-resolution Hα kinematical survey - II. The Atlas
A catalogue of ionized gas velocity fields for a sample of 30 spiral andirregular galaxies of the Virgo cluster has been obtained by using 3Doptical data. The aim of this survey is to study the influence ofhigh-density environments on the gaseous kinematics of local clustergalaxies. Observations of the Hα line by means of Fabry-Perotinterferometry have been performed at the Canada-France-HawaiiTelescope, European Southern Observatory 3.6-m telescope, Observatoirede Haute-Provence 1.93-m telescope and Observatoire du montMégantic telescope at angular and spectral samplings from 0.4 to1.6arcsec and 7 to 16kms-1. A recently developed, automaticand adaptive spatial binning technique is used to reach a nearlyconstant signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) over the whole field of view,allowing us to keep a high spatial resolution in high-S/N regions andextend the detection of signal in low-S/N regions. This paper is part ofa series and presents the integrated emission-line and velocity maps ofthe galaxies. Both Hα morphologies and kinematics exhibit signs ofperturbations in the form of, for example, external filaments, inner andnuclear spiral- and ring-like structures, inner kinematical twists,kinematical decoupling of a nuclear spiral, streaming motions alongspiral arms and misalignment between kinematical and photometricorientation axes.

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.

Magnetic Fields in Starburst Galaxies and the Origin of the FIR-Radio Correlation
We estimate minimum energy magnetic fields (Bmin) for asample of galaxies with measured gas surface densities, spanning morethan four orders of magnitude in surface density, from normal spirals toluminous starbursts. We show that the ratio of the minimum energymagnetic pressure to the total pressure in the ISM decreasessubstantially with increasing surface density. For the ultraluminousinfrared galaxy Arp 220, this ratio is ~10-4. Therefore, ifthe minimum energy estimate is applicable, magnetic fields in starburstsare dynamically weak compared to gravity, in contrast to normalstar-forming spiral galaxies. We argue, however, that rapid cooling ofrelativistic electrons in starbursts invalidates the minimum energyestimate. We assess a number of independent constraints on the magneticfield strength in starburst galaxies. In particular, we argue that theexistence of the FIR-radio correlation implies that the synchrotroncooling timescale for cosmic-ray electrons is much shorter than theirescape time from the galactic disk; this in turn implies that the truemagnetic field in starbursts is significantly larger thanBmin. The strongest argument against such large fields isthat one might expect starbursts to have steep radio spectra indicativeof strong synchrotron cooling, which is not observed. However, we showthat ionization and bremsstrahlung losses can flatten the nonthermalspectra of starburst galaxies even in the presence of rapid cooling,providing much better agreement with observed spectra. We furtherdemonstrate that ionization and bremsstrahlung losses are likely to beimportant in shaping the radio spectra of most starbursts at GHzfrequencies, thereby preserving the linearity of the FIR-radiocorrelation. We thus conclude that magnetic fields in starbursts aresignificantly larger than Bmin. We highlight severalobservations that can test this conclusion.

Strong magnetic asymmetries in weakly interacting spirals
We investigate the influence of cluster environment on the structure andevolution of magnetic fields and the interstellar medium in the Virgocluster spiral NGC 4254. Our sensitive interferometric (VLA) and singledish (Effelsberg) radio polarimetric observations reveal severalmagnetic spiral arms displaced from optical ones. However, the southernarm, particularly bright in polarized emission, lacks an opticalcounterpart. In this area the magnetic pitch angle is very small. On thecontrary, the northern part of the galaxy with more diffuse total radioemission shows a significant radial component of the magnetic field. At1.4 GHz the galaxy shows an extended polarized envelope with a highlyregular magnetic field extending further than any star-forming region.The regular component enters the cluster environment and can enrich thecluster-scale magnetic field. Our XMM-Newton observations reveal thatthe broadband X-ray emission of the hot gas emerges from almost thewhole galaxy disk and is tightly associated with regions of starformation. The distribution of X-rays does not show any sign of strippedhot gas around the galaxy disk and rules out strong ram pressure of thehot cluster gas. Magnetic asymmetries and slightly perturbed H I andoptical emission probably manifest weak tidal interactions of NGC 4254with other Virgo cluster members: the dark galaxy VIRGOHI 21 or NGC4262. We also compare polarimetric properties of NGC 4254 with otherVirgo cluster spirals which we currently observe systematically with theEffelsberg radio telescope.

Stellar and Gas Properties of High H I Mass-to-Light Ratio Galaxies in the Local Universe
We present a multiwavelength study (BVRI-band photometry and H I lineinterferometry) of nine late-type galaxies selected from the HIPASSBright Galaxy Catalog on the basis of apparently high H I mass-to-lightratios (3Msolar/Lsolar,B5Msolar/Lsolar,B) galaxies are rare in thelocal universe. Extreme high-MHI/LB galaxiessuch as ESO 215-G?009 appear to have formed only the minimum number ofstars necessary to maintain the stability of their H I disks and couldpossibly be used to constrain galaxy formation models. They may alsohave been forming stars at a low, constant rate over their lifetimes.The best examples all have highly extended H I disks, are spatiallyisolated, and have normal baryonic content for their total masses butare deficient in stars. This suggests thathigh-MHI/LB galaxies are not lacking thebaryons to create stars but are underluminous, as they lack either theinternal or external stimulation for more extensive star formation.

A Comparison of Hα and Stellar Scale Lengths in Virgo and Field Spirals
The scale lengths of the old stars and ionized gas distributions arecompared for similar samples of Virgo Cluster members and field spiralgalaxies via Hα and broad R-band surface photometry. While theR-band and Hα scale lengths are, on average, comparable for thecombined sample, we find significant differences between the field andcluster samples. While the Hα scale lengths of the field galaxiesare a factor of 1.14+/-0.07 longer, on average, than their R-band scalelengths, the Hα scale lengths of Virgo Cluster members are, onaverage, 20% smaller than their R-band scale lengths. Furthermore, inVirgo, the scale length ratios are correlated with the size of thestar-forming disk: galaxies with smaller overall Hα extents alsoshow steeper radial falloff of star formation activity. At the sametime, we find no strong trends in scale length ratio as a function ofother galaxy properties, including galaxy luminosity, inclination,morphological type, central R-band light concentration, or bar type. Ourresults for Hα emission are similar to other results for dustemission, suggesting that Hα and dust have similar distributions.The environmental dependence of the Hα scale length placesadditional constraints on the evolutionary process(es) that cause gasdepletion and a suppression of the star formation rate in clusters ofgalaxies.

Toward a clean sample of ultra-luminous X-ray sources
Context: .Observational follow-up programmes for the characterization ofultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) require the construction of cleansamples of such sources in which the contamination byforeground/background sources is minimum. Aims: .We calculate thedegree of foreground/background contaminants among the ULX samplecandidates in a published catalogue and compare these computations withavailable spectroscopic identifications. Methods: .We usestatistics based on known densities of X-ray sources and AGN/QSOsselected in the optical. The analysis is done individually for eachparent galaxy. The existing identifications of the optical counterpartsare compiled from the literature. Results: .More than a half ofthe ULXs, within twice the distance of the major axis of the 25mag/arcsec2 isophote from RC3 nearby galaxies and with X-rayluminosities L_X[ 2-10 keV] ≥ 1039 erg/s, are expected tobe high redshift background QSOs. A list of 25 objects (clean sample)confirmed to be real ULXs or to have a low probability of beingcontaminant foreground/background objects is provided.

Abundance segregation in Virgo spiral galaxies
Aims.To derive O/H, N/O, and S/O abundances of ion{H}{ii} regionslocated in nine Virgo spiral galaxies, as well as to verify what is thecause of the abundance segregation found. Methods: .We employedphotoionization models to reproduce observed emission-line intensitiesof ion{H}{ii} regions located in the galaxies considered. The abundancegradients obtained were interpreted using a grid of chemical evolutionmodels. Results: .Our models indicate that galaxies near to thecore of the Virgo cluster are overabundant in O/H, N/O, and S/O by about0.25 dex in comparison to the ones at the periphery. With one exception,models with upper stellar mass limit of Mu = 30-40Mȯ and age of the ionizing star cluster ranging from 1.5to 2.5 Myr were able to reproduce the observational data. Chemicalmodels indicate the collapse time-scale for inner regions of galaxiesnear to the Virgo core is larger than the one in galaxies located at theintermediate and peripheral positions in the cluster, what can be due tothe dense environment existing in Virgo Cluster core.

Large-scale magnetized outflows from the Virgo Cluster spiral NGC 4569. A galactic wind in a ram pressure wind
Using the Effelsberg radio telescope at 4.85 GHz and 8.35 GHz wediscovered large symmetric lobes of polarized radio emission around thestrongly Hi deficient Virgo cluster spiral galaxy NGC 4569. These lobesextend up to 24 kpc from the galactic disk. Our observations werecomplemented by 1.4 GHz continuum emission from existing Hiobservations. This is the first time that such huge radio continuumlobes are observed in a cluster spiral galaxy. The eastern lobe seemsdetached and has a flat spectrum typical of in-situ cosmic ray electronacceleration. The western lobe is diffuse and possesses verticalmagnetic fields over its whole volume. The lobes are not powered by anAGN, but probably by a nuclear starburst that occurred ˜ 30 Myr ago,producing ≥ 105 supernovae. Since the radio lobes aresymmetric, they resist ram pressure due to the galaxy's rapid motionwithin the intracluster medium.

Fred Lawrence Whipple (1906-2004)
Not Available

The Schmidt Law at High Molecular Densities
We combined Hα and recent high-resolution12CO(J=1‑0) data to consider the quantitative relationbetween the gas mass and the star-formation rate, or the so-calledSchmidt law in nearby spiral galaxies at regions of high moleculardensity. The relation between the gas quantity and the star-formationrate has not been previously studied for high-density regions, but usinghigh-resolution CO data obtained at the Nobeyama Millimeter Array, wefound that the Schmidt law is valid at densities as high as 103Modotpc-2 for sample spiral galaxies, which is anorder of magnitude denser than what has been known to be the maximumdensity at which the empirical law holds for non-starburst galaxies.Furthermore, we obtained a Schmidt law index of N = 1.33 ± 0.09and a roughly constant star-formation efficiency over the entire disk,even within several hundred parsecs of the nucleus. These results implythat the physics of star formation does not change in the centralregions of spiral galaxies. Comparisons with starburst galaxies are alsogiven. We find a possible discontinuity in the Schmidt law betweennormal and starburst galaxies.

Dark galaxies or tidal debris? Kinematical clues to the origin of massive isolated HI clouds
An extended HI cloud (VIRGOHI21) with an HI mass of~108Msolar and no apparent optical counterpart wasrecently discovered in the Virgo cluster. In order to understand theorigin of physical properties of apparently isolated HI clouds likeVIRGOHI21, we numerically investigate physical properties of tidal HIdebris that were formed by galaxy-galaxy interactions in clusters ofgalaxies. Our hydrodynamical simulations demonstrate that tidal debriswith total HI masses of 108-109Msolarcan have (1) a wide spread of HI velocities (>200kms-1),(2) a small mass fraction of stars (~10 per cent), and (3) a mean B-bandsurface brightness of the stellar components fainter than 30magarcsec-2. These results suggest that VIRGOHI21, which liesat a projected distance of ~150 kpc from the one-armed, HI-rich spiralgalaxy M99 (NGC 4254), is tidal debris. We propose that the comparisonbetween the simulated and the observed velocity fields of HI cloudsallows us to better understand their nature and origin (e.g. whetherthey are just tidal debris or are `dark galaxies' that have HI gas onlyand are embedded within dark matter haloes).

Structure and kinematics of edge-on galaxy discs - V. The dynamics of stellar discs
In earlier papers in this series we determined the intrinsic stellardisc kinematics of 15 intermediate- to late-type edge-on spiral galaxiesusing a dynamical modelling technique. The sample covers a substantialrange in maximum rotation velocity and deprojected face-on surfacebrightness, and contains seven spirals with either a boxy orpeanut-shaped bulge. Here we discuss the structural, kinematical anddynamical properties. From the photometry we find that intrinsicallymore flattened discs tend to have a lower face-on central surfacebrightness and a larger dynamical mass-to-light ratio. This observationsuggests that, at a constant maximum rotational velocity, lower surfacebrightness discs have smaller vertical stellar velocity dispersions.Although the individual uncertainties are large, we find from thedynamical modelling that at least 12 discs are submaximal. The averagedisc contributes 53 +/- 4 per cent to the observed rotation at 2.2 discscalelengths (hR), with a 1σ scatter of 15 per cent.This percentage becomes somewhat lower when effects of finite discflattening and gravity by the dark halo and the gas are taken intoaccount. Since boxy and peanut-shaped bulges are probably associatedwith bars, the result suggests that at 2.2hR the submaximalnature of discs is independent of barredness. The possibility remainsthat very high surface brightness discs are maximal, as these discs areunderrepresented in our sample. We confirm that the radial stellar discvelocity dispersion is related to the galaxy maximum rotationalvelocity. The scatter in this σ versus vmax relationappears to correlate with the disc flattening, face-on central surfacebrightness and dynamical mass-to-light ratio. Low surface brightnessdiscs tend to be more flattened and have smaller stellar velocitydispersions. The findings are consistent with the observed correlationbetween disc flattening and dynamical mass-to-light ratio and cangenerally be reproduced by the simple collapse theory for disc galaxyformation. Finally, the disc mass Tully-Fisher relation is offset fromthe maximum-disc scaled stellar mass Tully-Fisher relation of the UrsaMajor cluster. This offset, -0.3 dex in mass, is naturally explained ifthe discs of the Ursa Major cluster spirals are submaximal.

Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data Analysis
X-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources.

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.

A Dark Hydrogen Cloud in the Virgo Cluster
VIRGOHI 21 is an H I source detected in the Virgo Cluster survey ofDavies et al. that has a neutral hydrogen mass of 108Msolar and a velocity width of ΔV20=220 kms-1. From the Tully-Fisher relation, a galaxy with thisvelocity width would be expected to be 12 mag or brighter; however, deepCCD imaging has failed to turn up a counterpart down to a surfacebrightness level of 27.5 B mag arcsec-2. The H I observationsshow that it is extended over at least 16 kpc, which, if the system isbound, gives it a minimum dynamical mass of ~1011Msolar and a mass-to-light ratio ofMdyn/LB>500Msolar/Lsolar. If it is tidal debris, then theputative parents have vanished; the remaining viable explanation is thatVIRGOHI 21 is a dark halo that does not contain the expected brightgalaxy. This object was found because of the low column density limit ofour survey, a limit much lower than that achieved by all sky H I surveyssuch as those carried out at Parkes and Jodrell Bank. Further suchsensitive surveys might turn up a significant number of the dark matterhalos predicted by galaxy formation models.

Triggering and Feedback: The Relation between the H I Gas and the Starburst in the Dwarf Galaxy NGC 1569
As part of our study on the impact of violent star formation on theinterstellar medium (ISM) of dwarf galaxies, we report observations ofneutral atomic hydrogen (H I) in the starburst dwarf galaxy NGC 1569.High-resolution measurements with the Very Large Array (B, C, and Dconfiguration) are aimed at identifying morphological and kinematicalsignatures in H I caused by the starburst. Our kinematical data suggesta huge hole in the H I distribution, probably due to the large number ofsupernovae explosions in the center of the galaxy over the past 20 Myr.Investigating the large-scale H I structure, we confirm the existence ofa possible H I companion and a so-called H I bridge east of NGC 1569.Furthermore, we report the detection of additional low-intensity H Ihalo emission, which leads us to suggest a revised halo structure. Onthe basis of our new picture, we discuss the origin of the halo gas andpossible implications for the evolution of the starburst in NGC 1569.

The Distribution of Bar and Spiral Arm Strengths in Disk Galaxies
The distribution of bar strengths in disk galaxies is a fundamentalproperty of the galaxy population that has only begun to be explored. Wehave applied the bar-spiral separation method of Buta and coworkers toderive the distribution of maximum relative gravitational bar torques,Qb, for 147 spiral galaxies in the statistically well-definedOhio State University Bright Galaxy Survey (OSUBGS) sample. Our goal isto examine the properties of bars as independently as possible of theirassociated spirals. We find that the distribution of bar strengthdeclines smoothly with increasing Qb, with more than 40% ofthe sample having Qb<=0.1. In the context of recurrent barformation, this suggests that strongly barred states are relativelyshort-lived compared to weakly barred or nonbarred states. We do notfind compelling evidence for a bimodal distribution of bar strengths.Instead, the distribution is fairly smooth in the range0.0<=Qb<0.8. Our analysis also provides a first look atspiral strengths Qs in the OSUBGS sample, based on the sametorque indicator. We are able to verify a possible weak correlationbetween Qs and Qb, in the sense that galaxies withthe strongest bars tend to also have strong spirals.

NGC 4254: a spiral galaxy entering the Virgo cluster
Deep Effelsberg Hi spectra of the one-armed, bright Virgo cluster spiralgalaxy NGC 4254 are presented. Five different positions were observed inthe 21 cm Hi line with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope: one in the centerand 4 located one HPBW to the NE, NW, SW, and SE, respectively, from thegalaxy center. The spectra are compared to existing deep VLAobservations, and the single dish and interferometric Hi data are usedto constrain a dynamical model which includes the effects of rampressure. The peculiar, one-armed spiral pattern of NGC 4254 and itsdistorted and kinematically perturbed atomic gas distribution can beexplained by a close and rapid encounter ~280 Myr ago with anothermassive Virgo galaxy, followed by ram pressure stripping that isongoing. The stripping occurs almost face-on, since the angle betweenthe disk and the orbital plane is 70°. The galaxy with which NGC4254 had its encounter is tentatively identified as the lenticular NGC4262.

A large H I cloud near the centre of the Virgo cluster
We report the discovery of a large H I cloud in the central regions ofthe Virgo cluster. It is 110× 25 kpc in size and contains3.4× 108 Mȯ of H I. The morphology andkinematics of this cloud strongly suggest that it consists of H Iremoved from the galaxy NGC 4388 by ram-pressure stripping. It is morelikely the result of an interaction of the ISM of NGC 4388 with the hothalo of the M 86 group and not with the ICM centred on M 87. The largeextent of the plume suggests that gas stripped from cluster galaxies canremain neutral for at least 108 yr. Locally, the columndensity is well above 1020 cm-2, suggesting thatthe intra-cluster H II regions known to exist in Virgo may have formedfrom gas stripped from cluster galaxies. The existence of the H I plumesuggests that stripping of infalling spirals contributes to theenrichment of the ICM. The H I object in the Virgo cluster recentlyreported by Minchin et al. (2005, ApJ, 622, L21) may have a similarorigin and may therefore not be a "dark galaxy".

New H2O masers in Seyfert and FIR bright galaxies
Using the Effelsberg 100-m telescope, detections of four extragalacticwater vapor masers are reported. Isotropic luminosities are ~50, 1000, 1and 230 Lȯ for Mrk 1066 (UGC 2456), Mrk 34, NGC 3556 andArp 299, respectively. Mrk 34 contains by far the most distant and oneof the most luminous water vapor megamasers so far reported in a Seyfertgalaxy. The interacting system Arp 299 appears to show two maserhotspots separated by approximately 20´´. With these newresults and even more recent data from Braatz et al. (2004, ApJ, 617,L29), the detection rate in our sample of Seyferts with known jet-NarrowLine Region interactions becomes 50% (7/14), while in star forminggalaxies with high (S100~μ m>50 Jy) far infrared fluxesthe detection rate is 22% (10/45). The jet-NLR interaction sample maynot only contain “jet-masers” but also a significant numberof accretion “disk-masers” like those seen in NGC 4258. Astatistical analysis of 53 extragalactic H2O sources (excluding theGalaxy and the Magellanic Clouds) indicates (1) that the correlationbetween IRAS Point Source and H2O luminosities, established forindividual star forming regions in the galactic disk, also holds forAGN-dominated megamaser galaxies; (2) that maser luminosities are notcorrelated with 60 μm/100 μm color temperatures; and (3) that onlya small fraction of the luminous megamasers (L_H_2O > 100Lȯ) detectable with 100-m sized telescopes have so farbeen identified. The H2O luminosity function (LF) suggests that thenumber of galaxies with 1 Lȯ < L_H_2O < 10Lȯ, the transition range between“kilomasers” (mostly star formation) and“megamasers” (active galactic nuclei), is small. The overallslope of the LF, ~-1.5, indicates that the number of detectable masersis almost independent of their luminosity. If the LF is not steepeningat very high maser luminosities and if it is possible to find suitablecandidate sources, H2O megamasers at significant redshifts should bedetectable even with present day state-of-the-art facilities.

A catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources in external galaxies
We present a catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in externalgalaxies. The aim of this catalogue is to provide easy access to theproperties of ULXs, their possible counterparts at other wavelengths(optical, IR, and radio), and their host galaxies. The cataloguecontains 229 ULXs reported in the literature until April 2004. Most ULXsare stellar-mass-black hole X-ray binaries, but it is not excluded thatsome ULXs could be intermediate-mass black holes. A small fraction ofthe candidate ULXs may be background Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) andSupernova Remnants (SNRs). ULXs with luminosity above 1040ergs s-1 are found in both starburst galaxies and in thehalos of early-type galaxies.Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/429/1125

Completing H I observations of galaxies in the Virgo cluster
High sensitivity (rms noise ˜ 0.5 mJy) 21-cm H I line observationswere made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbishedArecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. Thesedata, combined with the measurements available from the literature,provide the first set of H I data that is complete for all 355 late-type(Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with mp ≤ 18.0mag. The Virgo cluster H I mass function (HIMF) that was derived forthis optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMFderived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS H I survey and isinconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this richcluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarilyassociated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions fromearly-type galaxies and isolated H I clouds. The inconsistency betweenthe cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference inthe optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the twoenvironments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur ingalaxies in rich clusters.Tables \ref{t1, \ref{sample_dat} and Appendix A are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org

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.

Offsets between Hα and CO Arms of a Spiral Galaxy, NGC 4254: A New Method for Determining the Pattern Speed of Spiral Galaxies
We examined the offsets between H II regions and molecular cloudsbelonging to spiral arms of a late-type spiral galaxy, NGC 4254 (M99).We used a high-resolution 12CO(J = 1 ‑ 0) imageobtained by Nobeyama Millimeter Array (NMA) and an Hα image. Wederived angular offsets (θ) in the galactic disk, and found thatthey show a linear dependence on the angular rotation velocity of thegas (ΩG). This linear relation can be expressed by theequation θ = (ΩG ‑ΩP)· tHα, whereΩP and tHα are constant. Here,ΩP corresponds to the pattern speed of the spiral armsand tHα is interpreted as being the timescale betweenthe peak compression of the molecular gas in the spiral arms and thepeak of massive star formation. We could thus determineΩP and tHα simultaneously by fitting aline to our θ ‑ ΩG plot, if we assume theyare constant. From the plot for NGC4254, we obtainedtHα = (4.8 ± 1.2) × 106yr andΩP = 26+10-6 km s-1kpc-1, which are consistent with previous studies. We suggestthat this θ ‑ &OmegaG plot can be a new toolto determine the pattern speed and the typical timescale needed for starformations.

Bar-induced perturbation strengths of the galaxies in the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey - I
Bar-induced perturbation strengths are calculated for a well-definedmagnitude-limited sample of 180 spiral galaxies, based on the Ohio StateUniversity Bright Galaxy Survey. We use a gravitational torque method,the ratio of the maximal tangential force to the mean axisymmetricradial force, as a quantitative measure of the bar strength. Thegravitational potential is inferred from an H-band light distribution byassuming that the M/L ratio is constant throughout the disc. Galaxiesare deprojected using orientation parameters based on B-band images. Inorder to eliminate artificial stretching of the bulge, two-dimensionalbar-bulge-disc decomposition has been used to derive a reliable bulgemodel. This bulge model is subtracted from an image, the disc isdeprojected assuming it is thin, and then the bulge is added back byassuming that its mass distribution is spherically symmetric. We findthat removing the artificial bulge stretch is important especially forgalaxies having bars inside large bulges. We also find that the massesof the bulges can be significantly overestimated if bars are not takeninto account in the decomposition.Bars are identified using Fourier methods by requiring that the phasesof the main modes (m= 2, m= 4) are maintained nearly constant in the barregion. With such methods, bars are found in 65 per cent of the galaxiesin our sample, most of them being classified as SB-type systems in thenear-infrared by Eskridge and co-workers. We also suggest that as muchas ~70 per cent of the galaxies classified as SAB-types in thenear-infrared might actually be non-barred systems, many of them havingcentral ovals. It is also possible that a small fraction of the SAB-typegalaxies have weak non-classical bars with spiral-like morphologies.

A multibeam HI survey of the Virgo cluster - two isolated HI clouds?
We have carried out a fully sampled large area (4°× 8°)21-cm HI line survey of part of the Virgo cluster using the Jodrell Bankmultibeam instrument. The survey has a sensitivity some three timesbetter than the standard HIJASS (HI Jodrell All Sky Survey) and HIPASS(HI Parkes All Sky Survey) surveys. We detect 31 galaxies, 27 of whichare well-known cluster members. The four new detections have beenconfirmed in the HIPASS data and by follow-up Jodrell Bank pointedobservations. One object lies behind M86, but the other three have noobvious optical counterparts upon inspection of the digital sky surveyfields. These three objects were mapped at Arecibo with a smaller3.6-arcmin half power beam width (HPBW) and a four times bettersensitivity than the Jodrell Bank data, which allow an improveddetermination of the dimensions and location of two of the objects, butsurprisingly failed to detect the third. The two objects are resolved bythe Arecibo beam, giving them a size far larger than any optical imagesin the nearby field. To our mass limit of 5 ×107(Δv/50 km s-1) Msolar andcolumn density limit of 3 × 1018(Δv/50 kms-1) atom cm-2, these new detections representonly about 2 per cent of the cluster atomic hydrogen mass. Ourobservations indicate that the HI mass function of the cluster turnsdown at the low-mass end, making it very different to the field galaxyHI mass function. This is quite different to the Virgo cluster opticalluminosity function, which is much steeper than that in the generalfield. Many of the sample galaxies are relatively gas-poor compared withHI selected samples of field galaxies, confirming the `anaemic spirals'view of Virgo cluster late-type galaxies. The velocity distribution ofthe HI detected galaxies is also very different to that of the clusteras a whole. There are relatively more high-velocity galaxies in the HIsample, suggesting that they form part of a currently infallingpopulation. The HI sample with optical identifications has a minimum HIcolumn density cut-off more than an order of magnitude above thatexpected from the sensitivity of the survey. This observed columndensity is above the normally expected level for star formation tooccur. The two detections with no optical counterparts have very muchlower column densities than that of the rest of the sample, below thestar formation threshold.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Constellation:Coma Berenices
Right ascension:12h18m49.50s
Aparent dimensions:5.129′ × 4.467′

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names   (Edit)
MessierM 99
NGC 2000.0NGC 4254
J/AJ/90/1681VCC 307

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