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|The Relation between Galaxy Activity and the Dynamics of Compact Groups of Galaxies|
Using a sample of 91 galaxies distributed over 27 compact groups (CGs)of galaxies, we define an index that allows us to quantify their levelof activity due to an active galactic nucleus (AGN) or star formation.By combining the mean activity index with the mean morphological type ofthe galaxies in a group, we are able to quantify the evolutionary stateof the groups. We find that they span an evolutionary sequence thatcorrelates with the spatial configuration of the galaxies in the CG. Wedistinguish three main configuration types: A, B, and C. Type A CGs showpredominantly low velocity dispersions and are rich in late-type spiralsthat show active star formation or harbor an AGN. Type B groups haveintermediate velocity dispersions and contain a large fraction ofinteracting or merging galaxies. Type C comprises CGs with high velocitydispersions, which are dominated by elliptical galaxies that show noactivity. We suggest that evolution proceeds A==>B==>C. Mappingthe groups with different evolution levels in a diagram of radius versusvelocity dispersion does not reveal the pattern expected based on theconventional fast merger model for CGs, which predicts a direct relationbetween these two parameters. Instead, we observe a trend contrary toexpectation: the evolutionary state of a group increases with velocitydispersion. This trend seems to be related to the masses of thestructures in which CGs are embedded. In general, the evolutionary stateof a group increases with the mass of the structure. This suggestseither that galaxies evolve more rapidly in massive structures or thatthe formation of CGs embedded in massive structures predated theformation of CGs associated with lower mass systems. Our observationsare consistent with the structure formation predicted by the CDM model(or ΛCDM), only if the formation of galaxies is a biased process.
|Where is the neutral atomic gas in Hickson groups?|
We have analyzed the total HI contents of 72 Hickson compact groups ofgalaxies (HCGs) and the detailed spatial distributions and kinematics ofHI within a subset of 16 groups using the high angular resolutionobservations obtained with the VLA in order to investigate a possibleevolutionary scenario for these densest systems in the present daygalaxy hierarchy. For the more homogeneous subsample of 48 groups, wefound a mean HI deficiency of Def_HI = 0.40 +/- 0.07, which correspondsto 40% of the expected HI for the optical luminosities and morphologicaltypes of the member galaxies. The individual galaxies show largerdegrees of deficiency than the groups globally, Def_HI = 0.62 +/- 0.09(24% of the expected HI), due in most cases to efficient gas strippingfrom individual galaxies into the group environment visible in the VLAmaps. The degree of deficiency is found to be similar to the centralgalaxies of Virgo and Coma cluster, and Coma I group, in spite of thesignificantly different characteristics (number of galaxies, velocitydispersion) of these environments. It does not seem plausible that asignificant amount of extended HI has been missed by the observations.Hence phase transformation of the atomic gas should explain the HIdeficiency. The groups richer in early type galaxies or more compactwith larger velocity dispersions show a weak tendency to be more HIdeficient. The detection rate of HCGs at X-ray wavelengths is larger forHI deficient groups, although the hot gas distribution and hence itsorigin is only known for a few cases. In the evolutionary scenario wepropose, the amount of detected HI would decrease further withevolution, by continuous tidal stripping and/or heating. The H_2 contentalso tends to be lower than expected for the galaxies in HI deficientgroups, this may suggest that the HI stripping by frequent tidalinteraction breaks the balance between the disruption of molecularclouds by star formation and the replenishment from the ambient HI. Thiswork is partially based on observations made with the VLA operated bythe National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the NationalScience Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by AssociatedUniversities, Inc., ALFOSC, which is owned by the Instituto deAstrofísica de Andalucía (IAA, CSIC) and operated at theNordic Optical Telescope (NOT) under agreement between IAA and the NBIfAof the Astronomical Observatory of Copenhagen, and 1.5 m telescope ofthe Observatorio de Sierra Nevada, Granada, Spain, which is operated bythe IAA (CSIC).
|The gas content of peculiar galaxies: Counterrotators and polar rings|
This paper studies the global ISM content in a sample of 104 accretinggalaxies, including counterrotators and polar rings, which spans theentire Hubble sequence. The molecular, atomic and hot gas content ofaccretors is compared to a newly compiled sample of normal galaxies. Wepresent results of a small survey of the J=1-0 line of 12COwith the 15 m SEST telescope on a sample of 11 accretors (10counterrotators and 1 polar ring). The SEST sample is enlarged withpublished data from 48 galaxies, for which observational evidence ofcounterrotation in the gas and/or the stars has been found. Furthermore,the available data on a sample of 46 polar ring galaxies has beencompiled. In order to explore the existence of an evolutionary pathlinking the two families of accretors, the gas content ofcounterrotators and polar rings is compared. It was found that thenormalized content of cold gas (Mgas/LB) in polarrings is ~ 1 order of magnitude higher than the reference value derivedfor normal galaxies. The inferred gas masses are sufficient to stabilizepolar rings through self-gravity. In contrast, it was found that thecold gas content of counterrotators is close to normal for all galaxytypes. Although counterrotators and polar rings probably share a commonorigin, the gas masses estimated here confirm that light gas ringsaccreted by future counterrotators may have evolved faster than theself-gravitating structures of polar rings. In this scenario, thetransformation of atomic into molecular gas could be enhanced near thetransition region between the prograde and the retrograde disks,especially in late-type accretors characterized by a high content ofprimordial gas. This is tentatively confirmed in this work: the measuredH2/HI ratio seems larger in counterrotators than in normal orpolar ring galaxies for types later than S0s. Based on observationscollected at SEST telescope, European Southern Observatory, La Silla,Chile. Table 1 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org
|The visible environment of galaxies with counterrotation|
In this paper we present a statistical study of the environments of 49galaxies in which there is gas- or stellar-counterrotation. The numberof possible companions in the field (to apparent magnitude 22), theirsize and concentration were considered. All the statistical parameterswere analysed by means of Kolgomorov-Smirnov tests, using a controlsample of 43 galaxies without counterrotation. From our data, nosignificant differences between the counter-rotating and control samplesappear. This is different to Seyfert or radio-loud galaxies which lie inenvironments with a higher density of companions. On the contrary, if aweak tendency exists, for galaxies with gas counterrotation only, it isdiscovered in regions of space where the large scale density of galaxiesis smaller. Our results tend to disprove the hypothesis thatcounterrotation and polar rings derive from a recent interaction with asmall satellite or a galaxy of similar size. To a first approximation,they seem to follow the idea that all galaxies are born through a mergerprocess of smaller objects occurring very early in their life, or thatthey derive from a continuous, non-traumatic infall of gas that formedstars later. Whatever the special machinery is which producescounterrotation or polar rings instead of a co-planar, co-rotatingdistribution of gas and stars, it seems not to be connected to thepresent galaxy density of their environments.
|On the Influence of the Environment on the Star Formation Rates of a Sample of Galaxies in Nearby Compact Groups|
We present the results of a study of the star formation rates (SFRs) ofa sample of disk galaxies in nearby compact groups compared with theSFRs of a sample of field galaxies. For this purpose, Hαluminosities and equivalent widths were derived for the galaxies of oursample. A direct comparison of the equivalent widths and Hαluminosities, normalized to the B luminosities and estimated area of thegalaxies of both samples, yields the result that the median values ofthese quantities are almost identical for both samples, although thedistributions for the compact-group sample are broader around the meanvalue than was found in the field galaxy sample. This result can beexplained by assuming that although interactions between galaxies incompact groups can alter the SFRs, the median value of the normalizedSFRs is preserved, being almost indistinguishable from the correspondingvalue for field galaxies. Measuring the global L_Hα/L_B of thegroups, including early-type galaxies, we find that most of the groupsthat show the highest level of L_Hα/L_B with respect to a set ofsynthetic groups built out of field galaxies show tidal features in atleast one of their members. Finally, we have explored the relationshipbetween the ratio L_Hα/L_B and several relevant dynamicalparameters of the groups: velocity dispersion, crossing time, radius,and the mass-to-luminosity ratio, finding no clear correlation. Thissuggests that the exact dynamical state of a group does not control theSFR of the group as a whole. Our results are compatible with a scenariofor compact groups of galaxies in which the dark matter of the group isarranged in a common halo, therefore preventing a fast collapse of thegalaxies.
|Atlas of H alpha Emission of a Sample of Nearby Hickson Compact Groups of Galaxies|
H alpha and adjacent continuum images are presented for a sample ofnearby groups of galaxies extracted from the Atlas of Compact Groups ofGalaxies. Also, more detailed H alpha maps of the most remarkablegalaxies are shown in this paper. A short description of the H alphaemission for each of the galaxies with accordant redshift is presentedtogether with a morphological classification of the accordant galaxiesin the sample. A large fraction of ellipticals and lenticulars weredetected in H alpha . Also, clear signs of interactions were found inseven of the groups, but in only in three of them was H alpha emissiondetected along the tidal features. Candidates of dwarf galaxies werefound at the tips of the tidal tails developed during the interactionsin these three groups.
|Enhanced Hα Emission in Early-Type Galaxies Belonging to Compact Groups|
The results of Hα photometry of a sample of early-type galaxiesbelonging to nearby compact groups are presented. Over 75% of thegalaxies in the sample were detected in Hα, a result that we haveinterpreted as proof of the presence of a warm interstellar mediumwithin them. Comparing the Hα luminosities of the galaxies in oursample with those of a sample of early-type galaxies from the field, wehave found that field early-type galaxies are systematically fainter inHα than the compact group ones for a given B absolute magnitude byDeltalog(L_Hα/L_B)~0.5. We suggest that the excess in the Hαemission within the groups is due to photoionization of gas by Lymancontinuum photons emitted by massive stars. Recent massive starformation would be a consequence of the accretion by early-type galaxiesof gas from the outer envelopes of gas-rich galaxies experiencing closepassages across the group.
|The Evolution of Galaxies in Compact Groups|
We present an analysis of the spectra of 62 galaxies in 15 compactgroups. The galaxies are classified into four activity classes: galaxieswithout emission, starburst galaxies, luminous AGNs (Seyfert andLINERs), and low-luminosity AGNs (LLAGNs). The star formation in theHickson compact group (HCG) starbursts is more intense than in normalspirals, but comparable to that observed in starburst-nucleus galaxies(SBNGs) in the field. In general, the HCG starbursts have mean solar gasmetallicity and do not follow the metallicity-luminosity relation tracedby the early-type SBNGs in the field, suggesting that most of them arelate-type SBNGs. This morphology preference, coupled with theobservation that the HCG starbursts are predominantly located in thehalos of the groups, is consistent with the idea that compact groups areembedded in sparser structures. The stellar metallicities of thenonstarburst galaxies are comparable to those observed in normalgalaxies with similar morphologies, but are relatively high for theirluminosities. In these galaxies, the metal absorption line equivalentwidths are slightly narrower than normal, while the Balmer absorptionlines are relatively strong. All these observations suggest the presenceof a population of intermediate-age stars. These galaxies could bepoststarburst, but at a very advanced stage of evolution, the lastbursts having happened more than 2 Gyr in the past. Our observationssupport a scenario in which the cores of the groups are slowlycollapsing evolved systems embedded in more extended structures. In thecores of the groups, the interactions were more frequent and thegalaxies evolved at a more rapid rate than in their halos.
|Structural and Dynamical Analysis of the Hickson Compact Groups|
Based on the spectroscopic survey of de Carvalho et al., we analyze thestructural and dynamical properties of 17 Hickson compact groups. Thisanalysis probes a region of 0.dg5 x 0.dg5 around each group and showsthat most of them are part of larger structures. Our results alsosuggest that the Hickson sample is composed of different dynamicalstages of the groups" evolution. Specifically, we identify threepossible evolutionary phases among groups in the sample: loose groups,core + halo systems, and compact groups, each one presenting a distinctsurface density profile. This sequence is consistent with thereplenishment scenario for the formation and evolution of compact groupswithin larger and less dense systems.
|The Nature of the Activity in Hickson Compact Groups of Galaxies|
We present the results of the spectral classification of the 82brightest galaxies in a sample of 17 compact groups. We verify that theactive galactic nuclei (AGNs) are preferentially located in the mostearly-type and luminous galaxies of the groups, as is usually observedin the field. But these AGNs also appear to be systematicallyconcentrated toward the central parts of the groups. Our observationssuggest a correlation between activity types, morphologies, anddensities of galaxies in the compact groups. This is consistent with ascenario in which galaxies of compact groups evolve by interacting withtheir environment and are currently in a quiet phase of their activity.
|The Southern Sky Redshift Survey|
We report redshifts, magnitudes, and morphological classifications for5369 galaxies with m_B <= 15.5 and for 57 galaxies fainter than thislimit, in two regions covering a total of 1.70 sr in the southerncelestial hemisphere. The galaxy catalog is drawn primarily from thelist of nonstellar objects identified in the Hubble Space TelescopeGuide Star Catalog (GSC). The galaxies have positions accurate to ~1"and magnitudes with an rms scatter of ~0.3 mag. We compute magnitudes(m_SSRS2) from the relation between instrumental GSC magnitudes and thephotometry by Lauberts & Valentijn. From a comparison with CCDphotometry, we find that our system is homogeneous across the sky andcorresponds to magnitudes measured at the isophotal level ~26 magarcsec^-2. The precision of the radial velocities is ~40 km s^-1, andthe redshift survey is more than 99% complete to the m_SSRS2 = 15.5 maglimit. This sample is in the direction opposite that of the CfA2; incombination the two surveys provide an important database for studies ofthe properties of galaxies and their large-scale distribution in thenearby universe. Based on observations obtained at Cerro TololoInter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories,operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation;Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between theConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas de laRepública Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata,Córdoba, and San Juan; the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla, Chile, partially under the bilateral ESO-ObservatórioNacional agreement; Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory;Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica, Brazil; and the SouthAfrican Astronomical Observatory.
|Redshift Survey of Galaxies around a Selected Sample of Compact Groups|
We report the results of a spectroscopic survey of faint galaxies in theregions surrounding Hickson compact groups. Our sample is composed of 17groups within 9000 km s-1. The spectra were taken at the prime focus ofthe Tololo 4 m telescope, using the ARGUS fiber-fed spectrograph. Fromthese observations, redshifts were determined for the faint galaxiespreviously identified by de Carvalho, Ribeiro, & Zepf in thesurroundings of the groups. Statistical methods were applied to theresultant catalog in order to determine the kinematical structure ofeach group. This analysis confirms the idea that the Hickson sample ofcompact groups contains a wide variety of projection and dynamicalconfigurations. Our results demonstrate the necessity of newspectroscopic surveys around compact groups in order to assess theircomplete velocity distribution.
|Rapidly Rotating Circumnuclear Gas Disks in Virgo Disk Galaxies|
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1997AJ....113.1250R&db_key=AST
|An image database. II. Catalogue between δ=-30deg and δ=70deg.|
A preliminary list of 68.040 galaxies was built from extraction of35.841 digitized images of the Palomar Sky Survey (Paper I). For eachgalaxy, the basic parameters are obtained: coordinates, diameter, axisratio, total magnitude, position angle. On this preliminary list, weapply severe selection rules to get a catalog of 28.000 galaxies, wellidentified and well documented. For each parameter, a comparison is madewith standard measurements. The accuracy of the raw photometricparameters is quite good despite of the simplicity of the method.Without any local correction, the standard error on the total magnitudeis about 0.5 magnitude up to a total magnitude of B_T_=17. Significantsecondary effects are detected concerning the magnitudes: distance toplate center effect and air-mass effect.
|Far infrared properties of Hickson compact groups of galaxies. I. High resolution IRAS maps and fluxes.|
The Far Infrared (FIR) properties of galaxies which are members ofcompact groups bear relevant information on the dynamical status and thephysical properties of these structures. All studies published so farhave been undermined by the poor sensitivity and spatial resolution ofthe IRAS-PSC and IRAS Sky Survey data. We used the HIRAS softwareavailable at the IRAS server at the Laboratory for Space Research inGroningen to fully exploit the redundancy of the IRAS data and toapproach the theoretical diffraction limit of IRAS. Among the 97 groupswhich were observed by IRAS, 62 were detected in at least one band,while reliable upper limits were derived for all the others. Among thedetected groups, 49 were fully or partially resolved, i.e. it waspossible to discriminate which member or members emit most of the FIRlight. At 60μm, for instance, 87 individual sources were detected in62 groups. In order to ease the comparison with data obtained at otherwavelengths - and in particular in the X and radio domains - we giveco-added and HIRAS maps for all the detected groups.
|Morphology of galaxies in compact groups|
We present the results of an isophotal analysis of 140 early-typegalaxies and a visual inspection of images of an additional 202 galaxiesin compact groups. This is essentially the entire sample of galaxies inthe subset of 92 Hickson compact groups which have at least threeaccordant members. About 12% of the elliptical galaxies have largercharacteristic radii and shallower surface brightness profiles thangalaxies of the same luminosity in less dense environments. The averageellipticity of elliptical galaxies in compact groups is a slowlyincreasing function of the metric radius, as it is for field andloose-group galaxies. No alignment is found among the major axes of thegalaxies and the major axis of the group. When combined with previouslypublished morphological, kinematic, radio, infrared, and colorinformation on the same galaxies, our data show that 43% of the galaxiesin the compact group sample show morphological and/or kinematicaldistortions indicative of interactions and/or mergers. About 32% of thegroups have three or more galaxies which show some sign of interaction.This is a lower limit, since for the great majority of the galaxies inthe groups, only imaging and low-resolution spectra are available. Forthe subsample of 16 groups for which published detailed kinematical dataare also available, the fraction of groups with three or more galaxiesin interaction is 75%. No correlation is found between the number ofinteracting galaxies in a group and the group velocity dispersion orcrossing time. These observations strongly support the view that compactgroups are systems of physically associated galaxies and not chancealignments of field, loose-group, or cluster galaxies. They also confirmthe importance of compact groups for studies of interactions and galaxyevolution. While the lack of a good control sample makes it difficult tomake quantitative comparisons for some aspects of this study, it isclear that the fraction of galaxies showing evidence of interactions ismuch higher in compact groups than in other environments.
|The external origin of the gas in S0 galaxies|
We present three new cases of S0 galaxies, namely NGC 2768, NGC 4379,and IC 4889, out of a sample of 15, in which the gas is counterrotatingor strongly kinematically decoupled with respect to the stellar body ofthe galaxy. Assuming gas infall with randomly oriented angular momentum,this result implies that in 40 percent of the galaxies in our sample,the ionized gas is of external origin. However, several pieces ofevidence suggest that the acquisition of external gas in S0 galaxies canbe even more general.
|Dynamical properties of compact groups of galaxies|
Radial velocities are presented for 457 galaxies in the 100 Hicksoncompact groups. More than 84 percent of the galaxies measured havevelocities within 1000 km/s of the median velocity in the group.Ninety-two groups have at least three accordant members, and 69 groupshave at least four. The radial velocities of these groups range from1380 to 42,731 km/s with a median of 8889 km/s, corresponding to amedian distance of 89/h Mpc. The apparent space density of these systemsranges from 300 to as much as 10 exp 8 sq h/sq Mpc, which exceeds thedensities in the centers of rich clusters. The median projectedseparation between galaxies is 39/h kpc, comparable to the sizes of thegalaxies themselves. A significant correlation is found between crossingtime and the fraction of gas-rich galaxies in the groups, and a weakanticorrelation is found between crossing time and the luminositycontrast of the first-ranked galaxy.
|Optical properties and dynamics of galaxies in the Hickson compact groups|
The way in which galaxy properties in dense galaxy environments comparewith the properties isolated in the field is presently evaluated inlight of broadband R and H-alpha images, as well as H-alpha long-slitspectroscopy, for a set of galaxies (in 21 Hickson compact groups) whoseobserved velocity patterns range from too peculiar for rotation-curveformation, to abnormal, to normal. A surprisingly high correlation isnoted between absolute magnitude and (log) maximum rotation velocity,especially in the case of galaxies with normal rotation curves. Theseobservations support a model in which the compact-group galaxies haveonly recently accumulated from the general galaxy distribution, and inwhich tidal interactions are frequent and persisting.
|Optical colors of early-type galaxies in compact groups|
UBVRI colors of a sample of 55 elliptical galaxies as well as 21 S0galaxies in Hickson compact groups are presented. Four of the ellipticalgalaxies and one of the S0 galaxies in the compact groups aresignificantly bluer than normal for early-type galaxies of theirluminosity. A population of elliptical galaxies with blue optical colorsis predicted by standard models of the evolution of galaxies in compactgroups because of the favorable conditions for interactions and mergersin these regions. The brightest of the blue elliptical galaxies has anextensive shell system; however, the other two blue elliptical galaxiesfor which there is sufficient spatial resolution show no unusualmorphological features such as tails or shells. In addition to theircolor, the primary distinguishing feature of the blue ellipticalgalaxies is their color gradient, as they tend to be bluer in the centerthan at large radii, which is contrary to the usual trend in ellipticalgalaxies.
|The luminosity function of compact groups of galaxies|
An analysis of the luminosity function of 68 compact groups of galaxiescataloged by Hickson (1982) is presented. The luminosities of compactgroup galaxies are consistent with their being drawn from a Schechterluminosity function. Individual morphological-type luminosity functionsare also determined. Both the total and morphological-type specificluminosity functions of compact group galaxies are significantlydifferent from those of field, loose-group, and cluster galaxies. Inparticular, the luminosity function of HCG elliptical galaxies has amean magnitude which is significantly brighter than the mean magnitudeof Virgo cluster elliptical galaxies. The mean luminosity density ofgalaxies in compact groups is estimated. The obtained result isconsistent with the conventional scenario in which compact groups mergeto form elliptical galaxies on a relatively short time scale.
|A photometric catalog of compact groups of galaxies|
The paper presents astrometry, photometry, and morphological types,derived from CCD images, for 463 galaxies in the 100 compact groupsselected by Hickson. Some minor revisions to the membership of theoriginal catalog are made, based on these new images. The completenessof the catalog is considered as a function of group magnitude andGalactic latitude. At high Galactic latitude the catalog is estimated tobe 90 percent complete for groups with total B(T) magnitude 13.0 orless. It is less complete at lower Galactic latitude because ofobscuration and high stellar density.
|Neutral hydrogen in compact groups of galaxies|
Integrated H I profiles were detected for 34 of 51 Hickson compactgroups (HCGs) of galaxies, and sensitive upper limits to the H I fluxdensity were measured for the other 17. About 60 percent of the galaxieswithin compact groups are spirals, and a significant tendency exists forthe fraction of elliptical galaxies to increase with group surfacebrightness. The amount of dark matter within the compact group region isnegligibly small. An HCG on average contains half as much neutralhydrogen as a loose group with a similar spectrum of galaxy luminositiesand morphological types, implying that compact groups are independentdynamical entities and not transient or projected configurations ofloose groups. The observed fraction of galaxies which are luminousenough to be possible merger products of compact groups is smallcompared with the fraction required by the theory of dynamical friction.A clear discrepancy thus exists between solid empirical evidence and astraightforward prediction of Newtonian dynamical theory in a settingwhich does not permit a dark matter explanation.
|Morphological investigation of galaxies with ultraviolet excess|
Large-scale photographs of 43 galaxies with UV excess from the lists ofKazarian (1979) and Kazarian and Kazarian (1980), obtained in 25-minexposures at 20 arcsec/mm with the 2.6-m reflector at BiurakanAstrophysical Observatory during summer, 1980, are presented andcharacterized in terms of morphology. The majority of the galaxies arefound to have well defined nuclear regions or condensations; about 60percent are classified as spirals, 25 percent as ellipticals, and 15percent as compact. Isodensity charts of eight galaxies are included.
|A study of field galaxies. I - Redshifts and photometry of a complete sample of galaxies|
As a first step towards a redetermination of the luminosity function andspace distribution of field galaxies, data are presented on amagnitude-limited sample of galaxies in eight fields in the north andsouth galactic polar caps. Redshifts, accurate to about 100 km/s havebeen obtained for 164 of 184 galaxies brighter than J=15.0 (Bapproximately equal to 15.5). Magnitudes and colors have also beenmeasured for a large sample of 807 galaxies, complete to J approximatelyequal to 15.7.
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