Home     Getting Started     To Survive in the Universe    
Inhabited Sky
    News@Sky     Astro Photo     The Collection     Forum     Blog New!     FAQ     Press     Login  

NGC 4473



Upload your image

DSS Images   Other Images

Related articles

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.

Optical/near-infrared colours of early-type galaxies and constraints on their star formation histories
We introduce and discuss the properties of a theoretical (B-K)(J-K)integrated colour diagram for single-age, single-metallicity stellarpopulations. We show how this combination of integrated colours is ableto largely disentangle the well-known age-metallicity degeneracy whenthe age of the population is greater than ~300Myr, and thus providesvaluable estimates of both age and metallicity of unresolved stellarsystems. We discuss in detail the effect on this colour-colour diagramof α-enhanced metal abundance ratios (typical of the oldestpopulations in the Galaxy), the presence of blue horizontal branch starsunaccounted for in the theoretical calibration and of statistical colourfluctuations in low-mass stellar systems. In the case of populationswith multiple stellar generations, the luminosity-weighted mean ageobtained from this diagram is shown to be heavily biased towards theyoungest stellar components. We then apply this method to several datasets for which optical and near-infrared photometry are available in theliterature. We find that Large Magellanic Cloud and M31 clusters havecolours which are consistent with the predictions of the models, butthese do not provide a sensitive test due to the fluctuations which arepredicted by our modelling of the Poisson statistics in such low-masssystems. For the two Local Group dwarf galaxies NGC 185 and 6822, themean ages derived from the integrated colours are consistent with thestar formation histories inferred independently from photometricobservations of their resolved stellar populations.The methods developed here are applied to samples of nearby early-typegalaxies with high-quality aperture photometry in the literature. Asample of bright field and Virgo cluster elliptical galaxies is found toexhibit a range of luminosity-weighted mean ages from 3 to 14Gyr, with amean of ~8Gyr, independent of environment, and mean metallicities at orjust above the solar value. Colour gradients are found in all of thegalaxies studied, in the sense that central regions are redder. Apartfrom two radio galaxies, where the extreme central colours are clearlydriven by the active galactic nucleus, and one galaxy which also shows aradial age gradient, these colour changes appear consistent withmetallicity changes at a constant mean age. Finally, aperture data forfive Virgo early-type dwarf galaxies show that these galaxies appear tobe shifted to lower mean metallicities and lower mean ages (range1-6Gyr) than their higher luminosity counterparts.

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.

Kinemetry: a generalization of photometry to the higher moments of the line-of-sight velocity distribution
We present a generalization of surface photometry to the higher-ordermoments of the line-of-sight velocity distribution of galaxies observedwith integral-field spectrographs. The generalization follows theapproach of surface photometry by determining the best-fitting ellipsesalong which the profiles of the moments can be extracted and analysed bymeans of harmonic expansion. The assumption for the odd moments (e.g.mean velocity) is that the profile along an ellipse satisfies a simplecosine law. The assumption for the even moments (e.g. velocitydispersion) is that the profile is constant, as it is used in surfacephotometry. We test the method on a number of model maps and discuss themeaning of the resulting harmonic terms. We apply the method to thekinematic moments of an axisymmetric model elliptical galaxy and probethe influence of noise on the harmonic terms. We also apply the methodto SAURON observations of NGC 2549, NGC 2974, NGC 4459 and NGC 4473where we detect multiple co- and counter-rotating (NGC 2549 and NGC4473, respectively) components. We find that velocity profiles extractedalong ellipses of early-type galaxies are well represented by the simplecosine law (with 2 per cent accuracy), while possible deviations arecarried in the fifth harmonic term which is sensitive to the existenceof multiple kinematic components, and has some analogy to the shapeparameter of photometry. We compare the properties of the kinematic andphotometric ellipses and find that they are often very similar, but astudy on a larger sample is necessary. Finally, we offer acharacterization of the main velocity structures based only on thekinemetric parameters which can be used to quantify the features invelocity maps.

The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. VIII. The Nuclei of Early-Type Galaxies
The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey is a Hubble Space Telescope program toobtain high-resolution imaging in widely separated bandpasses (F475W~gand F850LP~z) for 100 early-type members of the Virgo Cluster, spanninga range of ~460 in blue luminosity. We use this large, homogenous dataset to examine the innermost structure of these galaxies and tocharacterize the properties of their compact central nuclei. We presenta sharp upward revision in the frequency of nucleation in early-typegalaxies brighter than MB~-15 (66%<~fn<~82%)and show that ground-based surveys underestimated the number of nucleidue to surface brightness selection effects, limited sensitivity andpoor spatial resolution. We speculate that previously reported claimsthat nucleated dwarfs are more concentrated toward the center of Virgothan their nonnucleated counterparts may be an artifact of theseselection effects. There is no clear evidence from the properties of thenuclei, or from the overall incidence of nucleation, for a change atMB~-17.6, the traditional dividing point between dwarf andgiant galaxies. There does, however, appear to be a fundamentaltransition at MB~-20.5, in the sense that the brighter,``core-Sérsic'' galaxies lack resolved (stellar) nuclei. A searchfor nuclei that may be offset from the photocenters of their hostgalaxies reveals only five candidates with displacements of more than0.5", all of which are in dwarf galaxies. In each case, however, theevidence suggests that these ``nuclei'' are, in fact, globular clustersprojected close to the galaxy photocenter. Working from a sample of 51galaxies with prominent nuclei, we find a median half-light radius of=4.2 pc, with the sizes of individual nucleiranging from 62 pc down to <=2 pc (i.e., unresolved in our images) inabout a half-dozen cases. Excluding these unresolved objects, the nucleisizes are found to depend on nuclear luminosity according to therelation rh L0.50+/-0.03. Because the largemajority of nuclei are resolved, we can rule out low-level AGNs as anexplanation for the central luminosity excess in almost all cases. Onaverage, the nuclei are ~3.5 mag brighter than a typical globularcluster. Based on their broadband colors, the nuclei appear to have oldto intermediate age stellar populations. The colors of the nuclei ingalaxies fainter than MB~-17.6 are tightly correlated withtheir luminosities, and less so with the luminosities of their hostgalaxies, suggesting that their chemical enrichment histories weregoverned by local or internal factors. Comparing the nuclei to the``nuclear clusters'' found in late-type spiral galaxies reveals a closematch in terms of size, luminosity, and overall frequency. A formationmechanism that is rather insensitive to the detailed properties of thehost galaxy properties is required to explain this ubiquity andhomogeneity. The mean of the frequency function for thenucleus-to-galaxy luminosity ratio in our nucleated galaxies,=-2.49+/-0.09 dex (σ=0.59+/-0.10), isindistinguishable from that of the SBH-to-bulge mass ratio,=-2.61+/-0.07dex (σ=0.45+/-0.09), calculated in 23 early-type galaxies withdetected supermassive black holes (SBHs). We argue that the compactstellar nuclei found in many of our program galaxies are the low-masscounterparts of the SBHs detected in the bright galaxies. If thisinterpretation is correct, then one should think in terms of ``centralmassive objects''-either SBHs or compact stellar nuclei-that accompanythe formation of almost all early-type galaxies and contain a meanfraction ~0.3% of the total bulge mass. In this view, SBHs would be thedominant formation mode above MB~-20.5.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 NAS5-26555.

Spitzer IRS spectra of Virgo Early-Type Galaxies: Detection of Stellar Silicate Emission
We present high signal-to-noise ratio Spitzer Infrared Spectrographobservations of 17 Virgo early-type galaxies. The galaxies were selectedfrom those that define the color-magnitude relation of the cluster, withthe aim of detecting the silicate emission of their dusty, mass-losingevolved stars. To flux calibrate these extended sources, we have deviseda new procedure that allows us to obtain the intrinsic spectral energydistribution and to disentangle resolved and unresolved emission withinthe same object. We have found that 13 objects of the sample (76%) arepassively evolving galaxies with a pronounced broad silicate featurethat is spatially extended and likely of stellar origin, in agreementwith model predictions. The other four objects (24%) are characterizedby different levels of activity. In NGC 4486 (M87), the line emissionand the broad silicate emission are evidently unresolved, and, givenalso the typical shape of the continuum, they likely originate in thenuclear torus. NGC 4636 shows emission lines superposed on extended(i.e., stellar) silicate emission, thus pushing the percentage ofgalaxies with silicate emission to 82%. Finally, NGC 4550 and NGC 4435are characterized by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and lineemission, arising from a central unresolved region. A more detailedanalysis of our sample, with updated models, will be presented in aforthcoming paper.

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

Stellar Populations of Elliptical Galaxies in Virgo Cluster. I. The Data and Stellar Population Analysis
We have determined spectroscopic ages of elliptical galaxies in theVirgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio(S/N>100 Å-1). We observed eight galaxies with theSubaru Telescope and have combined this sample with six galaxiespreviously observed with the WHT. To determine their ages, we have useda new method based on the Hγσ age indicator,which is virtually independent of the effects of metallicity. Apart fromages we have estimated abundances of various elements. In this paper wepresent the observations, the data reduction, and the reliability of theHγσ method. The results of this investigation arepresented in a companion paper.

Type I Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies: Transition Stage from ULIRGs to QSOs
We examine whether the ultraluminous infrared galaxies that contain atype 1 Seyfert nucleus (a type I ULIRG) are in the transition stage fromULIRGs to quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). To investigate this issue, wecompare the black hole (BH) mass, the bulge luminosity, and thefar-infrared luminosity among type I ULIRGs, QSOs, and ellipticalgalaxies. As a result, we find the following results: (1) The type IULIRGs have systematically smaller BH masses in spite of the comparablebulge luminosity relative to QSOs and elliptical galaxies. (2) Thefar-infrared luminosity of most type I ULIRGs is larger than theEddington luminosity. We show that the above results do not changesignificantly for three type I ULIRGs for which we can estimate thevisual extinction from the column density. Also, for all eight type IULIRGs, we investigate the effect of uncertainties of BH massmeasurements and our sample bias to make sure that our results are notaltered even if we consider the above two effects. In addition, Anabukirecently revealed that their X-ray properties are similar to those ofthe narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies. These would indicate that activegalactic nuclei (AGNs) with a high mass accretion rate exist in type IULIRGs. On the basis of all of these findings, we conclude that it wouldbe a natural interpretation that type I ULIRGs are the early phase of BHgrowth, namely, the missing link between ULIRGs and QSOs. Moreover, bycomparing our results with a theoretical model of a coevolution scenarioof a QSO BH and a galactic bulge, we show clearly that this explanationcould be valid.

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.

Low-Luminosity Active Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes
Central black hole masses for 117 spiral galaxies representingmorphological stages S0/a through Sc and taken from the largespectroscopic survey of Ho et al. are derived using Ks-banddata from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Black hole masses are foundusing a calibrated black hole-Ks bulge luminosity relation,while bulge luminosities are measured by means of a two-dimensionalbulge-disk decomposition routine. The black hole masses are correlatedagainst a variety of parameters representing properties of the nucleusand host galaxy. Nuclear properties such as line width (FWHM [N II]), aswell as emission-line ratios (e.g., [O III]/Hβ, [O I]/Hα, [NII]/Hα, and [S II]/Hα), show a very high degree ofcorrelation with black hole mass. The excellent correlation with linewidth supports the view that the emission-line gas is in virialequilibrium with either the black hole or bulge potential. The very goodemission-line ratio correlations may indicate a change in ionizingcontinuum shape with black hole mass in the sense that more massiveblack holes generate harder spectra. Apart from theinclination-corrected rotational velocity, no excellent correlations arefound between black hole mass and host galaxy properties. Significantdifferences are found between the distributions of black hole masses inearly-, mid-, and late-type spiral galaxies (subsamples A, B, and C) inthe sense that early-type galaxies have preferentially larger centralblack holes, consistent with observations that Seyfert galaxies arefound preferentially in early-type systems. The line width distributionsshow a marked difference among subsamples A, B, and C in the sense thatearlier type galaxies have larger line widths. There are also cleardifferences in line ratios between subsamples A+B and C that likely arerelated to the level of ionization in the gas. Finally, aKs-band Simien & de Vaucouleurs diagram shows excellentagreement with the original B-band relation, although there is a largedispersion at a given morphological stage.

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.

Modelling the Mg[b] Spectroscopic Index with the Tunable Filters of OSIRIS
We present our first attempt to model a new metallicity indicator forold and intermediate aged stellar populations on the basis of the Mg[b]absorption index at λ ˜ 5175 Å. Model spectra ofstellar populations are convolved with the responses of the TunableFilters of OSIRIS-GTC to provide a photometric index matching thespectroscopic Mg[b]. The new index allows us to obtain galaxy images ofthis feature on the basis of a photometric approach, without the veryhigh signal-to-noise requirements of the spectroscopic methods.

Absorption line indices for studying stellar populations
Absorption line-strengths have allowed us to carry out a comprehensivestellar populations analysis, providing very strong constraints fordiscriminating and constraining current galaxy formation scenarios. Idescribe the main features of this approach, pinpointing the mostpopular indices and diagnostic diagrams, and the main problems affectingthese studies such as the age-metallicity degeneracy. A special emphasisis given to ongoing efforts aiming at defining more accuratediagnostics, which allow us to fully exploit the flow of high qualitydata from current generation of large telescopes, including GTC.

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.

Dynamical modelling of stars and gas in NGC 2974: determination of mass-to-light ratio, inclination and orbital structure using the Schwarzschild method
We study the large-scale stellar and gaseous kinematics of the E4 galaxyNGC 2974, based on panoramic integral-field data obtained with SAURON.We quantify the velocity maps with Fourier methods (kinemetry), and showthat the large-scale kinematics is largely consistent with axisymmetry.We construct general axisymmetric dynamical models for the stellarmotions using the Schwarzschild orbit-superposition method, and comparethe inferred inclination and mass-to-light ratio with the valuesobtained by modelling the gas kinematics. Both approaches giveconsistent results. However, we find that the stellar models providefairly weak constraints on the inclination. The intrinsic orbitaldistribution of NGC 2974, which we infer from our model, ischaracterized by a large-scale stellar component of high angularmomentum. We create semi-analytical test models, resembling NGC 2974, tostudy the ability of the Schwarzschild modelling technique to recoverthe given input parameters (mass-to-light ratio and inclination) and thedistribution function. We also test the influence of a limited spatialcoverage on the recovery of the distribution function (i.e. the orbitalstructure). We find that the models can accurately recover the inputmass-to-light ratio, but we confirm that even with perfect inputkinematics the inclination is only marginally constrained. This suggestsa possible degeneracy in the determination of the inclination, butfurther investigations are needed to clarify this issue. For a givenpotential, we find that the analytical distribution function of our testmodel is well recovered by the three-integral model within the spatialregion constrained by integral-field kinematics.

The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. X. Half-Light Radii of Globular Clusters in Early-Type Galaxies: Environmental Dependencies and a Standard Ruler for Distance Estimation
We have measured half-light radii, rh, for thousands ofglobular clusters (GCs) belonging to the 100 early-type galaxiesobserved in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey and the elliptical galaxy NGC4697. An analysis of the dependencies of the measured half-light radiion both the properties of the GCs themselves and their host galaxiesreveals that, in analogy with GCs in the Galaxy but in a milder fashion,the average half-light radius increases with increasing galactocentricdistance or, alternatively, with decreasing galaxy surface brightness.For the first time, we find that the average half-light radius decreaseswith the host galaxy color. We also show that there is no evidence for avariation of rh with the luminosity of the GCs. Finally, wefind in agreement with previous observations that the averagerh depends on the color of GCs, with red GCs being ~17%smaller than their blue counterparts. We show that this difference isprobably a consequence of an intrinsic mechanism, rather than projectioneffects, and that it is in good agreement with the mechanism proposed byJordán. We discuss these findings in light of two simple picturesfor the origin of the rh of GCs and show that both lead to abehavior in rough agreement with the observations. After accounting forthe dependencies on galaxy color, galactocentric radius, and underlyingsurface brightness, we show that the average GC half-light radii can be successfully used as a standard ruler fordistance estimation. We outline the methodology, provide a calibrationfor its use, and discuss the prospects for this distance estimator withfuture observing facilities. We find =2.7+/-0.35 pcfor GCs with (g-z)=1.2 mag in a galaxy with color(g-z)gal=1.5 mag and at an underlying surface z-bandbrightness of μz=21 mag arcsec-2. Using thistechnique, we place an upper limit of 3.4 Mpc on the 1 σline-of-sight depth of the Virgo Cluster. Finally, we examine the formof the rh distribution for our sample galaxies and provide ananalytic expression that successfully describes this distribution.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.

The Ages of Elliptical Galaxies from Mid-Infrared Emission
The mid-infrared (10-20 μm) luminosity of elliptical galaxies isdominated by the integrated emission from circumstellar dust in redgiant stars. As a single stellar population evolves, the rate of dustymass loss from red giant stars decreases with time, so the mid-infraredluminosity should also decline with stellar age. To seek such acorrelation, we have used archival Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)observations to determine surface brightness profiles and central fluxesat 15 μm in 17 early-type galaxies for which stellar ages have beendetermined from optical spectral indices. The radial surface brightnessdistributions at 15 μm generally follow the stellar de Vaucouleursprofile, as expected. We find that the surface brightness ratioμ15μm/μIband is systematically higher inelliptical galaxies with ages <~5 Gyr and in galaxies that exhibitevidence of recent mergers. Within the accuracy of our observations,μ15μm/μIband shows no age dependence forages >~5 Gyr. The corresponding flux ratiosF15μm/FIband within apertures scaled to theeffective radius (Re/8) are proportional to theμ15μm/μIband ratios at larger galacticradii, indicating that no 15 μm emission is detected from centraldust clouds visible in optical images in some of our sample galaxies.Emission at 15 μm is observed in noncentral massive clouds of dustand cold gas in NGC 1316, an elliptical galaxy that is thought to havehad a recent merger. Recent Spitzer Space Telescope data also indicatethe presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission at 8μm. Several ellipticals have extended regions of 15 μm emissionthat have no obvious counterparts at other frequencies.

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.

Star Formation Histories of Nearby Elliptical Galaxies. I. Volume-Limited Sample
This work presents high signal-to-noise ratio spectroscopic observationsof a representative sample of nearby elliptical galaxies. Theseobservations provide a strong test of models for the formation ofelliptical galaxies and their star formation histories. Combining thesedata with the González data set, a volume-limited sample of 45galaxies has been defined. Results are in agreement with previousstudies: the existence of the metallicity hyperplane and the Z-plane ofTrager and coworkers is confirmed, and the distribution is clearly dueto physical variations in stellar population parameters and notmeasurement uncertainty. Trends between stellar population parametersand galaxy structural parameters suggest that angular momentum maydetermine the chemical abundance of a galaxy at a given mass.

The Centers of Early-Type Galaxies with Hubble Space Telescope. V. New WFPC2 Photometry
We present observations of 77 early-type galaxies imaged with the PC1CCD of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2. ``Nuker-law'' parametricfits to the surface brightness profiles are used to classify the centralstructure into ``core'' or ``power-law'' forms. Core galaxies aretypically rounder than power-law galaxies. Nearly all power-law galaxieswith central ellipticities ɛ>=0.3 have stellar disks,implying that disks are present in power-law galaxies withɛ<0.3 but are not visible because of unfavorable geometry. Afew low-luminosity flattened core galaxies also have disks; these may betransition forms from power-law galaxies to more luminous core galaxies,which lack disks. Several core galaxies have strong isophote twistsinterior to their break radii, although power-law galaxies have interiortwists of similar physical significance when the photometricperturbations implied by the twists are evaluated. Central colorgradients are typically consistent with the envelope gradients; coregalaxies have somewhat weaker color gradients than power-law galaxies.Nuclei are found in 29% of the core galaxies and 60% of the power-lawgalaxies. Nuclei are typically bluer than the surrounding galaxy. Whilesome nuclei are associated with active galactic nuclei (AGNs), just asmany are not; conversely, not all galaxies known to have a low-level AGNexhibit detectable nuclei in the broadband filters. NGC 4073 and 4382are found to have central minima in their intrinsic starlightdistributions; NGC 4382 resembles the double nucleus of M31. In general,the peak brightness location is coincident with the photocenter of thecore to a typical physical scale of <1 pc. Five galaxies, however,have centers significantly displaced from their surrounding cores; thesemay be unresolved asymmetric double nuclei. Finally, as noted byprevious authors, central dust is visible in about half of the galaxies.The presence and strength of dust correlates with nuclear emission;thus, dust may outline gas that is falling into the central black hole.The prevalence of dust and its morphology suggest that dust clouds form,settle to the center, and disappear repeatedly on ~108 yrtimescales. We discuss the hypothesis that cores are created by thedecay of a massive black hole binary formed in a merger. Apart fromtheir brightness profiles, there are no strong differences between coregalaxies and power-law galaxies that demand this scenario; however, therounder shapes of core, their lack of disks, and their reduced colorgradients may be consistent with it.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated withGO and GTO proposals 5236, 5446, 5454, 5512, 5943, 5990, 5999, 6099,6386, 6554, 6587, 6633, 7468, 8683, and 9107.

Near infra-red and optical colour gradients in E-type galaxies. Inferences on dust content
Colour gradients are considered for a sample of circa 50 E-type galaxiesin the Local Supercluster. The new data includes isophotal colourprofiles in J-H, J-K, V-J and V-K, measured using 2MASS frames mostlyfrom the Large Galaxies Atlas, V frames from previous work and Vprofiles from the literature. This is supplemented by U-B, B-V, B-R, V-Icolour gradients obtained anew from published photometric data. Colourgradients in E galaxies show remarkably large variations from object toobject and do not correlate with other properties. Metallicity gradientsare the primary cause as shown before. Age gradients with oppositeeffects are possibly needed to explain objects with small colourgradients. Some empirical evidence of such age effects has been foundfor a subset of objects with morphological peculiarities and youngerstars mixed. Dust has only modest effects on colour gradients, as shownby the fact that objects with zero IRAS 100 μ flux have the sameaverage values of the gradients, except in V-J and V-K, as those withnon zero flux (cf. Table 7). This last subsample however exhibits poorbut definite correlations between IRAS flux and gradients, which mightbe caused by the presence of a few relatively dusty galaxies in thesample. Given the absence of a correlation between any gradients andgalaxy velocity dispersion (and hence mass), the observations do notagree with the predictions of the monolithic scenario for the formationof E galaxies. Simulated datasets of “dummy” objectsmimicking the hierarchical scenario have been obtained, and used to testa technique for estimating the dust content of E-galaxies from thecomparison of the V-K (or V-J) colour gradients with the U-B (or B-V)ones: the contents of diffuse dust, gauged in terms of published models,are obtained for a dozen objects.

Radio sources in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. IV. Radio luminosity function, importance of jet power, and radio properties of the complete Palomar sample
We 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 galaxies
We 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.

Measuring shapes of galaxy images - II. Morphology of 2MASS galaxies
We study a sample of 112 galaxies of various Hubble types imaged in theTwo Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in the near-infrared (NIR; 1-2 μm)J, H and Ks bands. The sample contains (optically classified)32 ellipticals, 16 lenticulars and 64 spirals acquired from the 2MASSExtended Source Catalogue (XSC).We use a set of non-parametric shape measures constructed from theMinkowski functionals (MFs) for galaxy shape analysis. We useellipticity (ɛ) and orientation angle (Φ) as shapediagnostics. With these parameters as functions of area within theisophotal contour, we note that the NIR elliptical galaxies withɛ > 0.2 show a trend of being centrally spherical andincreasingly flattened towards the edge, a trend similar to images inoptical wavelengths. The highly flattened elliptical galaxies showstrong change in ellipticity between the centre and the edge. Thelenticular galaxies show morphological properties resembling eitherellipticals or disc galaxies. Our analysis shows that almost half of thespiral galaxies appear to have bar-like features while the rest arelikely to be non-barred. Our results also indicate that almost one-thirdof spiral galaxies have optically hidden bars.The isophotal twist noted in the orientations of elliptical galaxiesdecreases with the flattening of these galaxies, indicating that twistand flattening are also anticorrelated in the NIR, as found in opticalwavelengths. The orientations of NIR lenticular and spiral galaxies showa wide range of twists.

Nuclear activity and the dynamics of elliptical galaxies
This Letter looks for any correlation between the internal dynamics ofelliptical galaxies and the relatively mild nuclear activity found inmany such systems. We show that there is such a relation in the sensethat the active ellipticals tend to be significantly less rotationallysupported than their inactive cousins. The correlation can partly berelated to the galaxies' luminosities: the brightest galaxies tend to bemore active and less rotationally supported. However, even at lowerluminosities the active and inactive galaxies seem to havesystematically different dynamics. This variation suggests that thereare significant large-scale structural differences between active andinactive elliptical galaxies, and hence that the existence of both typesof system cannot just be the result of random sporadic nuclear activity.

The SAURON project - III. Integral-field absorption-line kinematics of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies
We present the stellar kinematics of 48 representative elliptical andlenticular galaxies obtained with our custom-built integral-fieldspectrograph SAURON operating on the William Herschel Telescope. Thedata were homogeneously processed through a dedicated reduction andanalysis pipeline. All resulting SAURON data cubes were spatially binnedto a constant minimum signal-to-noise ratio. We have measured thestellar kinematics with an optimized (penalized pixel-fitting) routinewhich fits the spectra in pixel space, via the use of optimal templates,and prevents the presence of emission lines to affect the measurements.We have thus generated maps of the mean stellar velocity V, the velocitydispersion σ, and the Gauss-Hermite moments h3 andh4 of the line-of-sight velocity distributions. The mapsextend to approximately one effective radius. Many objects displaykinematic twists, kinematically decoupled components, central stellardiscs, and other peculiarities, the nature of which will be discussed infuture papers of this series.

Submit a new article

Related links

  • - No Links Found -
Submit a new link

Member of following groups:

Observation and Astrometry data

Constellation:Coma Berenices
Right ascension:12h29m48.90s
Aparent dimensions:4.169′ × 2.455′

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names   (Edit)
NGC 2000.0NGC 4473
J/AJ/90/1681VCC 1231

→ Request more catalogs and designations from VizieR