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Face on Surface Brightness Profile For Spiral Galaxies

  1. Feb 10, 2006 #1
    Why does the face on surface brightness profile of spiral galaxies follow an exponential decrease with incresing distance from the center? Why is it exponential as opposed to linear or some power law? seems like 'e' shows up a lot.

    I know it is an obervational fact that they exhibit this behavior (it's also been confirmed in numerical simulations) but does any one know what the mechanism involved here is? I dont know maybe im asking too deep a question here but I really am curious as to a known explanation.
    Is it related to conservation of angular momentum when sprials form maybe?

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2006
  2. jcsd
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