Monday, June 17, 2013

1306.3227 (C. Carignan et al.)

KAT-7 Science Verification: Using HI Observations of NGC 3109 to Understand its Kinematics and Mass Distribution    [PDF]

C. Carignan, B. S. Frank, K. M. Hess, D. M. Lucero, T. H. Randriamampandry, S. Goedhart, S. S. Passmoor
HI observations of the Magellanic-type spiral NGC 3109, obtained with the seven dish Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7), are used to analyze its mass distribution. Our results are compared to what is obtained using VLA data. KAT-7 is the precursor of the SKA pathfinder MeerKAT, which is under construction. The short baselines and low system temperature of the telescope make it sensitive to large scale low surface brightness emission. The new observations with KAT-7 allow the measurement of the rotation curve of NGC 3109 out to 32', doubling the angular extent of existing measurements. A total HI mass of 4.6 x 10^8 Msol is derived, 40% more than what was detected by the VLA observations. The observationally motivated pseudo-isothermal dark matter (DM) halo model can reproduce very well the observed rotation curve but the cosmologically motivated NFW DM model gives a much poorer fit to the data. While having a more accurate gas distribution has reduced the discrepancy between the observed RC and the MOdified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) models, this is done at the expense of having to use unrealistic mass-to-light ratios for the stellar disk and/or very large values for the MOND universal constant a0. Different distances or HI contents cannot reconcile MOND with the observed kinematics, in view of the small errors on those two quantities. As for many slowly rotating gas-rich galaxies studied recently, the present result for NGC 3109 continues to pose a serious challenge to the MOND theory.
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