The stellar mass to light ratio in the isolated spiral NGC 4414

O. Vallejo, J. Braine, A. Baudry
2002 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
We present high resolution CO(1-0) interferometric observations and deep HST B-V-I images of the flocculent isolated Sc type spiral NGC 4414. The goal is to determine the stellar mass-to-light (M/L) ratio in a galactic disk. The stars are seen without a dust screen, the central gas mass is very low (undetected), and we show that the dark matter is negligible in the central regions. We have developed an axisymmetric analytical gravitational potential model to account for the central light (mass)
more » ... entral light (mass) profile, the dynamics of the molecular gas in the highly obscured molecular ring, and the stellar light profile outside the highly obscured region. The contribution of dark matter is constrained by the extremely extended HI rotation curve and is small, possibly negligible, at distances less than 5 -- 7 kpc from the center. Furthermore, the M/L ratios we derive are low, about 1.5 in I band and 0.5 in K' band. The B and V band M/L ratios vary greatly due to absorption by dust, reaching 4 in the molecular ring and decreasing to about 1.6 -- 1.8 at larger radii. This unequivocally shows that models, like most maximum disk models, assuming constant M/L ratios in an optical waveband, simply are not appropriate. We illustrate this by making mock maximum disk models with a constant V band M/L ratio. The key is having the central light distribution unobscured such that it can be used to trace the mass. A primitive attempt to determine the intrinsic M/L ratio yields values close to unity in the B,V, and I bands and slightly below 0.5 in K'.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20020261 fatcat:btphmxipgbgr5lbyk6arf3musu