Stellar photometry of images from the ACS and WFPC2 cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is used to study the star composition and spatial distribution of stars in three edge-on visible spiral galaxies: NGC 891, NGC 4144, and NGC 4244. Measurements of the surface number density of old stars revealed two stellar subsystems in these galaxies: a thick disk and a halo. The boundaries of these subsystems, which consist mainly of red giants, are determined from the change in the gradient of the number density of the stars. The halos are flattened at the poles of the galaxies and extend to distances of 8-25 kpc from the planes of the galaxies. The present results on the number density distribution of stars with different ages perpendicular to the planes of these galaxies make it possible to improve our model for the stellar structure of spiral galaxies. The distances to these galaxies are calculated using a determination of the tip of the red giant branches (the TRGB method): D = 9.82 Mpc (NGC 891), D = 7.24 Mpc (NGC 4144), and D = 4.29 Mpc (NGC 4244).
- Pub Date:
- April 2005
- NGC 891;
- NGC 4144;
- NGC 4244;
- galaxies - spiral - galaxies - individual - NGC 891;
- 18 pages, 9 figures. accepted to Astrofizica