Invited review at "Galaxies and their Masks" for Ken Freeman's 70-th birthday, Sossusvlei, Namibia, April 2010.
astro-ph/1007.4747

For a PDF version of the article, click here.

STRUCTURE, MASS AND STABILITY OF GALACTIC DISKS

P.C. van der Kruit


Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen,
P.O.Box 800, 9700AV Groningen, the Netherlands


Abstract: In this review I concentrate on three areas related to structure of disks in spiral galaxies. First I will review the work on structure, kinematics and dynamics of stellar disks. Next I will review the progress in the area of flaring of HI layers. These subjects are relevant for the presence of dark matter and lead to the conclusion that disk are in general not `maximal', have lower M / L ratios than previously suspected and are locally stable w.r.t. Toomre's Q criterion for local stability. I will end with a few words on `truncations' in stellar disks.


Table of Contents

STELLAR DISKS

STELLAR KINEMATICS

MASS-TO-LIGHT RATIOS AND `MAXIMUM DISK'

FLARING OF HI LAYERS AND DISK MASSES

FLATNESS AND TRUNCATIONS IN STELLAR DISKS

REFERENCES

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