Rotation Curves of Galaxies and Their Dependence on Morphology and Stellar Mass

Yongmin Yoon, Changbom Park, Haeun Chung, Kai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We study how stellar rotation curves (RCs) of galaxies are correlated on average with morphology and stellar mass (M star) using the final release of Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV MaNGA data. We use the visually assigned T-types for the morphology indicator, and adopt a functional form for the RC that can model non-flat RCs at large radii. We discover that within the radial coverage of the MaNGA data, the popularly known flat rotation curve at large radii applies only to the particular classes of galaxies, i.e., massive late types (T-type ≥ 1, M star ⪆ 1010.8 M o˙) and S0 types (T-type = -1 or 0, M star ⪆ 1010.0 M o˙). The RC of late-type galaxies at large radii rises more steeply as M star decreases, and its slope increases to about +9 km s-1 kpc-1 at M star ≈ 109.7 M o˙. By contrast, elliptical galaxies (T-type ≤ -2) have descending RCs at large radii. Their slope becomes more negative as M star decreases, and reaches as negative as -15 km s-1 kpc-1 at M star ≈ 1010.2 M o˙. We also find that the inner slope of the RC is highest for elliptical galaxies with M star ≈ 1010.5 M o˙, and decreases as T-type increases or M star changes away from 1010.5 M o˙. The velocity at the turnover radius R t is higher for higher M star, and R t is larger for higher M star and later T-types. We show that the inner slope of the RC is coupled with the central surface stellar mass density, which implies that the gravitational potential of central regions of galaxies is dominated by baryonic matter. With the aid of simple models for matter distribution, we discuss what determines the shapes of RCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number249
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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