Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 493–504 | Cite as

A model of the formation of spiral galaxies

  • W. K. Brown
  • L. A. Gritzo


It has been verified that the analytical results derived in a previous article for elliptical galaxies may also be used to describe spiral galaxies. Exploration of the model for small values of the principal parameter θ yields surface mass density distributions as functions of radius which, while always displaying the exponential disk, describe both of the subcategories of spiral galaxies. Within the constraints of the model, the two main questions concerning spirals posed some years ago by Freeman appear to be successfully addressed.

An intrinsic model mechanism has been identified that could account for the extended state of elliptical galaxies, as opposed to the flat disks of spirals. In general, the model correctly describes the relative sizes of the various types of galaxies.


Density Distribution Model Mechanism Mass Density Relative Size Main Question 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. K. Brown
    • 1
  • L. A. Gritzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Los Alamos Scientific LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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