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Astron. Astrophys. 323, 762-774 (1997)

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Interarm features in gaseous models of spiral galaxies

P.A. Patsis 1, 2, P. Grosbol 2 and N. Hiotelis 3

1 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, D-85748 Garching, Germany
3 Department of Astronomy, University of Athens, GR-15784 Athens, Greece

Received 10 July 1996 / Accepted 3 January 1997


We study the response of gaseous disks, under the influence of spiral perturbations. In particular we compare the morphology of spiral arms and interarm regions in SPH models, with Population I features observed on B images of normal, grand design spiral galaxies. We place the 4/1 resonance at the end of the strong symmetric spiral arms of these galaxies. This basic hypothesis, leads to the appearance of features in the models similar to those observed, while other assumptions for the spiral pattern speed did not show the same good agreement. The "4/1" models, especially when a weak m =1 component is included in the imposed spiral potential, reproduce many morphological aspects of these galaxies. The main result is that the 4/1 resonance generates a clear signature in galaxies, namely a bifurcation of the arms typical for the morphology of normal, late-type, grand design spirals. This bifurcation also gives rise to the main interarm features.

Key words: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – galaxies: spiral – galaxies: structure – ISM

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: May 26, 1998