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Astron. Astrophys. 325, 135-143 (1997)

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The distribution of stars and dust in spiral galaxies: the edge-on spiral UGC 2048

E.M. Xilouris 1, 3, N.D. Kylafis 2, 3, J. Papamastorakis 2, 3, E.V. Paleologou 3 and G. Haerendel 4

1 University of Athens, Department of Physics, Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy & Mechanics, GR-15783 Athens, Greece
2 University of Crete, Physics Department, P.O. Box 2208, GR-71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
3 Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas, P.O. Box 1527, GR-71110 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, D-85740 Garching b. München, Germany

Received 16 December 1996 / Accepted 18 March 1997


We compare B, V, I surface photometry of the edge-on spiral galaxy UGC 2048 with corresponding surface photometry calculated from a realistic model of spiral galaxies, taking into account both absorption and scattering by dust. Our goal is to determine the distribution of stars and dust in the galaxy from the observed surface photometry. In the model that we use we assume that the stars and the dust in the disk are distributed axisymmetrically and exponentially in both directions, the radial and the perpendicular to the plane of the disk. The de Vaucouleurs [FORMULA] law and the modified Hubble profile are used to fit the central region of the galaxy and a comparison is made between the two. For UGC 2048 we have found a face-on central optical depth of less than one in all three bands. This means that, if the galaxy were seen face-on, it would be transparent in the optical region of the spectrum, despite the prominent dust lane seen in the edge-on picture. We have also determined the scalelengths and scaleheights of the stars and the dust in the disk, the bulge characteristics and the inclination angle of the galaxy.

Key words: galaxies: photometry – galaxies: spiral – galaxies: individual: UGC 2048 – galaxies: ISM – ISM: dust, extinction

Send offprint requests to: xilouris@physics.uch.gr

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: May 5, 1998