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 On the Lengths, Colors, and Ages of 18 Face-on BarsAlong with a brief analysis we present data obtained from BVRI andKs images of a sample of 19 galaxies (18 barred and 1unbarred), which will be further explored in a future paper. We measuredthe lengths and colors of the bars, created color maps, and estimatedglobal color gradients. Applying a method developed in a companionpaper, we could distinguish for seven galaxies in our sample those whosebars have been recently formed from the ones with already evolved bars.We estimated an average difference in the optical colors between youngand evolved bars that may be translated to an age difference of theorder of 10 Gyr, meaning that bars may be, at least in some cases,long-standing structures. Moreover, our results show that, on average,evolved bars are longer than young bars. This seems to indicate that,during its evolution, a bar grows longer by capturing stars from thedisk, in agreement with recent numerical and analytical results.Although the statistical significance of these results is low, andfurther studies are needed to confirm them, we discuss the implicationsfrom our results on the possibility of bars being a recurrentphenomenon. We also present isophotal contours for all our images aswell as radial profiles of relevant photometric and geometricparameters. Stellar Populations in Nearby Lenticular GalaxiesWe have obtained two-dimensional spectral data for a sample of 58 nearbyS0 galaxies with the Multi-Pupil Fiber/Field Spectrograph of the 6 mtelescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the RussianAcademy of Sciences. The Lick indices Hβ, Mg b, and arecalculated separately for the nuclei and for the bulges taken as therings between R=4'' and 7", and the luminosity-weighted ages,metallicities, and Mg/Fe ratios of the stellar populations are estimatedby comparing the data to single stellar population (SSP) models. Fourtypes of galaxy environments are considered: clusters, centers ofgroups, other places in groups, and the field. The nuclei are found tobe on average slightly younger than the bulges in any type ofenvironment, and the bulges of S0 galaxies in sparse environments areyounger than those in dense environments. The effect can be partlyattributed to the well-known age correlation with the stellar velocitydispersion in early-type galaxies (in our sample the galaxies in sparseenvironments are on average less massive than those in denseenvironments), but for the most massive S0 galaxies, withσ*=170-220 km s-1, the age dependence on theenvironment is still significant at the confidence level of 1.5 σ.Based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope (BTA) at theSpecial Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Russian Academy ofSciences (RAS). Nearby early-type galaxies with ionized gas. II. Line-strength indices for 18 additional galaxiesWe previously presented a data-set of line-strength indices for 50early-type galaxies in the nearby Universe. The galaxy sample is biasedtoward galaxies showing emission lines, located in environmentscorresponding to a broad range of local galaxy densities, althoughpredominantly in low density environments. The present addendum enlargesthe above data-set of line-strength indices by analyzing 18 additionalearly-type galaxies (three galaxies, NGC 3607, NGC 5077 and NGC 5898were presented in the previous set). We measured 25 line-strengthindices, defined by the Lick IDS "standard" system (Trager et al. 1998,ApJS, 116, 1; Worthey & Ottaviani 1997, ApJS, 111, 377), for 7luminosity weighted apertures and 4 gradients of each galaxy. Thisaddendum presents the line-strength data-set and compares it with theavailable data in the literature. Multicomponent decompositions for a sample of S0 galaxiesWe have estimated the bulge-to-total (B/T) light ratios in theKs band for a sample of 24 S0, S0/a and Sa galaxies byapplying a two-dimensional multicomponent decomposition method. For thedisc an exponential function is used, the bulges are fitted by aSérsic R1/n function and the bars and ovals aredescribed either by a Sérsic or a Ferrers function. In order toavoid non-physical solutions, preliminary characterization of thestructural components is made by inspecting the radial profiles of theorientation parameters and the low azimuthal wavenumber Fourieramplitudes and phases. In order to identify also the inner structures,unsharp masks were created: previously undetected inner spiral arms werefound in NGC 1415 and marginally in NGC 3941. Most importantly, we foundthat S0s have a mean K ratio of 0.24 +/- 0.11,which is significantly smaller than the mean R=0.6 generally reported in the literature. Also, the surface brightnessprofiles of the bulges in S0s were found to be more exponential-likethan generally assumed, the mean shape parameter of the bulge being= 2.1 +/- 0.7. We did not find examples of barred S0s lackingthe disc component, but we found some galaxies (NGC 718, 1452 and 4608)having a non-exponential disc in the bar region. To our knowledge, ourstudy is the first attempt to apply a multicomponent decompositionmethod for a moderately sized sample of early-type disc galaxies. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear dataWe have derived ages, metallicities and enhanced-element ratios[α/Fe] for a sample of 83 early-type galaxies essentially ingroups, the field or isolated objects. The stellar-population propertiesderived for each galaxy correspond to the nuclear re/8aperture extraction. The median age found for Es is 5.8+/-0.6 Gyr andthe average metallicity is +0.37+/-0.03 dex. For S0s, the median age is3.0+/-0.6 Gyr and [Z/H]= 0.53+/-0.04 dex. We compare the distribution ofour galaxies in the Hβ-[MgFe] diagram with Fornax galaxies. Ourelliptical galaxies are 3-4 Gyr younger than Es in the Fornax cluster.We find that the galaxies lie in a plane defined by [Z/H]= 0.99logσ0- 0.46 log(age) - 1.60, or in linear terms Z~σ0× (age) -0.5. More massive (largerσ0) and older galaxies present, on average, large[α/Fe] values, and therefore must have undergone shorterstar-formation time-scales. Comparing group against field/isolatedgalaxies, it is not clear that environment plays an important role indetermining their stellar-population history. In particular, ourisolated galaxies show ages differing by more than 8 Gyr. Finally weexplore our large spectral coverage to derive log(O/H) metallicity fromthe Hα and NIIλ6584 and compare it with model-dependent[Z/H]. We find that the O/H abundances are similar for all galaxies, andwe can interpret it as if most chemical evolution has already finishedin these galaxies. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear dataThis is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies. Radio sources in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. IV. Radio luminosity function, importance of jet power, and radio properties of the complete Palomar sampleWe present the completed results of a high resolution radio imagingsurvey of all ( 200) low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) andAGNs in the Palomar Spectroscopic Sample of all ( 488) bright northerngalaxies. The high incidences of pc-scale radio nuclei, with impliedbrightness temperatures ≳107 K, and sub-parsec jetsargue for accreting black holes in ≳50% of all LINERs andlow-luminosity Seyferts; there is no evidence against all LLAGNs beingmini-AGNs. The detected parsec-scale radio nuclei are preferentiallyfound in massive ellipticals and in type 1 nuclei (i.e. nuclei withbroad Hα emission). The radio luminosity function (RLF) of PalomarSample LLAGNs and AGNs extends three orders of magnitude below, and iscontinuous with, that of “classical” AGNs. We find marginalevidence for a low-luminosity turnover in the RLF; nevertheless LLAGNsare responsible for a significant fraction of present day massaccretion. Adopting a model of a relativistic jet from Falcke &Biermann, we show that the accretion power output in LLAGNs is dominatedby the kinetic power in the observed jets rather than the radiatedbolometric luminosity. The Palomar LLAGNs and AGNs follow the samescaling between jet kinetic power and narrow line region (NLR)luminosity as the parsec to kilo-parsec jets in powerful radio galaxies.Eddington ratios {l_Edd} (=L_Emitted/L_Eddington) of≤10-1{-}10-5 are implied in jet models of theradio emission. We find evidence that, in analogy to Galactic black holecandidates, LINERs are in a “low/hard” state (gas poornuclei, low Eddington ratio, ability to launch collimated jets) whilelow-luminosity Seyferts are in a “high” state (gas richnuclei, higher Eddington ratio, less likely to launch collimated jets).In addition to dominating the radiated bolometric luminosity of thenucleus, the radio jets are energetically more significant thansupernovae in the host galaxies, and are potentially able to depositsufficient energy into the innermost parsecs to significantly slow thegas supply to the accretion disk. A dichotomy in the orientation of dust and radio jets in nearby low-power radio galaxiesWe examine the properties of central dust in nearby quiescent and activeearly-type galaxies. The active galaxies are low-power radio galaxieswith Fanaroff & Riley type I or I/II radio jets. We focus on (a) thecomparison of the dust distributions in the active and quiescent galaxysamples; and (b) the relation between the radio jet and dustorientations. Our main observational conclusions are: (i) in line withprevious studies, the dust detection rate is higher in radio-jetgalaxies than in non radio-jet galaxies; (ii) radio galaxies contain ahigher fraction of regular dust “ellipses” compared toquiescent galaxies which contain more often irregular dustdistributions; (iii) the morphology, size and orientation of dustellipses and lanes in quiescent early-types and active early-types withkpc-scale radio jets is very similar; (iv) dust ellipses are alignedwith the major axis of the galaxy, dust lanes do not show a preferredalignment except for large (>kpc) dust lanes which are aligned withthe minor axis of the galaxy; and (v) as projected on the sky, jets donot show a preferred orientation relative to the galaxy major axis (andhence dust ellipses), but jets are preferentially perpendicular to dustlanes. We show that the dust ellipses are consistent with being nearlycircular thin disks viewed at random viewing angles. The lanes arelikely warped dust structures, which may be in the process of settlingdown to become regular disks or are being perturbed by anon-gravitational force. We use the observed dust-jet orientations toconstrain the three-dimensional angle θDJ between jetand dust. For dust-lane galaxies, the jet is approximately perpendicularto the dust structure, while for dust-ellipse galaxies there is a muchwider distribution of θDJ. We discuss two scenariosthat could explain the dust/jet/galaxy orientation dichotomy. If lanesare indeed settling, then the jet orientation apparently is roughlyaligned with the angular momentum of the dust before it settles. Iflanes are perturbed by a jet-related force, it appears that it causesthe dust to move out of its equilibrium plane in the galaxy into a planewhich is perpendicular to the jet. Nearby early-type galaxies with ionized gas. I. Line-strength indices of the underlying stellar populationWith the aim of building a data-set of spectral properties of wellstudied early-type galaxies showing emission lines, we presentintermediate resolution spectra of 50 galaxies in the nearby Universe.The sample, which covers several of the E and S0 morphologicalsub-classes, is biased toward objects that might be expected to haveongoing and recent star formation, at least in small amounts, because ofthe presence of the emission lines. The emission is expected to comefrom the combination of active galactic nuclei and star formationregions within the galaxies. Sample galaxies are located in environmentscorresponding to a broad range of local galaxy densities, althoughpredominantly in low density environments. Our long-slit spectra coverthe 3700-7250 Å wavelength range with a spectral resolution of≈7.6 Å at 5550 Å. The specific aim of this paper, and ourfirst step in the investigation, is to map the underlying galaxy stellarpopulation by measuring, along the slit positioned along the galaxymajor axis, line-strength indices at several, homogeneousgalacto-centric distances. For each object we extracted 7luminosity-weighted apertures (with radii 1.5´´,2.5´´, 10´´, r_e/10, r_e/8, r_e/4 and r_e/2)corrected for the galaxy ellipticity and 4 gradients (0 ≤ r ≤r_e/16, r_e/16 ≤ r ≤ r_e/8, r_e/8 ≤ r ≤ r_e/4 and r_e/4≤ r ≤ r_e/2). For each aperture and gradient we measured 25line-strength indices: 21 of the set defined by the Lick-IDS“standard” system (Trager et al. [CITE], ApJS, 116, 1) and 4introduced by Worthey & Ottaviani ([CITE], ApJS, 111, 377).Line-strength indices have been transformed to the Lick-IDS system.Indices derived then include Hβ, Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, MgFe, Fe5270,Fe5335 commonly used in classic index-index diagrams. The paperintroduces the sample, presents the observations, describes the datareduction procedures, the extraction of apertures and gradients, thedetermination and correction of the line-strength indices, the procedureadopted to transform them into the Lick-IDS System and the proceduresadopted for the emission correction. We finally discuss the comparisonsbetween our dataset and line-strength indices available in theliterature. A significant fraction, about 60%, of galaxies in thepresent sample has one previous measurement in the Lick-IDS system butbasically restricted within the r_e/8 region. Line-strength measuresobtained both from apertures and gradients outside this area and withinthe r_e/8 region, with the present radial mapping, are completely new.Full appendix and Figs. 8 to 13 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Full Tables 6, 7, 9 and 10 are only availableat the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/433/497 Based onobservations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla,Chile (Programs Nr. 60.A-0647 and 61.A-0406). The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph ObservationsWe present a study of the stellar populations of low-luminosity activegalactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our goal is to search for spectroscopicsignatures of young and intermediate-age stars and to investigate theirrelationship with the ionization mechanism in LLAGNs. The method used isbased on the stellar population synthesis of the optical continuum ofthe innermost (20-100 pc) regions in these galaxies. For this purpose,we have collected high spatial resolution optical (2900-5700 Å)STIS spectra of 28 nearby LLAGNs that are available in the Hubble SpaceTelescope archive. The analysis of these data is compared with a similaranalysis also presented here for 51 ground-based spectra of LLAGNs. Ourmain findings are as follows: (1) No features due to Wolf-Rayet starswere convincingly detected in the STIS spectra. (2) Young starscontribute very little to the optical continuum in the ground-basedaperture. However, the fraction of light provided by these stars ishigher than 10% in most of the weak-[O I] ([OI]/Hα<=0.25) LLAGNSTIS spectra. (3) Intermediate-age stars contribute significantly to theoptical continuum of these nuclei. This population is more frequent inobjects with weak than with strong [O I]. Weak-[O I] LLAGNs that haveyoung stars stand out for their intermediate-age population. (4) Most ofthe strong-[O I] LLAGNs have predominantly old stellar population. A fewof these objects also show a featureless continuum that contributessignificantly to the optical continuum. These results suggest that youngand intermediate-age stars do not play a significant role in theionization of LLAGNs with strong [O I]. However, the ionization inweak-[O I] LLAGNs with young and/or intermediate-age populations couldbe due to stellar processes. A comparison of the properties of theseobjects with Seyfert 2 galaxies that harbor a nuclear starburst suggeststhat weak-[O I] LLAGNs are the lower luminosity counterparts of theSeyfert 2 composite nuclei.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555. Based on observations made with the Nordic OpticalTelescope (NOT), operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark,Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio delRoque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica deCanarias. The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. I. Ground-based ObservationsWe present a spectroscopic study of the stellar populations oflow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our main goal is todetermine whether the stars that live in the innermost (100 pc scale)regions of these galaxies are in some way related to the emission-lineproperties, which would imply a link between the stellar population andthe ionization mechanism. High signal-to-noise ratio, ground-basedlong-slit spectra in the 3500-5500 Å interval were collected for60 galaxies: 51 LINERs and LINER/H II transition objects, two starburstgalaxies, and seven nonactive galaxies. In this paper, the first of aseries, we (1) describe the sample; (2) present the nuclear spectra; (3)characterize the stellar populations of LLAGNs by means of an empiricalcomparison with normal galaxies; (4) measure a set of spectral indices,including several absorption-line equivalent widths and colorsindicative of stellar populations; and (5) correlate the stellar indiceswith emission-line ratios that may distinguish between possibleexcitation sources for the gas. Our main findings are as follows: (1)Few LLAGNs have a detectable young (<~107 yr) starburstcomponent, indicating that very massive stars do not contributesignificantly to the optical continuum. In particular, no features dueto Wolf-Rayet stars were convincingly detected. (2) High-order Balmerabsorption lines of H I (HOBLs), on the other hand, are detected in ~40%of LLAGNs. These features, which are strongest in108-109 yr intermediate-age stellar populations,are accompanied by diluted metal absorption lines and bluer colors thanother objects in the sample. (3) These intermediate-age populations arevery common (~50%) in LLAGNs with relatively weak [O I] emission([OI]/Hα<=0.25) but rare (~10%) in LLAGNs with stronger [O I].This is intriguing since LLAGNs with weak [O I] have been previouslyhypothesized to be transition objects'' in which both an AGN and youngstars contribute to the emission-line excitation. Massive stars, ifpresent, are completely outshone by intermediate-age and old stars inthe optical. This happens in at least a couple of objects whereindependent UV spectroscopy detects young starbursts not seen in theoptical. (4) Objects with predominantly old stars span the whole rangeof [O I]/Hα values, but (5) sources with significant young and/orintermediate-age populations are nearly all (~90%) weak-[O I] emitters.These new findings suggest a link between the stellar populations andthe gas ionization mechanism. The strong-[O I] objects are most likelytrue LLAGNs, with stellar processes being insignificant. However, theweak-[O I] objects may comprise two populations, one where theionization is dominated by stellar processes and another where it isgoverned by either an AGN or a more even mixture of stellar and AGNprocesses. Possible stellar sources for the ionization include weakstarbursts, supernova remnants, and evolved poststarburst populations.These scenarios are examined and constrained by means of complementaryobservations and detailed modeling of the stellar populations inforthcoming communications.Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operatedon the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofísica de Canárias. Inner Polar Rings in Regular Lenticular GalaxiesWe have investigated a sample of S0 galaxies, mostly with circumnucleardust lanes orthogonal to their major axes, chosen from Hubble SpaceTelescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images. Two-dimensionalspectroscopy undertaken with the Multipupil Fiber Spectrograph of the 6m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the RussianAcademy of Sciences has revealed that indeed the ionized gas in thecenters of these eight lenticular galaxies rotate in the planes nearlyorthogonal to the rotation (and symmetry) planes of their centralstellar components. Although almost all the galaxies are located indense environments, an external origin of this rotation plane tilt isnot obvious because all the galaxies but one are known to have extendedH I disks, and in two cases where the angular resolution of H Iobservations allows, we find orthogonality of the external H I and innerionized gas disks. We discuss a possible relation of the inner gas polarrings to a triaxiality of galactic potential. The stellar populations inthe nuclei of all but two galaxies are very old, which excludes recentstar formation bursts and proves that the polar orbits of thecircumnuclear gas are rather stable. In the nuclei of NGC 2655 and NGC4111, we have found signatures of star formation bursts some 1.5-2 Gyrago. This finding can be related to very central gas in NGC 2655, whichis coplanar to the circumnuclear stellar disk and to radial gas inflowin NGC 4111; just these gas reservoirs and not the polar rings may beresponsible for fueling nuclear star formation.Partly based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope at theSpecial Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Properties of isolated disk galaxiesWe present a new sample of northern isolated galaxies, which are definedby the physical criterion that they were not affected by other galaxiesin their evolution during the last few Gyr. To find them we used thelogarithmic ratio, f, between inner and tidal forces acting upon thecandidate galaxy by a possible perturber. The analysis of thedistribution of the f-values for the galaxies in the Coma cluster leadus to adopt the criterion f ≤ -4.5 for isolated galaxies. Thecandidates were chosen from the CfA catalog of galaxies within thevolume defined by cz ≤5000 km s-1, galactic latitudehigher than 40o and declination ≥-2.5o. Theselection of the sample, based on redshift values (when available),magnitudes and sizes of the candidate galaxies and possible perturberspresent in the same field is discussed. The final list of selectedisolated galaxies includes 203 objects from the initial 1706. The listcontains only truly isolated galaxies in the sense defined, but it is byno means complete, since all the galaxies with possible companions underthe f-criterion but with unknown redshift were discarded. We alsoselected a sample of perturbed galaxies comprised of all the diskgalaxies from the initial list with companions (with known redshift)satisfying f ≥ -2 and \Delta(cz) ≤500 km s-1; a totalof 130 objects. The statistical comparison of both samples showssignificant differences in morphology, sizes, masses, luminosities andcolor indices. Confirming previous results, we found that late spiral,Sc-type galaxies are, in particular, more frequent among isolatedgalaxies, whereas Lenticular galaxies are more abundant among perturbedgalaxies. Isolated systems appear to be smaller, less luminous and bluerthan interacting objects. We also found that bars are twice as frequentamong perturbed galaxies compared to isolated galaxies, in particularfor early Spirals and Lenticulars. The perturbed galaxies have higherLFIR/LB and Mmol/LB ratios,but the atomic gas content is similar for the two samples. The analysisof the luminosity-size and mass-luminosity relations shows similartrends for both families, the main difference being the almost totalabsence of big, bright and massive galaxies among the family of isolatedsystems, together with the almost total absence of small, faint and lowmass galaxies among the perturbed systems. All these aspects indicatethat the evolution induced by interactions with neighbors would proceedfrom late, small, faint and low mass Spirals to earlier, bigger, moreluminous and more massive spiral and lenticular galaxies, producing atthe same time a larger fraction of barred galaxies but preserving thesame relations between global parameters. The properties we found forour sample of isolated galaxies appear similar to those of high redshiftgalaxies, suggesting that the present-day isolated galaxies could bequietly evolved, unused building blocks surviving in low densityenvironments.Tables \ref{t1} and \ref{t2} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Seyfert galaxies in UZC-Compact GroupsWe present results concerning the occurrence of Seyfert galaxies in anew automatically selected sample of nearby Compact Groups of galaxies(UZC-CGs). Seventeen Seyferts are found, constituting 3% of theUZC-CG galaxy population. CGs hosting and non-hosting a Seyfert memberexhibit no significant differences, except that a relevant number of Sy2is found in unusual CGs, all presenting large velocity dispersion(σ>400 km s-1), many neighbours and a high number ofellipticals. We also find that the fraction of Seyferts in CGs is 3times as large as that among UZC-single-galaxies, and results from anexcess of Sy2s. CG-Seyferts are not more likely than other CG galaxiesto present major interaction patterns, nor to display a bar. Our resultsindirectly support the minor-merging fueling mechanism. Radio emission from AGN detected by the VLA FIRST surveyUsing the most recent (April 2003) version of the VLA FIRST survey radiocatalog, we have searched for radio emission from >2800 AGN takenfrom the most recent (2001) version of the Veron-Cetty and Veron AGNcatalog. These AGN lie in the 9033 square degrees of sky alreadycovered by the VLA FIRST survey. Our work has resulted in positivedetection of radio emission from 775 AGN of which 214 are new detectionsat radio wavelengths.Tables 3 and 4 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/416/35 Near-infrared imaging of ellipticals: surface brightness profiles and photometryWe present near-infrared K-band imaging of a large sample of candidatemerger remnant galaxies and Hickson Compact Group ellipticals. We derivelight profile indices, effective radii and surface brightnesses, as wellas total K-band magnitudes. We find that the light distributions of themerger remnant candidates are consistent with those of normal'ellipticals, and scatter around a mean profile index of (1/n) = 0.20.Many of our sample galaxies have surface brightness profiles that arenot well described by a de Vaucouleurs law (1/n= 0.25), and we discussthe implications of this on the derived total magnitudes. Comparing thetotal K magnitudes calculated by extrapolating a de Vaucouleurs profileand those derived using a generalized Sérsic form, we find that asignificant bias is introduced if the de Vaucouleurs law is not a gooddescription of the actual light profile. A Search for Dwarf'' Seyfert Nuclei. VI. Properties of Emission-Line Nuclei in Nearby GalaxiesWe use the database from Paper III to quantify the global and nuclearproperties of emission-line nuclei in the Palomar spectroscopic surveyof nearby galaxies. We show that the host galaxies of Seyferts, LINERs,and transition objects share remarkably similar large-scale propertiesand local environments. The distinguishing traits emerge on nuclearscales. Compared with LINERs, Seyfert nuclei are an order of magnitudemore luminous and exhibit higher electron densities and internalextinction. We suggest that Seyfert galaxies possess characteristicallymore gas-rich circumnuclear regions and hence a more abundant fuelreservoir and plausibly higher accretion rates. The differences betweenthe ionization states of the narrow emission-line regions of Seyfertsand LINERs can be partly explained by the differences in their nebularproperties. Transition-type objects are consistent with being composite(LINER/H II) systems. With very few exceptions, the stellar populationwithin the central few hundred parsecs of the host galaxies is uniformlyold, a finding that presents a serious challenge to starburst orpost-starburst models for these objects. Seyferts and LINERs havevirtually indistinguishable velocity fields as inferred from their linewidths and line asymmetries. Transition nuclei tend to have narrowerlines and more ambiguous evidence for line asymmetries. All threeclasses of objects obey a strong correlation between line width and lineluminosity. We argue that the angular momentum content of circumnucleargas may be an important factor in determining whether a nucleus becomesactive. Finally, we discuss some possible complications for theunification model of Seyfert galaxies posed by our observations. Tidally Triggered Star Formation in Close Pairs of Galaxies. II. Constraints on Burst Strengths and AgesGalaxy-galaxy interactions rearrange the baryons in galaxies and triggersubstantial star formation; the aggregate effects of these interactionson the evolutionary histories of galaxies in the universe are poorlyunderstood. We combine B- and R-band photometry and optical spectroscopyto estimate the strengths and timescales of bursts of triggered starformation in the centers of 190 galaxies in pairs and compact groups.Based on an analysis of the measured colors and EW(Hα), wecharacterize the preexisting and triggered populations separately. Thebest-fitting burst scenarios assume stronger reddening corrections forline emission than for the continuum and continuous star formationlasting for >~100 Myr. The most realistic scenarios require aninitial mass function that is deficient in the highest mass stars. Thecolor of the preexisting stellar population is the most significantsource of uncertainty. Triggered star formation contributessubstantially (probably >~50%) to the R-band flux in the centralregions of several galaxies; tidal tails do not necessarily accompanythis star formation. Many of the galaxies in our sample have bluercenters than outskirts, suggesting that pre- or nonmerger interactionsmay lead to evolution along the Hubble sequence. These objects wouldappear blue and compact at higher redshifts; the older, redder outskirtsof the disks would be difficult to detect. Our data indicate thatgalaxies with larger separations on the sky contain weaker, and probablyolder, bursts of star formation on average. However, confirmation ofthese trends requires further constraints on the colors of the olderstellar populations and on the reddening for individual galaxies. Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Spectroscopic DataWe present central velocity dispersions and Mg2 line indicesfor an all-sky sample of ~1178 elliptical and S0 galaxies, of which 984had no previous measures. This sample contains the largest set ofhomogeneous spectroscopic data for a uniform sample of ellipticalgalaxies in the nearby universe. These galaxies were observed as part ofthe ENEAR project, designed to study the peculiar motions and internalproperties of the local early-type galaxies. Using 523 repeatedobservations of 317 galaxies obtained during different runs, the dataare brought to a common zero point. These multiple observations, takenduring the many runs and different instrumental setups employed for thisproject, are used to derive statistical corrections to the data and arefound to be relatively small, typically <~5% of the velocitydispersion and 0.01 mag in the Mg2 line strength. Typicalerrors are about 8% in velocity dispersion and 0.01 mag inMg2, in good agreement with values published elsewhere. Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Circular-Aperture PhotometryWe present R-band CCD photometry for 1332 early-type galaxies, observedas part of the ENEAR survey of peculiar motions using early-typegalaxies in the nearby universe. Circular apertures are used to tracethe surface brightness profiles, which are then fitted by atwo-component bulge-disk model. From the fits, we obtain the structuralparameters required to estimate galaxy distances using theDn-σ and fundamental plane relations. We find thatabout 12% of the galaxies are well represented by a pure r1/4law, while 87% are best fitted by a two-component model. There are 356repeated observations of 257 galaxies obtained during different runsthat are used to derive statistical corrections and bring the data to acommon system. We also use these repeated observations to estimate ourinternal errors. The accuracy of our measurements are tested by thecomparison of 354 galaxies in common with other authors. Typical errorsin our measurements are 0.011 dex for logDn, 0.064 dex forlogre, 0.086 mag arcsec-2 for<μe>, and 0.09 for mRC,comparable to those estimated by other authors. The photometric datareported here represent one of the largest high-quality and uniformall-sky samples currently available for early-type galaxies in thenearby universe, especially suitable for peculiar motion studies.Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO),National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., undercooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF);European Southern Observatory (ESO); Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(FLWO); and the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak. Bar Galaxies and Their EnvironmentsThe prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment. The UZC-SSRS2 Group CatalogWe apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers. Compact groups in the UZC galaxy sampleApplying an automatic neighbour search algorithm to the 3D UZC galaxycatalogue (Falco et al. \cite{Falco}) we have identified 291 compactgroups (CGs) with radial velocity between 1000 and 10 000 kms-1. The sample is analysed to investigate whether Tripletsdisplay kinematical and morphological characteristics similar to higherorder CGs (Multiplets). It is found that Triplets constitute lowvelocity dispersion structures, have a gas-rich galaxy population andare typically retrieved in sparse environments. Conversely Multipletsshow higher velocity dispersion, include few gas-rich members and aregenerally embedded structures. Evidence hence emerges indicating thatTriplets and Multiplets, though sharing a common scale, correspond todifferent galaxy systems. Triplets are typically field structures whilstMultiplets are mainly subclumps (either temporarily projected orcollapsing) within larger structures. Simulations show that selectioneffects can only partially account for differences, but significantcontamination of Triplets by field galaxy interlopers could eventuallyinduce the observed dependences on multiplicity. Tables 1 and 2 are onlyavailable in electronic at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.125.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/391/35 Light-year scale radio cores in four LINER galaxiesThe LINER galaxies NGC 2911, NGC 3079, NGC 3998, and NGC 6500 wereobserved at 5 GHz with the European VLBI Network at a resolution of 5milliarcsecond and found to possess flat-spectrum, variable,high-brightness temperature (TB > 108 K) radiocores. These radio characteristics reinforce the view that these LINERshost central engines associated with active galactic nuclei. A catalogue and analysis of X-ray luminosities of early-type galaxiesWe present a catalogue of X-ray luminosities for 401 early-typegalaxies, of which 136 are based on newly analysed ROSAT PSPC pointedobservations. The remaining luminosities are taken from the literatureand converted to a common energy band, spectral model and distancescale. Using this sample we fit the LX:LB relationfor early-type galaxies and find a best-fit slope for the catalogue of~2.2. We demonstrate the influence of group-dominant galaxies on the fitand present evidence that the relation is not well modelled by a singlepower-law fit. We also derive estimates of the contribution to galaxyX-ray luminosities from discrete-sources and conclude that they provideLdscr/LB~=29.5ergs-1LBsolar-1. Wecompare this result with luminosities from our catalogue. Lastly, weexamine the influence of environment on galaxy X-ray luminosity and onthe form of the LX:LB relation. We conclude thatalthough environment undoubtedly affects the X-ray properties ofindividual galaxies, particularly those in the centres of groups andclusters, it does not change the nature of whole populations. Cold gas in elliptical galaxiesWe explore the evolution of the cold gas (molecular and neutralhydrogen) of elliptical galaxies and merger remnants ordered into a timesequence on the basis of spectroscopic age estimates. We find that thefraction of cold gas in early merger remnants decreases significantlyfor ~1-2Gyr, but subsequent evolution toward evolved elliptical systemssees very little change. This trend can be attributed to an initial gasdepletion by strong star formation, which subsequently declines toquiescent rates. This explanation is consistent with the merger picturefor the formation of elliptical galaxies. We also explore the relationbetween the HI-to-H2 mass ratio and spectroscopic galaxy age,but find no evidence for a statistically significant trend. Thissuggests little net HI-to-H2 conversion for the systems inthe present sample. A Possible Relationship between Quasars and Clusters of GalaxiesThe distribution on the sky of clusters of galaxies shows significantassociation with relatively nearby, large, active galaxies. The patternis that of clusters paired equidistant across a central galaxy with theapparent magnitudes and redshifts of their constituent galaxies beingclosely matched. The clusters and the galaxies in them tend to be strongX-ray and radio emitters, and their redshifts occur at preferredredshift values. The central, low-redshift galaxies often show evidenceof ejection in the direction of these higher redshift clusters. In allthese respects the clusters resemble closely quasars which have beenincreasingly shown for the last 34 years to be similarly associated withactive parent galaxies. New, especially significant pairings of quasarsare presented here, which are, at the same time, associated with Abellclusters of galaxies. It is argued here that, empirically, the quasarsare ejected from active galaxies. They evolve to lower redshift withtime, forming stars, and fragmenting at the end of their developmentinto clusters of low-luminosity galaxies. The cluster galaxies can be atthe same distance as their lower redshift parents because they stillretain a component of their earlier, quasar intrinsic redshift. Cold gas and star formation in a merging galaxy sequenceWe explore the evolution of the cold gas (molecular and neutralhydrogen) and star formation activity during galaxy interactions, usinga merging galaxy sequence comprising both pre- and post-mergercandidates. Data for this study come from the literature, but aresupplemented by some new radio observations presented here. First, weconfirm that the ratio of far-infrared luminosity to molecular hydrogenmass (LFIRM(H2); star formation efficiency)increases close to nuclear coalescence. After the merging of the twonuclei there is evidence that the star formation efficiency declinesagain to values typical of ellipticals. This trend can be attributed toM(H2) depletion arising from interaction induced starformation. However, there is significant scatter, likely to arise fromdifferences in the interaction details (e.g., disc-to-bulge ratio,geometry) of individual systems. Secondly, we find that the centralmolecular hydrogen surface density, ΣH2,increases close to the final stages of the merging of the two nuclei.Such a trend, indicating gas inflows caused by gravitationalinstabilities during the interaction, is also predicted by numericalsimulations. Furthermore, there is evidence for a decreasing fraction ofcold gas mass from early interacting systems to merger remnants,attributed to neutral hydrogen conversion into other forms (e.g., stars,hot gas) and molecular hydrogen depletion resulting from ongoing starformation. The evolution of the total-radio to blue-band luminosityratio, reflecting the total (disc and nucleus) star formation activity,is also investigated. Although this ratio is on average higher than thatfor isolated spirals, we find a marginal increase along the mergingsequence, attributed to the relative insensitivity of disc starformation to interactions. However, a similar result is also obtainedfor the nuclear radio emission, although galaxy interactions arebelieved to significantly affect the activity (star formation, AGN) inthe central galaxy regions. Nevertheless, the nuclear-radio to blue-bandluminosity ratio is significantly elevated compared with that forisolated spirals. Finally, we find that the FIR-radio flux ratiodistribution of interacting galaxies is consistent with star formationbeing the main energizing source. Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of GroupsIn this paper we describe the Nearby Optical Galaxy (NOG) sample, whichis a complete, distance-limited (cz<=6000 km s-1) andmagnitude-limited (B<=14) sample of ~7000 optical galaxies. Thesample covers 2/3 (8.27 sr) of the sky (|b|>20deg) andappears to have a good completeness in redshift (97%). We select thesample on the basis of homogenized corrected total blue magnitudes inorder to minimize systematic effects in galaxy sampling. We identify thegroups in this sample by means of both the hierarchical and thepercolation `friends-of-friends'' methods. The resulting catalogs ofloose groups appear to be similar and are among the largest catalogs ofgroups currently available. Most of the NOG galaxies (~60%) are found tobe members of galaxy pairs (~580 pairs for a total of ~15% of objects)or groups with at least three members (~500 groups for a total of ~45%of objects). About 40% of galaxies are left ungrouped (field galaxies).We illustrate the main features of the NOG galaxy distribution. Comparedto previous optical and IRAS galaxy samples, the NOG provides a densersampling of the galaxy distribution in the nearby universe. Given itslarge sky coverage, the identification of groups, and its high-densitysampling, the NOG is suited to the analysis of the galaxy density fieldof the nearby universe, especially on small scales. The Cold and Hot Gas Content of Fine-Structure E and S0 GalaxiesWe investigate trends of the cold and hot gas content of early-typegalaxies with the presence of optical morphological peculiarities, asmeasured by the fine-structure index Σ. H I mapping observationsfrom the literature are used to track the cold gas content, and archivalROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter data are used to quantifythe hot gas content. We find that E and S0 galaxies with a highincidence of optical peculiarities are exclusively X-ray underluminousand, therefore, deficient in hot gas. In contrast, more relaxed galaxieswith little or no signs of optical peculiarities span a wide range ofX-ray luminosities. That is, the X-ray excess anticorrelates withΣ. There appears to be no similar trend of cold gas content witheither fine-structure index or X-ray content. The fact that onlyapparently relaxed E and S0 galaxies are strong X-ray emitters isconsistent with the hypothesis that after strong disturbances, such as amerger, hot gas halos build up over a timescale of several gigayears.This is consistent with the expected mass loss from stars.
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