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|RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function|
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.
|The SAURON project - VI. Line strength maps of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies|
We present absorption line strength maps of 48 representative ellipticaland lenticular galaxies obtained as part of a survey of nearby galaxiesusing our custom-built integral-field spectrograph, SAURON, operating onthe William Herschel Telescope. Using high-quality spectra, spatiallybinned to a constant signal-to-noise ratio, we measure four key age,metallicity and abundance ratio sensitive indices from the Lick/IDSsystem over a two-dimensional field extending up to approximately oneeffective radius. A discussion of calibrations and offsets is given,along with a description of error estimation and nebular emissioncorrection. We modify the classical Fe5270 index to define a new index,Fe5270S, which maximizes the useable spatial coverage ofSAURON. Maps of Hβ, Fe5015, Mgb and Fe5270S arepresented for each galaxy. We use the maps to compute average linestrengths integrated over circular apertures of one-eighth effectiveradius, and compare the resulting relations of index versus velocitydispersion with previous long-slit work. The metal line strength mapsshow generally negative gradients with increasing radius roughlyconsistent with the morphology of the light profiles. Remarkabledeviations from this general trend exist, particularly the Mgb isoindexcontours appear to be flatter than the isophotes of the surfacebrightness for about 40 per cent of our galaxies without significantdust features. Generally, these galaxies exhibit significant rotation.We infer from this that the fast-rotating component features a highermetallicity and/or an increased Mg/Fe ratio as compared to the galaxy asa whole. The Hβ maps are typically flat or show a mild positiveoutwards radial gradient, while a few galaxies show strong central peaksand/or elevated overall Hβ strength likely connected to recent starformation activity. For the most prominent post-starburst galaxies, eventhe metal line strength maps show a reversed gradient.
|Planetary nebulae as tracers of galaxy stellar populations|
We address the general problem of the luminosity-specific planetarynebula (PN) number, better known as the `α' ratio, given byα=NPN/Lgal, and its relationship with theage and metallicity of the parent stellar population. Our analysisrelies on population synthesis models that account for simple stellarpopulations (SSPs), and more elaborate galaxy models covering the fullstar formation range of the different Hubble morphological types. Thistheoretical framework is compared with the updated census of the PNpopulation in Local Group (LG) galaxies and external ellipticals in theLeo group, and the Virgo and Fornax clusters.The main conclusions of our study can be summarized as follows. (i)According to the post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stellar core mass,PN lifetime in a SSP is constrained by three relevant regimes, driven bythe nuclear (Mcore>~ 0.57Msolar), dynamical(0.57Msolar>~Mcore>~ 0.55Msolar)and transition (0.55Msolar>~Mcore>~0.52Msolar) time-scales. The lower limit for Mcorealso sets the minimum mass for stars to reach the AGB thermal-pulsingphase and experience the PN event. (ii) Mass loss is the crucialmechanism to constrain the value of α, through the definition ofthe initial-to-final mass relation (IFMR). The Reimers mass-lossparametrization, calibrated on Pop II stars of Galactic globularclusters, poorly reproduces the observed value of α in late-typegalaxies, while a better fit is obtained using the empirical IFMRderived from white dwarf observations in the Galaxy open clusters. (iii) The inferred PN lifetime for LG spirals and irregulars exceeds10000yr, which suggests that Mcore<~ 0.65Msolarcores dominate, throughout. (iv) The relative PN deficiency inelliptical galaxies, and the observed trend of α with galaxyoptical colours, support the presence of a prevailing fraction oflow-mass cores (Mcore<~ 0.55Msolar) in the PNdistribution and a reduced visibility time-scale for the nebulae as aconsequence of the increased AGB transition time. The stellar componentwith Mcore<~ 0.52Msolar, which overrides the PNphase, could provide an enhanced contribution to hotter HB and post-HBevolution, as directly observed in M 32 and the bulge of M 31. Thisimplies that the most UV-enhanced ellipticals should also display thelowest values of α, as confirmed by the Virgo cluster early-typegalaxy population. (v) Any blue-straggler population, invoked asprogenitor of the Mcore>~ 0.7Msolar PNe inorder to preserve the constancy of the bright luminosity-functioncut-off magnitude in ellipticals, must be confined to a small fraction(a few per cent at most) of the whole galaxy PN population.
|Gemini/GMOS spectra of globular clusters in the Leo group elliptical NGC 3379|
The Leo group elliptical NGC 3379 is one of the few normal ellipticalgalaxies close enough to make possible observations of resolved stellarpopulations, deep globular cluster (GC) photometry and highsignal-to-noise ratio GC spectra. We have obtained Gemini/GMOS spectrafor 22 GCs associated with NGC 3379. We derive ages, metallicities andα-element abundance ratios from simple stellar population modelsusing the recent multi-index χ2 minimization method ofProctor & Sansom. All of these GCs are found to be consistent withold ages, i.e. >~10Gyr, with a wide range of metallicities. This iscomparable to the ages and metallicities that Gregg et al. found acouple of years ago for resolved stellar populations in the outerregions of this elliptical. A trend of decreasing α-elementabundance ratio with increasing metallicity is indicated.The projected velocity dispersion of the GC system is consistent withbeing constant with radius. Non-parametric, isotropic models require asignificant increase in the mass-to-light ratio at large radii. Thisresult is in contrast to that of Romanowsky et al., who recently found adecrease in the velocity dispersion profile as determined from planetarynebulae (PN). Our constant dispersion requires a normal-sized dark halo,although without anisotropic models we cannot rigorously determine thedark halo mass.A two-sided χ2 test over all radii gives a 2σdifference between the mass profile derived from our GCs compared to thePN-derived mass model of Romanowsky et al. However, if we restrict ouranalysis to radii beyond one effective radius and test if the GCvelocity dispersion is consistently higher, we determine a > 3σdifference between the mass models, and hence we favour the conclusionthat NGC 3379 does indeed have dark matter at large radii in its halo.
|The SAURON project - V. Integral-field emission-line kinematics of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies|
We present the emission-line fluxes and kinematics of 48 representativeelliptical and lenticular galaxies obtained with our custom-builtintegral-field spectrograph, SAURON, operating on the William HerschelTelescope. Hβ, [OIII]λλ4959,5007 and[NI]λλ5198,5200 emission lines were measured using a newprocedure that simultaneously fits both the stellar spectrum and theemission lines. Using this technique we can detect emission lines downto an equivalent width of 0.1 Å set by the current limitations indescribing galaxy spectra with synthetic and real stellar templates,rather than by the quality of our spectra. Gas velocities and velocitydispersions are typically accurate to within 14 and 20 kms-1, respectively, and at worse to within 25 and 40 kms-1. The errors on the flux of the [OIII] and Hβ linesare on average 10 and 20 per cent, respectively, and never exceed 30 percent. Emission is clearly detected in 75 per cent of our samplegalaxies, and comes in a variety of resolved spatial distributions andkinematic behaviours. A mild dependence on the Hubble type and galacticenvironment is observed, with higher detection rates in lenticulargalaxies and field objects. More significant is the fact that only 55per cent of the galaxies in the Virgo cluster exhibit clearly detectedemission. The ionized-gas kinematics is rarely consistent with simplecoplanar circular motions. However, the gas almost never displayscompletely irregular kinematics, generally showing coherent motions withsmooth variations in angular momentum. In the majority of the cases, thegas kinematics is decoupled from the stellar kinematics, and in half ofthe objects this decoupling implies a recent acquisition of gaseousmaterial. Over the entire sample however, the distribution of the meanmisalignment values between stellar and gaseous angular momenta isinconsistent with a purely external origin. The distribution ofkinematic misalignment values is found to be strongly dependent on theapparent flattening and the level of rotational support of galaxies,with flatter, fast rotating objects hosting preferentially corotatinggaseous and stellar systems. In a third of the cases, the distributionand kinematics of the gas underscore the presence of non-axisymmetricperturbations of the gravitational potential. Consistent with previousstudies, the presence of dust features is always accompanied by gasemission while the converse is not always true. A considerable range ofvalues for the [OIII]/Hβ ratio is found both across the sample andwithin single galaxies. Despite the limitations of this ratio as anemission-line diagnostic, this finding suggests either that a variety ofmechanisms is responsible for the gas excitation in E and S0 galaxies orthat the metallicity of the interstellar material is quiteheterogeneous.
|The SAURON project - IV. The mass-to-light ratio, the virial mass estimator and the Fundamental Plane of elliptical and lenticular galaxies|
We investigate the well-known correlations between the dynamicalmass-to-light ratio (M/L) and other global observables of elliptical (E)and lenticular (S0) galaxies. We construct two-integral Jeans andthree-integral Schwarzschild dynamical models for a sample of 25 E/S0galaxies with SAURON integral-field stellar kinematics to about oneeffective (half-light) radius Re. They have well-calibratedI-band Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 and large-field ground-basedphotometry, accurate surface brightness fluctuation distances, and theirobserved kinematics is consistent with an axisymmetric intrinsic shape.All these factors result in an unprecedented accuracy in the M/Lmeasurements. We find a tight correlation of the form (M/L) = (3.80 +/-0.14) ×(σe/200kms-1)0.84+/-0.07 betweenthe M/L (in the I band) measured from the dynamical models and theluminosity-weighted second moment σe of the LOSVDwithin Re. The observed rms scatter in M/L for our sample is18 per cent, while the inferred intrinsic scatter is ~13 per cent. The(M/L)-σe relation can be included in the remarkableseries of tight correlations between σe and othergalaxy global observables. The comparison of the observed correlationswith the predictions of the Fundamental Plane (FP), and with simplevirial estimates, shows that the `tilt' of the FP of early-typegalaxies, describing the deviation of the FP from the virial relation,is almost exclusively due to a real M/L variation, while structural andorbital non-homology have a negligible effect. When the photometricparameters are determined in the `classic' way, using growth curves, andthe σe is measured in a large aperture, the virial massappears to be a reliable estimator of the mass in the central regions ofgalaxies, and can be safely used where more `expensive' models are notfeasible (e.g. in high-redshift studies). In this case the best-fittingvirial relation has the form (M/L)vir= (5.0 +/- 0.1)×Reσ2e/(LG), in reasonableagreement with simple theoretical predictions. We find no differencebetween the M/L of the galaxies in clusters and in the field. Thecomparison of the dynamical M/L with the (M/L)pop inferredfrom the analysis of the stellar population, indicates a median darkmatter fraction in early-type galaxies of ~30 per cent of the total massinside one Re, in broad agreement with previous studies, andit also shows that the stellar initial mass function varies little amongdifferent galaxies. Our results suggest a variation in M/L at constant(M/L)pop, which seems to be linked to the galaxy dynamics. Wespeculate that fast-rotating galaxies have lower dark matter fractionsthan the slow-rotating and generally more-massive ones. If correct, thiswould suggest a connection between the galaxy assembly history and thedark matter halo structure. The tightness of our correlation providessome evidence against cuspy nuclear dark matter profiles in galaxies.
|GMOS IFU observations of the stellar and gaseous kinematics in the centre of NGC 1068|
We present a data cube covering the central 10 arcsec of the archetypalactive galaxy NGC 1068 over a wavelength range 4200-5400 Åobtainedduring the commissioning of the integral field unit (IFU) of the GeminiMulti-object Spectrograph (GMOS) installed on the Gemini-Northtelescope. The data cube shows a complex emission line morphology in the[OIII] doublet and Hβ line. To describe this structurephenomenologically we construct an atlas of velocity components derivedfrom multiple Gaussian component fits to the emission lines. The atlascontains many features which cannot be readily associated with distinctphysical structures. While some components are likely to be associatedwith the expected biconical outflow, others are suggestive of highvelocity flows or disc-like structures. As a first step towardsinterpretation, we seek to identify the stellar disc using kinematicalmaps derived from the Mgb absorption line feature at 5170 Åandmake associations between this and gaseous components in the atlas ofemission line components.
|The Cool ISM in S0 Galaxies. II. A Survey of Atomic Gas|
The place of lenticular galaxies within the range of types of galaxiesremains unclear. We previously reported the mass of molecular hydrogenfor a volume-limited sample of lenticular galaxies, where we saw thatthe amount of gas was less than that predicted by the return of stellarmass to the interstellar medium. Here we report observations of atomichydrogen (H I) for the same sample. Detections in several galaxies makemore compelling the case presented in our earlier paper that the mass ofcool gas in S0 galaxies cuts off at ~10% of what is expected fromcurrent models of gas return from stellar evolution. The molecular andatomic phases of the gas in our sample galaxies appear to be separateand distinct, both spatially and in velocity space. We propose that themolecular gas arises mostly from the stellar mass returned to thegalaxy, while the atomic hydrogen is mainly accumulated from externalsources (infall, captured dwarfs, etc.). While this proposal fits mostof the observations, it makes the presence of the upper mass cutoff evenmore mysterious.
|Stellar Populations in Nearby Lenticular Galaxies|
We 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).
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. XI. The Nature of Diffuse Star Clusters in Early-Type Galaxies|
We use HST ACS imaging of 100 early-type galaxies in the ACS VirgoCluster Survey to investigate the nature of diffuse star clusters(DSCs). Compared to globular clusters (GCs), these star clusters havelow luminosities (MV>-8) and a broad distribution of sizes(320 magarcsec-2). The median colors of diffuse star cluster systems(1.1
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. IX. The Color Distributions of Globular Cluster Systems in Early-Type Galaxies|
We present the color distributions of globular cluster (GC) systems for100 early-type galaxies observed in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey, thedeepest and most homogeneous survey of this kind to date. On average,galaxies at all luminosities in our study (-22
|The Spatial Distribution of Faint Fuzzy Star Clusters in NGC 5195|
We present a study of a faint fuzzy star cluster system in the nearbySB0 galaxy NGC 5195 interacting with the famous spiral galaxy NGC 5194(M51), based on HST ACS BVI mosaic images taken by the Hubble HeritageTeam. We have found about 50 faint fuzzy star clusters around NGC 5195that are larger than typical globular clusters with effective radiireff>7 pc and that are red with (V-I)>1.0. They aremostly fainter than MV~-8.3 mag. From the comparison of BVIphotometry of these clusters with the simple stellar population models,we find that they are as massive as ~105 Msolarand older than 1 Gyr. Strikingly, most of these clusters are found to bescattered in an elongated region almost perpendicular to the northernspiral arm of NGC 5194, and the center of the region is slightly northof the NGC 5195 center, while normal compact red clusters of NGC 5195are located around the bright optical body of the host galaxy. This isin contrast to the cases of NGC 1023 and NGC 3384 where the spatialdistribution of faint fuzzy clusters shows a ring structure around thehost galaxy. We suggest that at least some faint fuzzy clusters areexperiencing tidal interactions with the companion galaxy NGC 5194 andmust be associated with the tidal debris in the western halo of NGC5195.
|On the Correlations of Massive Black Holes with Their Host Galaxies|
We address the correlations of black hole (BH) mass with four differenthost-galaxy properties from 11 existing data sets. For the purpose ofguiding theoretical understanding, we first try to quantify thetightness of the intrinsic correlations. We assume that all of therelations are power laws and perform linear regressions that aresymmetric in the two variables on the logarithms of the data points.Given the estimated measurement errors, we evaluate the probabilitydistribution of the residual variance in excess of that expected fromthe measurement errors. Our central result is that the current data setsdo not allow definite conclusions regarding the quality of the truecorrelations because the obtained probability distributions for theresidual variance overlap for most quantities. Velocity dispersion ascollected by Merritt & Ferrarese (σMF) and galaxylight concentration as measured by Graham and coworkers (CRe)are consistent with zero residual variance. Taken at face value, thismeans that these two correlations are better than the others, but thisconclusion is highly sensitive to the assumed measurement errors andwould be undone if the present estimated errors were too large. We thenconsider which of the relations offer the best inferences of BH masswhen there is no direct measurement available. As with the residualvariances, we find that the probability distribution of expecteduncertainty in inferred BH masses overlaps significantly for most of therelations. Photometric methods would then be preferred because the dataare easier to obtain, as long as bulge-disk decomposition or detailedmodeling of the photometric profile (as studied by Graham and coworkers)do not present problems. Determining which correlation offers the bestinferences requires reducing the uncertainty in the expected error inthe inferred BH masses (the ``error on the error''). This uncertainty iscurrently limited by uncertainty in the residual variance for all of therelations. The only quantities for which BH mass inferences are limitedby measurement error are σMF and CRe.Therefore, if these relations are truly better than the others, thennew, improved measurements should allow improved inferences of BHmasses. If they do not, the conclusion must be that the present lowresidual variances for these two relations result from overestimatederror bars.
|Uncovering Planetary Nebulae in Early-Type Galaxies using the Rutgers Fabry-Pérot|
We report on observations of four early-type galaxies performed with theRutgers Fabry-Pérot in order to search for planetary nebulae(PNe) in these systems. The aim is to use the PNe as kinematic tracersof the galaxy potential. We describe our data reduction and analysisprocedure and show that the proper calibration of our detectionstatistic is crucial in getting down to our limiting magnitude ofm5007=26.1. In the case of the two Leo galaxies, we findmoderately sized samples: 54 PNe in NGC 3379 and 50 PNe in NGC 3384; NGC4636 (two PNe) and NGC 1549 (six PNe) are included for completeness. Wepresent our samples in tabular form, as well as the spectrum for eachPN. We constructed simple nonparametric spherical mass models for NGC3379 using a Monte Carlo Markov chain method to explore the space oflikely mass models. We find a remarkably constant mass-to-light ratiowithin five half-light radii with an overall B-band mass-to-light ratioof ~5. A simple mass-to-light ratio estimate for NGC 3384 yieldsΥB~11, but it is likely an overestimate.
|Wide-field kinematics of globular clusters in the Leo I group|
We present wide-field spectroscopy of globular clusters around theLeo I group galaxies NGC 3379 andNGC 3384 using the FLAMES multi-fibre instrument atthe VLT. We obtain accurate radial velocities for 42 globular clusters(GCs) in total, 30 for GCs around the elliptical NGC 3379, eight aroundthe lenticular NGC 3384, and four which may be associated with eithergalaxy. These data are notable for their large radial range extendingfrom 0.7 arcmin to 14.6 arcmin (2 to 42 kpc) from the centre of NGC3379, and small velocity uncertainties of about 10 km s-1. Wecombine our sample of 30 radial velocities for globular clusters aroundNGC 3379 with 8 additional GC velocities from the literature, and find aprojected velocity dispersion of σp =175+24-22 km s-1 at R < 5' andσp = 147+44-39 at R > 5'.These velocity dispersions are consistent with a dark matter halo aroundNGC 3379 with a concentration in the range expected from a ΛCDMcosmological model and a total mass of ≈ 6 × 1011~Mȯ. Such a model is also consistent with the stellarvelocity dispersion at small radii and the rotation of the H I ring atlarge radii, and has a (M/L)B that increases by a factor offive from several kpc to 100 kpc. Our velocity dispersion for theglobular cluster system of NGC 3379 is somewhat higher than that foundfor the planetary nebulae (PNe) in the inner region covered by the PNdata, and we discuss possible reasons for this difference. For NGC 3384,we find the GC system has a rotation signature broadly similar to thatseen in other kinematic probes of this SB0 galaxy. This suggests thatsignificant rotation may not be unusual in the GC systems of discgalaxies.
|Structural parameters from ground-based observations of newly discovered globular clusters in NGC 5128|
We have investigated a number of globular cluster candidates from arecent wide-field study by Harris et al. (2004a, AJ, 128, 712) of thegiant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128. We used theMagellan I telescope + MagIC camera under excellent seeing conditions(0.3 arcsec-0.6 arcsec) and obtained very high resolution images for asample of 44 candidates. Of these, 15 appear to be bonafide globularclusters in NGC 5128 while the rest are eitherforeground stars or background galaxies. We also serendipitouslydiscovered 18 new cluster candidates in the same fields. Our imagesallow us to study the light profiles of the likely clusters, all ofwhich are well resolved. This is the first ground-based study ofstructural parameters for globular clusters outside the Local Group. Wecompare the psf-deconvolved profiles with King models and derivestructural parameters, ellipticities and surface brightnesses. Wecompare the derived structural properties with those of otherwell-studied globular cluster systems. In general, our clusters aresimilar in size, ellipticity, core radius and central surface brightnessto their counterparts in other galaxies, in particular those inNGC 5128 observed with HST by Harris et al. (2002,AJ, 124, 1435). However, our clusters extend to higher ellipticities andlarger half-light radii than their Galactic counterparts, as do theHarris et al. sample. Combining our results with those of Harris et al.fills in the gaps previously existing in rh - MVparameter space and indicates that any substantial difference betweenpresumed distinct cluster types in this diagram, including for examplethe Faint Fuzzies of Larsen & Brodie (2000, AJ, 120, 2938) and the"extended, luminous" M 31 clusters of Huxor et al. (2005, MNRAS, 360,1007) is now removed and that clusters form a continuum in this diagram.Indeed, this continuum now extends to the realm of the Ultra CompactDwarfs. The metal-rich clusters in our sample have half-light radii thatare almost twice as large in the mean as their metal-poor counterparts,at odds with the generally accepted trend. The possibility exists thatthis result could be due in part to contamination by backgroundgalaxies. We have carried out additional analysis to quantify thiscontamination. This shows that, although galaxies cannot be easily toldapart from clusters in some of the structural diagrams, the combinationof excellent image quality and Washington photometry should limit thecontamination to roughly 10% of the population of cluster candidates.Finally, our discovery of a substantial number of new cluster candidatesin the relatively distant regions of the NGC 5128halo suggests that current values of the total number of globularclusters may be underestimates.
|Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei: Past, Present and Future Research|
This review discusses the current status of supermassive black holeresearch, as seen from a purely observational standpoint. Since theearly ‘90s, rapid technological advances, most notably the launchof the Hubble Space Telescope, the commissioning of the VLBA andimprovements in near-infrared speckle imaging techniques, have not onlygiven us incontrovertible proof of the existence of supermassive blackholes, but have unveiled fundamental connections between the mass of thecentral singularity and the global properties of the host galaxy. It isthanks to these observations that we are now, for the first time, in aposition to understand the origin, evolution and cosmic relevance ofthese fascinating objects.
|The X-ray emission properties and the dichotomy in the central stellar cusp shapes of early-type galaxies|
The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a dichotomy in the centralsurface brightness profiles of early-type galaxies, which havesubsequently been grouped into two families: core, boxy, anisotropicsystems; and cuspy (`power-law'), discy, rotating ones. Here weinvestigate whether a dichotomy is also present in the X-ray propertiesof the two families. We consider both their total soft emission(LSX,tot), which is a measure of the galactic hot gascontent, and their nuclear hard emission (LHX,nuc), mostlycoming from Chandra observations, which is a measure of the nuclearactivity. At any optical luminosity, the highest LSX,totvalues are reached by core galaxies; this is explained by their beingthe central dominant galaxies of groups, subclusters or clusters, inmany of the logLSX,tot (ergs-1) >~ 41.5 cases.The highest LHX,nuc values, similar to those of classicalactive galactic nuclei (AGNs), in this sample are hosted only by core orintermediate galaxies; at low luminosity AGN levels, LHX,nucis independent of the central stellar profile shape. The presence ofoptical nuclei (also found by HST) is unrelated to the level ofLHX,nuc, even though the highest LHX,nuc are allassociated with optical nuclei. The implications of these findings forgalaxy evolution and accretion modalities at the present epoch arediscussed.
|A new population of extended, luminous star clusters in the halo of M31|
We present three new clusters discovered in the halo of M31 which,although having globular-like colours and luminosities, have unusuallylarge half-light radii, ~30 pc. They lie at projected galactocentricdistances of ~15 to ~35 kpc. These objects begin to fill the gap inparameter space between globular clusters and dwarf spheroidals, and areunlike any clusters found in the Milky Way, or elsewhere to date.Colour-magnitude diagrams, integrated photometric properties and derivedKing profile fit parameters are given, and we discuss possible originsof these clusters and their relationships to other populations.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear data|
We 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.
|Mass-to-light ratio gradients in early-type galaxy haloes|
Owing to the fact that the near future should see a rapidly expandingset of probes of the halo masses of individual early-type galaxies, weintroduce a convenient parameter for characterizing the halo masses fromboth observational and theoretical results:∇lΥ, the logarithmic radial gradient of themass-to-light ratio. Using halo density profiles from Λ-cold darkmatter (CDM) simulations, we derive predictions for this gradient forvarious galaxy luminosities and star formation efficienciesɛSF. As a pilot study, we assemble the available∇lΥ data from kinematics in early-type galaxies- representing the first unbiased study of halo masses in a wide rangeof early-type galaxy luminosities - and find a correlation betweenluminosity and ∇lΥ, such that the brightestgalaxies appear the most dark-matter dominated. We find that thegradients in most of the brightest galaxies may fit in well with theΛCDM predictions, but that there is also a population of faintergalaxies whose gradients are so low as to imply an unreasonably highstar formation efficiency ɛSF > 1. This difficultyis eased if dark haloes are not assumed to have the standard ΛCDMprofiles, but lower central concentrations.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear data|
This 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.
|Stellar Population Analysis of Galaxies based on Genetic Algorithms|
We present a new method for determining the age and relativecontribution of different stellar populations in galaxies based on thegenetic algorithm. We apply this method to the barred spiral galaxy NGC3384, using CCD images in U, B, V, R and I bands. This analysisindicates that the galaxy NGC 3384 is mainly inhabited by old stellarpopulation (age >109 yr). Some problems were encounteredwhen numerical simulations are used for determining the contribution ofdifferent stellar populations in the integrated color of a galaxy. Theresults show that the proposed genetic algorithm can search efficientlythrough the very large space of the possible ages.
|Chemically Decoupled Nuclei in Five Lenticular Galaxies from SAURON Data|
We analyze data from the SAURON integral-field spectrograph of theWilliam Herschel 4-m telescope for five lenticular galaxies in which wepreviously found chemically decoupled nuclei from observations with theMultipupil Fiber Spectrograph of the 6-m Special AstrophysicalObservatory telescope. In a larger field of view, we confirmed thepresence of peaks of the equivalent width of the Mg Ib λ5175absorption line in the nuclei of all five galaxies. However, thestructure of the chemically decoupled regions turned out to be highlyvaried even in such a small sample: from compact unresolved knots todisks with an extent of several hundred parsecs and, in one case, atriaxial compact minibar-type structure. We confirmed the presence of aninner gaseous polar ring in NGC 7280 and found it in NGC 7332. In theirouter parts, the planes of these polar rings are warped toward the planeof stellar rotation in such a way that the gas counterrotates withrespect to the stars. This behavior of the gas in a triaxial potentialwas predicted by several theoretical models.
|Supermassive Black Holes: Relation to Dark Halos|
Estimates of the masses of supermassive black holes (M bh ) in thenuclei of disk galaxies with known rotation curves are compared withestimates of the rotational velocities V m and the“indicative” masses of the galaxies M i . Although there isa correlation between M bh and V m or M i , it is appreciably weakerthan the correlation with the central velocity dispersion. The values ofM bh for early-type galaxies (S0-Sab), which have more massive bulges,are, on average, higher than the values for late-type galaxies with thesame rotational velocities. We conclude that the black-hole masses aredetermined primarily by the properties of the bulge and not therotational velocity or the mass of the galaxy.
|Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data Analysis|
X-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources.
|Close Binaries as the Progenitors of the Brightest Planetary Nebulae|
We investigate the possible progenitors of the planetary nebulae (PNs)that populate the top 0.5 mag of the [O III] λ5007 planetarynebula luminosity function (PNLF). We show that the absolute luminosityof the PNLF cutoff demands that the central stars of these most luminousPNs be >~0.6 Msolar and that such high-mass PN cores mustexist in every galaxy. We also use the bolometric luminosity-specific PNnumber density to show that in early-type galaxies, [O III]-bright PNsare relatively rare, with only ~10% of stars evolving to these brightmagnitudes. We demonstrate that the combination of these two factsimplies that either all early-type systems contain a small, smoothlydistributed component of young (<~1 Gyr old) stars or that anothermechanism exists for creating high core mass PNs. We argue that binarystar evolution is this second mechanism and demonstrate that bluestragglers have the appropriate core properties and number density toexplain the observations. We discuss the implications of thisalternative mode of stellar evolution and speculate on how coalescedbinaries might affect the use of PNs for measuring a galaxy's starformation history and chemical evolution.
|Faint Fuzzies and the Formation of Lenticular Galaxies|
We investigate the dynamical state of a new class of extended starclusters known as ``faint fuzzies,'' which were discovered in two nearbyS0 galaxies, NGC 1023 and NGC 3384. It is shown that the faint fuzziesof NGC 1023 lie in a fast-rotating ringlike structure within thegalactic disk with mean radius of 5 kpc, rotational velocity of 200 kms-1, and velocity dispersion of 115 km s-1. Wepropose a scenario for the origin of faint fuzzies that is connected tothe origin of S0 galaxies as a result of galaxy-galaxy interactions indense environments. As is apparent in the Cartwheel galaxy and confirmedby numerical simulations, the passage of a small galaxy through, orclose to, the center of a disk galaxy can form a ring of clumpy starformation with a radius comparable to the faint fuzzy ring radius in NGC1023. In this case, the faint fuzzies are signposts for thetransformation of spiral galaxies into lenticulars via suchinteractions.
|Origin of Radio Emission from Nearby Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei|
We use the observational data in radio, optical, and X-ray wave bandsfor a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with measured black holemasses to explore the origin of radio emission from nearbylow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). The maximal luminosityof an advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) can be calculated for agiven black hole mass, as there is a critical accretion rate above whichthe ADAF is no longer present. We find that the radio luminosities arehigher than the maximal luminosities expected from the ADAF model formost sources in this sample. This implies that the radio emission ispredominantly from the jets in these sources. The radio emission from asmall fraction of the sources (15/60; referred to as radio-weak sources)in this sample can be explained by the ADAF model. However, comparingthe observed multiband emission data with the spectra calculated for theADAF or adiabatic inflow-outflow solution (ADIOS) cases, we find thatneither ADAF nor ADIOS models can reproduce the observed multibandemission simultaneously, with reasonable magnetic field strengths, forthese radio-weak sources. A variety of other possibilities arediscussed, and we suggest that the radio emission is probably dominatedby jet emission even in these radio-weak LLAGNs.
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