Fundamental relationships in galactic disks

Stuart D. Ryder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although a number of correlations have been demonstrated between observable parameters in galaxies, such as surface brightness, luminosity, metallicity, etc., debate continues as to which of these parameters are truly fundamental. Following a major surface photometry program and HII region abundance analysis, we have been able to show that the surface density of recent massive star formation, the surface density of stars already formed, and the mean oxygen abundance at a given galactic radius are all fundamentally related within and between the disks of spiral galaxies. Such relationships can serve as powerful constraints on models of galactic evolution, requiring, for instance, a star formation law dependent not only on gas surface density, but also on the total mass surface density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: Evolution
  • Galaxies: Fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: Spiral


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