Friday, February 15, 2013

lit: Intrinsic properties of SDSS galaxies

Maller et al.. It's important in many other ways, but here is an interesting excerpt on why TF relation is different:
However, with the notable exception of the Tully-Fisher relation these distributions and relations are traditionally measured in terms of the observed properties of galaxies. That is, the measurements used are K-corrected and corrected for foreground dust extinction, but no correction is attempted to compensate for the viewing angle from which the galaxies are observed. In contrast, the Tully-Fisher relation is not a relationship between a galaxy's observed luminosity and rotation velocity, but a relation between a galaxy luminosity and rotation velocity corrected for inclination. The inclination correction attempts to recover the intrinsic properties of a galaxy and not properties that are measured because of the particular angle from which the galaxy is viewed. For a long time there was great controversy over whether spiral galaxies are optically thin or optically thick (e.g., Holmberg 1958; Disney et al. 1989), but in the early 1990s it was established that galaxies become redder and fainter as they are inclined (e.g., Burstein et al. 1991).

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