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The Virgo High-Resolution CO Survey: VI. Gas Dynamics and Star Formation along the Bar in NGC 4303
We present CO interferometer observations of the barred galaxy NGC 4303(M 61). This galaxy has a strong gas concentration at the central regionand prominent offset ridges at the leading sides of the bar. Sharpvelocity gradients are apparent across the ridges. The brightnesstemperature in the ridges is low, indicating the existence of unresolvedmolecular clouds. Additionally, an analysis of the newborn stellarclusters revealed in HST images suggests that the parent molecularclouds had masses of 104-6Mȯ. The observedshear velocity gradient across the ridges is too small to break up giantmolecular clouds. Therefore, the clouds are likely to survive passagethrough the ridges. We discuss a cloud orbit model in a bar potentialfor understanding the gas distribution, dynamics, and star formation inNGC 4303. The model reproduces the narrow offset ridges and sharpvelocity gradients across the ridges, although no shock is associatedwith the ridges. We discuss cloud-cloud collisions (and closeinteractions) as a possible triggering mechanism for star formation. Thenewborn stellar clusters in NGC 4303 are located predominantly at theleading sides of the offset ridges. Cloud orbits are densely populatedin the region where the clusters are found, suggesting a highcollisional frequency and possibly a high rate of triggered starformation. Cloud-based dynamics is less dissipative than smoothhydrodynamic models, possibly extending the timescales of gas dynamicalevolution and gas fueling to central regions in barred galaxies.

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.

Lifetime of nuclear velocity dispersion drops in barred galaxies
We have made hydro/N-body simulations with and without star formation toshed some light on the conditions under which a central kinematicallycold stellar component (characterized by a velocity dispersion drop orσ-drop) could be created in a hot medium (e.g. a bulge) andsurvive enough time to be observed. We found that the time-scale for aσ-drop formation could be short (less than 500 Myr), whereas itslifetime could be long (more than 1 Gyr) provided that the centralregion is continuously or regularly fed by fresh gas which leads to acontinuous star formation activity. Star formation in the centralregion, even at a low rate as 1Msolaryr-1, ismandatory to sustain a permanent σ-drop by replacing heatedparticles by new low-σ ones. We moreover show that as soon as starformation is switched off, the σ-drop begins to disappear.

Scale Heights of Non-Edge-on Spiral Galaxies
We present a method of calculating the scale height of non-edge-onspiral galaxies, together with a formula for errors. The method is basedon solving Poisson's equation for a logarithmic disturbance of matterdensity in spiral galaxies. We show that the spiral arms can not extendto inside the ``forbidden radius'' r0, due to the effect ofthe finite thickness of the disk. The method is tested by re-calculatingthe scale heights of 71 northern spiral galaxies previously calculatedby Ma, Peng & Gu. Our results differ from theirs by less than 9%. Wealso present the scale heights of a further 23 non-edge-on spiralgalaxies.

On the Lengths, Colors, and Ages of 18 Face-on Bars
Along with a brief analysis we present data obtained from BVRI andKs images of a sample of 19 galaxies (18 barred and 1unbarred), which will be further explored in a future paper. We measuredthe lengths and colors of the bars, created color maps, and estimatedglobal color gradients. Applying a method developed in a companionpaper, we could distinguish for seven galaxies in our sample those whosebars have been recently formed from the ones with already evolved bars.We estimated an average difference in the optical colors between youngand evolved bars that may be translated to an age difference of theorder of 10 Gyr, meaning that bars may be, at least in some cases,long-standing structures. Moreover, our results show that, on average,evolved bars are longer than young bars. This seems to indicate that,during its evolution, a bar grows longer by capturing stars from thedisk, in agreement with recent numerical and analytical results.Although the statistical significance of these results is low, andfurther studies are needed to confirm them, we discuss the implicationsfrom our results on the possibility of bars being a recurrentphenomenon. We also present isophotal contours for all our images aswell as radial profiles of relevant photometric and geometricparameters.

E+A Galaxies with Blue Cores: Active Galaxies in Transition
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ACS images reveal blue cores in four E+A,or post-starburst, galaxies. Follow-up spectroscopy shows that thesecores have LINER spectra. The existence of LINERs, consistent with thosein many elliptical galaxies, is yet one more piece of evidence thatthese postmerger, post-starburst, bulge-dominated galaxies will evolveinto normal elliptical galaxies. More interestingly, if LINERs arepowered by low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGNs), their presencein these E+A's suggests that any rapid growth phase of the central blackhole ended in rough concert with the cessation of star formation. Thisresult emphasizes the importance of E+A's for exploring how theevolution of black holes and AGNs may be tied to that of galacticbulges.

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.

Local and Large-Scale Environment of Seyfert Galaxies
We present a three-dimensional study of the local (<=100h-1 kpc) and the large-scale (<=1 h-1 Mpc)environment of the two main types of Seyfert AGN galaxies. For thispurpose we use 48 Seyfert 1 galaxies (with redshifts in the range0.007<=z<=0.036) and 56 Seyfert 2 galaxies (with0.004<=z<=0.020), located at high galactic latitudes, as well astwo control samples of nonactive galaxies having the same morphological,redshift, and diameter size distributions as the corresponding Seyfertsamples. Using the Center for Astrophysics (CfA2) and Southern SkyRedshift Survey (SSRS) galaxy catalogs (mB~15.5) and our ownspectroscopic observations (mB~18.5), we find that within aprojected distance of 100 h-1 kpc and a radial velocityseparation of δv<~600 km s-1 around each of ourAGNs, the fraction of Seyfert 2 galaxies with a close neighbor issignificantly higher than that of their control (especially within 75h-1 kpc) and Seyfert 1 galaxy samples, confirming a previoustwo-dimensional analysis of Dultzin-Hacyan et al. We also find that thelarge-scale environment around the two types of Seyfert galaxies doesnot vary with respect to their control sample galaxies. However, theSeyfert 2 and control galaxy samples do differ significantly whencompared to the corresponding Seyfert 1 samples. Since the maindifference between these samples is their morphological typedistribution, we argue that the large-scale environmental differencecannot be attributed to differences in nuclear activity but rather totheir different type of host galaxies.

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.

Seyfert Galaxies and the Hard X-Ray Background: Artificial Chandra Observations of z=0.3 Active Galaxies
Deep X-ray surveys have resolved much of the X-ray background radiationbelow 2 keV into discrete sources, but the background above 8 keVremains largely unresolved. The obscured (type 2) active galactic nuclei(AGNs) that are expected to dominate the hard X-ray background have notyet been detected in sufficient numbers to account for the observedbackground flux. However, deep X-ray surveys have revealed large numbersof faint quiescent and starburst galaxies at moderate redshifts. Inhopes of recovering the missing AGN population, it has been suggestedthat the defining optical spectral features of low-luminosity Seyfertnuclei at large distances may be overwhelmed by their host galaxies,causing them to appear optically quiescent in deep surveys. We test thispossibility by artificially redshifting a sample of 23 nearby,well-studied active galaxies to z=0.3, testing them for X-ray AGNsignatures, and comparing them to the objects detected in deep X-raysurveys. We find that these redshifted galaxies have propertiesconsistent with the deep-field normal and optically bright, X-ray-faintgalaxy (OBXF) populations, supporting the hypothesis that the numbers ofAGNs in deep X-ray surveys are being underestimated and suggesting thatOBXFs should not be ruled out as candidate AGN hosts that couldcontribute to the hard X-ray background source population.

Thermal and non-thermal components of the interstellar medium at sub-kiloparsec scales in galaxies
Aims. We present new radio continuum observations of ten BIMA SONGgalaxies, taken at 1.4 GHz with the Very Large Array. These observationsallow us to extend the study of the relationships between the radiocontinuum (RC) and CO emission to 22 CO luminous galaxies for whichsingle dish CO images have been added to interferometric data. NewSpitzer infrared (IR) images of six of these galaxies have beenreleased. The analysis of these high resolution images allowed us toprobe the RC-IR-CO correlations down to linear scales of a few hundredpc. Methods: .We compare the point-by-point RC, CO and mid-IRintensities across entire galaxy disks, producing radial profiles andspatially resolved images of the RC/CO and RC/mid-IR ratios.Results: .For the 22 galaxies analysed, the RC-CO correlation on scalesfrom ~10 kpc down to ~100 pc is nearly linear and has a scatter of afactor of two, i.e. comparable to that of the global correlations. Thereis no evidence for any severe degradation of the scatter below the kpcscale. This also applies to the six galaxies for which high-resolutionmid-IR data are available. In the case of NGC 5194,we find that the non-thermal radio spectral index is correlated with theRC/FIR ratio. Conclusions: .The scatter of the point-by-pointcorrelations does not increase significantly with spatial resolution. Wethus conclude that we have not yet probed the physical scales at whichthe correlations break down. However, we observe local deviations fromthe correlations in regions with a high star formation rate, such as thespiral arms, where we observe a flat radio spectrum and a low RC/FIRratio. In the intra-arm regions and in the peripheral regions of thedisk, the RC/FIR is generally higher and it is characterized by asteepening of the radio spectrum.

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.

Massive star formation in the central regions of spiral galaxies
Context: . The morphology of massive star formation in the centralregions of galaxies is an important tracer of the dynamical processesthat govern the evolution of disk, bulge, and nuclear activity. Aims. Wepresent optical imaging of the central regions of a sample of 73 spiralgalaxies in the Hα line and in optical broad bands, and deriveinformation on the morphology of massive star formation. Methods. Weobtained images with the William Herschel Telescope, mostly at a spatialresolution of below one second of arc. For most galaxies, no Hαimaging is available in the literature. We outline the observing anddata reduction procedures, list basic properties, and present the I-bandand continuum-subtracted Hα images. We classify the morphology ofthe nuclear and circumnuclear Hα emission and explore trends withhost galaxy parameters. Results. We confirm that late-type galaxies havea patchy circumnuclear appearance in Hα, and that nuclear ringsoccur primarily in spiral types Sa-Sbc. We identify a number ofpreviously unknown nuclear rings, and confirm that nuclear rings arepredominantly hosted by barred galaxies. Conclusions. Other than instimulating nuclear rings, bars do not influence the relative strengthof the nuclear Hα peak, nor the circumnuclear Hα morphology.Even considering that our selection criteria led to an over-abundance ofgalaxies with close massive companions, we do not find any significantinfluence of the presence or absence of a close companion on therelative strength of the nuclear Hα peak, nor on the Hαmorphology around the nucleus.

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.

How large are the bars in barred galaxies?
I present a study of the sizes (semimajor axes) of bars in discgalaxies, combining a detailed R-band study of 65 S0-Sb galaxies withthe B-band measurements of 70 Sb-Sd galaxies from Martin (1995). As hasbeen noted before with smaller samples, bars in early-type (S0-Sb)galaxies are clearly larger than bars in late-type (Sc-Sd) galaxies;this is true both for relative sizes (bar length as fraction ofisophotal radius R25 or exponential disc scalelength h) andabsolute sizes (kpc). S0-Sab bars extend to ~1-10 kpc (mean ~ 3.3 kpc),~0.2-0.8R25 (mean ~ 0.38R25) and ~0.5-2.5h (mean ~1.4h). Late-type bars extend to only ~0.5-3.5 kpc,~0.05-0.35R25 and 0.2-1.5h their mean sizes are ~1.5 kpc, ~0.14R25 and ~0.6h. Sb galaxies resemble earlier-type galaxiesin terms of bar size relative to h; their smallerR25-relative sizes may be a side effect of higher starformation, which increases R25 but not h. Sbc galaxies form atransition between the early- and late-type regimes. For S0-Sbcgalaxies, bar size correlates well with disc size (both R25and h); these correlations are stronger than the known correlation withMB. All correlations appear to be weaker or absent forlate-type galaxies; in particular, there seems to be no correlationbetween bar size and either h or MB for Sc-Sd galaxies.Because bar size scales with disc size and galaxy magnitude for mostHubble types, studies of bar evolution with redshift should selectsamples with similar distributions of disc size or magnitude(extrapolated to present-day values); otherwise, bar frequencies andsizes could be mis-estimated. Because early-type galaxies tend to havelarger bars, resolution-limited studies will preferentially find bars inearly-type galaxies (assuming no significant differential evolution inbar sizes). I show that the bars detected in Hubble Space Telescope(HST) near-infrared(IR) images at z~ 1 by Sheth et al. have absolutesizes consistent with those in bright, nearby S0-Sb galaxies. I alsocompare the sizes of real bars with those produced in simulations anddiscuss some possible implications for scenarios of secular evolutionalong the Hubble sequence. Simulations often produce bars as large as(or larger than) those seen in S0-Sb galaxies, but rarely any as smallas those in Sc-Sd galaxies.

Stellar abundance gradients in galactic discs - I. Method and spectral line gradients
We describe the technique of absorption-line imaging of galaxy discsusing the Taurus Tunable Filter on the Anglo-Australian Telescope anddemonstrate its sensitivity to the behaviour of spectral featuresassociated with Mg and Fe. Radial profiles of Mg2 and Fe5270line strengths are presented for a sample of eight face-on spiralgalaxies spanning a range of Hubble types. Signatures of phenomenaincluding merger-induced star formation, HII rings and galactic bars arealso reported. This study demonstrates the capacity of tunable filtersto measure Mg and Fe line strengths across the face of spiral galaxies,which can ultimately reveal clues about the star formation history andchemical evolution.

Dust in spiral galaxies: global properties
We present and analyse high-quality Submillimetre Common-User BolometerArray (SCUBA) 850- and 450-μm images of 14 local spiral galaxies,including the detection of dust well out into the extended disc in manycases. We use these data in conjunction with published far-infrared fluxdensities from IRAS and ISO, and millimetre-wave measurements fromground-based facilities to deduce the global properties of the dust inthese galaxies, in particular temperature and mass. We find that simpletwo-temperature greybody models of fixed dust emissivity index β= 2and with typical temperatures of 25 < Twarm < 40 K and10 < Tcold < 20 K provide good fits to the overallspectral energy distributions. The dust mass in the cold componentcorrelates with the mass in atomic hydrogen and the mass in the warmcomponent correlates with the mass in molecular hydrogen. These resultsthus fit the simple picture in which the cold dust is heatedpredominantly by the interstellar radiation field, while the hot dust isheated predominantly by OB stars in more active regions, although weargue that there is some mixing. The mean gas-to-dust mass ratio is 120+/- 60, very similar to that found within our own galaxy and roughly afactor of 10 lower than that derived from IRAS data alone. Thegas-to-dust mass ratios in the warm, molecular component are on averagehigher than those in the cold, atomic component. We compare ourmodelling results with similar results for more luminous spiral galaxiesselected at far-infrared wavelengths by the SCUBA Local Universe GalaxySurvey. We find that whilst the total dust mass distributions of the twosamples are indistinguishable, they have significantly different dusttemperature distributions in both the warm and cold components. Wesuggest that this difference might be related to the level of starformation activity in these systems, with the more active galaxieshaving more intense interstellar radiation fields and higher dusttemperatures.

XMM-Newton observations of the interacting galaxy pairs NGC 7771/0 and NGC 2342/1
We present XMM-Newton X-ray observations of the interacting galaxy pairsNGC 7771/7770 and NGC 2342/2341. In NGC 7771, for the first time we areable to resolve the X-ray emission into a bright central source plus twobright (LX > 1040 erg s-1)ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) located either end of the bar. In thebright central source (LX~ 1041 ergs-1), the soft emission is well-modelled by a two-temperaturethermal plasma with kT= 0.4/0.7 keV. The hard emission is modelled witha flat absorbed power-law (Γ~ 1.7, NH~ 1022cm-2), and this together with a low-significance (1.7σ)~ 300 eV equivalent width emission line at ~6 keV are the firstindications that NGC 7771 may host a low-luminosity AGN. For the barULXs, a power-law fit to X-1 is improved at the 2.5σ level withthe addition of a thermal plasma component (kT~ 0.3 keV), while X-2 isimproved only at the 1.3σ level with the addition of a discblackbody component with Tin~ 0.2 keV. Both sources arevariable on short time-scales implying that their emission is dominatedby single accreting X-ray binaries (XRBs). The three remaining galaxies,NGC 7770, NGC 2342 and NGC 2341, have observed X-ray luminosities of0.2, 1.8 and 0.9 × 1041 erg s-1,respectively (0.3-10 keV). Their integrated spectra are alsowell-modelled by multi-temperature thermal plasma components with kT=0.2-0.7 keV, plus power-law continua with slopes of Γ= 1.8-2.3that are likely to represent the integrated emission of populations ofXRBs as observed in other nearby merger systems. A comparison with otherisolated, interacting and merging systems shows that all four galaxiesfollow the established correlations for starburst galaxies betweenX-ray, far-infrared and radio luminosities, demonstrating that theirX-ray outputs are dominated by their starburst components.

Integral Field Spectroscopy of 23 Spiral Bulges
We have obtained integral-field spectroscopy for 23 spiral bulges usingINTEGRAL on the William Herschel Telescope and SPIRAL on theAnglo-Australian Telescope. This is the first two-dimensional surveydirected solely at the bulges of spiral galaxies. Eleven galaxies of thesample do not have previous measurements of the stellar velocitydispersion (σ*). These data are designed to complementour Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph program for estimating blackhole masses in the range 106-108 Msolarusing gas kinematics from nucleated disks. These observations will serveto derive the stellar dynamical bulge properties using the traditionalMg b and Ca II triplets. We use both cross-correlation and maximumpenalized likelihood to determine projected σ* in thesesystems and present radial velocity fields, major axis rotation curves,curves of growth, and σ* fields. Usingcross-correlation to extract the low-order two-dimensional stellardynamics we generally see coherent radial rotation and irregularvelocity dispersion fields suggesting that σ* is anontrivial parameter to estimate.

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.

Secular Evolution via Bar-driven Gas Inflow: Results from BIMA SONG
We present an analysis of the molecular gas distributions in the 29barred and 15 unbarred spirals in the BIMA CO (J=1-0) Survey of NearbyGalaxies (SONG). For galaxies that are bright in CO, we confirm theconclusion by Sakamoto et al. that barred spirals have higher moleculargas concentrations in the central kiloparsec. The SONG sample alsoincludes 27 galaxies below the CO brightness limit used by Sakamoto etal. Even in these less CO-bright galaxies we show that high central gasconcentrations are more common in barred galaxies, consistent withradial inflow driven by the bar. However, there is a significantpopulation of early-type (Sa-Sbc) barred spirals (6 of 19) that have nomolecular gas detected in the nuclear region and have very little out tothe bar corotation radius. This suggests that in barred galaxies withgas-deficient nuclear regions, the bar has already driven most of thegas within the bar corotation radius to the nuclear region, where it hasbeen consumed by star formation. The median mass of nuclear moleculargas is over 4 times higher in early-type bars than in late-type (Sc-Sdm)bars. Since previous work has shown that the gas consumption rate is anorder of magnitude higher in early-type bars, this implies that theearly types have significantly higher bar-driven inflows. The loweraccretion rates in late-type bars can probably be attributed to theknown differences in bar structure between early and late types. Despitethe evidence for bar-driven inflows in both early and late Hubble-typespirals, the data indicate that it is highly unlikely for a late-typegalaxy to evolve into an early type via bar-induced gas inflow.Nonetheless, secular evolutionary processes are undoubtedly present, andpseudobulges are inevitable; evidence for pseudobulges is likely to beclearest in early-type galaxies because of their high gas inflow ratesand higher star formation activity.

The Pattern Speeds of 38 Barred Galaxies
We estimate the pattern speeds of 38 barred galaxies by simulationmodeling. We construct the gravitational potentials of the galaxies fromnear-IR photometry by assuming that the mass-to-light ratio (M/L) isconstant in the H band and a single pattern speed dominates in thestellar disk. We use the response of gaseous and stellar particle disksto a rigidly rotating potential to determine the pattern speed. If ourassumptions are correct, then the pattern speed depends on themorphological type: the average value of the ratio of the corotationresonance radius to the bar radius, ℛ, increases from about 1.1 intype SB0/a to 1.4 in SBb and 1.7 in SBc. Within the error estimates, allthe bars in galaxies of type SBab or earlier are fast rotators, havingℛ<=1.4, whereas late-type galaxies include both fast and slowrotators.

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.

Nuclear Properties of Nearby Spiral Galaxies from Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Imaging and STIS Spectroscopy
We investigate the central regions of 23 spiral galaxies using SpaceTelescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) spectroscopy and archivalNear-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) imaging. Thesample is taken from our program to determine the masses of centralmassive black holes (MBHs) in 54 nearby spiral galaxies. Stars arelikely to contribute significantly to any dynamical central massconcentration that we find in our MBH program, and this paper is part ofa series to investigate the nuclear properties of these galaxies. We usethe Nuker law to fit surface brightness profiles, derived from theNICMOS images, to look for nuclear star clusters and find possibleextended sources in three of the 23 galaxies studied (13%). The factthat this fraction is lower than that inferred from optical Hubble SpaceTelescope studies is probably due to the greater spatial resolution ofthose studies. Using R-H and J-H colors and equivalent widths ofHα emission (from the STIS spectra), we investigate the nature ofthe stellar population with evolutionary models. Under the assumption ofhot stars ionizing the gas, as opposed to a weak active galactic nucleus(AGN), we find that there are young stellar populations (~10-20 Myr);however, these data do not allow us to determine what percentage of thetotal nuclear stellar population they form. In addition, in an attemptto find any unknown AGN, we use [N II] and [S II] line flux ratios(relative to Hα) and find tentative evidence for weak AGNs in NGC1300 and NGC 4536.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

Chandra X-Ray Imaging of the Interacting Starburst Galaxy System NGC 7714/7715: Tidal Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources, Emergent Wind, and Resolved H II Regions
We present high spatial resolution X-ray imaging data for theinteracting galaxy pair NGC 7714/7715 (Arp 284) from the Chandra X-raytelescope. In addition to the unresolved starburst nucleus, a variablepoint source with LX~1040 ergs s-1 wasdetected 1.5" (270 pc) to the northwest of the nucleus, coincident witha blue, extremely optically luminous (MV~-14.1) point sourceon Hubble Space Telescope images. Eleven other candidate pointlikeultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) were also detected in the vicinity ofNGC 7714/7715, two of which exceed 1040 ergs s-1.Ten of these appear to be associated with interaction-induced features,but only two are associated with star formation regions. We also founddiffuse emission with LX~3×1040 ergss-1 extending 11" (1.9 kpc) to the north of the nucleus. Itsspectrum can be fitted with either a two-temperature MEKAL function(kT=0.59+0.05-0.06 and8+10-3 keV) or a 0.6 keV MEKAL function plus apower law (Γ=1.8+/-0.2). The hard component may be due tohigh-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs) with possible contributions frominverse Compton radiation, while the soft component is likely from asuperwind. Superbubble models imply an expansion age of ~15 Myr,supporting previous assertions of an intermediate-age nuclear stellarpopulation in addition to a 5 Myr starburst. We also detected extendedX-ray emission associated with four extranuclear H II region complexes.The emission from these H II regions and the nuclear starburst could bedue to either an enhanced population of HMXBs relative to Local Groupgalactic averages or to diffuse gas heated by winds from supernovae, ifthe X-ray production efficiency LX/Lmech is high(~5%). To estimate LX/Lmech, we collectedpublished data for well-studied H II regions and superbubbles in nearbygalaxies. For H II regions with ages less than 3.5 Myr, the medianLX/Lmech~0.02%, while for older star formationregions, LX/Lmech~0.2%-7%. Thus, it is possiblethat gas heating by supernovae may be sufficient to account for theobserved X-rays from these H II regions. In galaxies much more distantthan NGC 7714, for example, the Cartwheel galaxy, H II region complexessimilar to those in NGC 7714 will be unresolved by Chandra and willmimic ULXs. No X-ray emission was detected from the Type Ib supernova SN1999dn, with an upper limit of ~2×1038 ergss-1.

X-ray emission from NGC 1808: more than a complex starburst
Earlier observations of NGC 1808 in various wavebands (X-ray, optical,near-infrared, radio) provided evidence for the existence of either astarburst or a Seyfert 2 nucleus. We here present the results ofmultiwavelength XMM-Newton and Chandra observations, which directlyprove the co-existence of thermal diffuse plasma and non-nuclearunresolved point-like sources associated with the starburst activity,along with a Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nucleus (LLAGN) or an UltraLuminous X-ray source (ULX). The broad bandwidth of XMM-Newton allows usto show that the unresolved nuclear source in NGC 1808 dominates thehard X-ray spectrum, while the emission in the soft regime, below 1 keV,is dominated by a thermal component associated to an extended starburst.Both EPIC and RGS data provide reliable detections of a number ofemission lines from heavy elements, with abundances ranging from roughly0.7 to 2.2 Z_ȯ for different elements. However, no 6.4 keV FeKα fluorescence line emission was detected. The analysis of thenuclear region of NGC 1808 allows us to detect and disentangle thecontribution of an unresolved nuclear X-ray source and the starburstregion, but the exact nature of the nucleus remains unknown. Theobserved luminosity of NGC 1808 is L2{-10keV}=(1.61±0.06)×1040 erg s-1. Acomparison of our OM 212 nm image with a CTIO 4-m telescope Hαframe shows a good general correspondence between the emission frommassive stars and warm ionized gas, with minor deviations near the endsof the bar in NGC 1808. An aditional, very soft thermal spectralcomponent with kT≃ 0.1 keV has been discovered in the XMM-Newtonspectral analysis, which most likely originates from the halo of NGC1808.

The molecular connection to the FIR-radio continuum correlation in galaxies
We have studied the relationships between the radio continuum (RC) andCO emission for a set of galaxies selected from the BIMA Survey ofNearby Galaxies. We find that the global CO-RC correlation is as tightas the global FIR-RC correlation for the 24 galaxies studied. Within 9galaxies with ~6´´ CO and RC data available, the CO and RCemission is as tightly correlated as its global value; the radiallyaveraged correlation is nearly linear, extends over four order ofmagnitude and holds down to the smallest linear resolution of theobservations, which is ~100 pc. We define q_CO/RC as the log of theratio of the CO to RC flux as a way to characterize the CO-RCcorrelation. Combining 6´´ pixel-by-pixel comparisons acrossall sources yields an average small-scale correlation of q_CO/RC = 1.1± 0.28; that is, the spatially resolved correlation has adispersion that is less than a factor of 2. There are however systematicvariations in the CO/RC ratio; the strongest organized structures inq_CO/RC tend to be found along spiral arms and on size scales muchlarger than the resolution of the observations. We do not measure anysystematic trend in CO/RC ratio as a function of radius in galaxies. Theconstancy of the CO/RC ratio stands in contrast to the previouslymeasured decrease in the FIR/RC ratio as a function of radius ingalaxies. We suggest that the excellent correlation between the CO, RCand FIR emission in galaxies is a consequence of regulation byhydrostatic pressure; this model links all three emissions withoutinvoking an explicit dependence on a star formation scenario.

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.

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.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:12h21m55.00s
Aparent dimensions:6.166′ × 5.495′

Catalogs and designations:
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MessierM 61
NGC 2000.0NGC 4303
J/AJ/90/1681VCC 508

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