DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stad3869 ISSN: 0035-8711

A multiwavelength study of spiral structure in galaxies. II. Spiral arms in deep optical observations

Aleksandr V Mosenkov, Andrey D Panasyuk, Savanah Turner, Crystal-Lynn Bartier, Maria N Skryabina, Alexander A Marchuk, Sergey S Savchenko, Jakob Bergstedt, Vladimir P Reshetnikov, Ilia V Chugunov
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


In this paper, we look to analyse the spiral features of grand-design, multiarmed, and flocculent spiral galaxies using deep optical imaging from DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys. We explore the resulting distributions of various characteristics of spiral structure beyond the optical radius, such as the distributions of azimuthal angle, the extent of spiral arms, and of the spiral arm widths for the aforementioned galaxy classes. We also compare the measured properties for isolated galaxies and galaxies in groups and clusters. We find that, on average, compared to multiarmed and flocculent spiral galaxies, the spiral arms of grand-design galaxies exhibit slightly larger azimuthal angles, greater extent, and larger widths in the periphery of the galaxy. Furthermore, on average, isolated galaxies tend to have slightly smaller widths of outer spiral arms compared to galaxies in tight environments, which is likely related to the tidally-induced mechanism for generating wider outer spiral arms. We also report that breaks of the disc surface brightness profiles are often related to the truncation of spiral arms in galaxies.

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