Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 451, 2889-2899 (2015/August-2)
Spiral density waves in the outer galactic gaseous discs.
KHOPERSKOV S.A. and BERTIN G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Deep Hi observations of the outer parts of disc galaxies demonstrate the frequent presence of extended, well-developed spiral arms far beyond the optical radius. To understand the nature and the origin of such outer spiral structure, we investigate the propagation in the outer gaseous disc of large-scale spiral waves excited in the bright optical disc. Using hydrodynamical simulations, we show that non-axisymmetric density waves, penetrating in the gas through the outer Lindblad resonance, can exhibit relatively regular spiral structures outside the bright optical stellar disc. For low-amplitude structures, the results of numerical simulations match the predictions of a simple WKB linear theory. The amplitude of spiral structure increases rapidly with radius. Beyond ~2 optical radii, spirals become non-linear (the linear theory becomes quantitatively and qualitatively inadequate) and unstable. In numerical simulations, in models for which gas is available very far out, spiral arms can extend out to 25 disc scalelengths. A comparison between the properties of the models we have investigated and the observed properties of individual galaxies may shed light into the problem of the amount and distribution of dark matter in the outer halo.