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 A high-frequency radio survey of low-luminosity active galactic nucleiWe investigate the high-frequency radio spectra of 20 low-luminosityactive galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) with compact radio cores. Our millimetresurvey with the Nobeyama Millimetre Array (NMA) and analyses ofsubmillimetre archival data that had been obtained with theSubmillimetre Common User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) on the James ClerkMaxwell Telescope (JCMT) reveal the following properties. At least halfof the LLAGNs show inverted spectra between 15 and 96 GHz; we use thepublished data at 15 GHz with the Very Large Array (VLA) in a0.15-arcsec resolution and our measurements at 96 GHz with the NMA in a7-arcsec resolution. The inverted spectra are not artificially made dueto their unmatched beam sizes, because of little diffuse contaminationfrom dust, HII regions, or extended jets in these LLAGNs. Suchhigh-frequency inverted spectra are apparently consistent with asubmillimetre bump', which is predicted by an advection-dominatedaccretion flow (ADAF) model. We find a strong correlation between thehigh-frequency spectral index and low-frequency core power measured withvery-long-baseline-interferometry (VLBI) instruments. The invertedspectra are found exclusively in low-core-power sources, while steepspectra are in high-core-power ones with prominent pc-scale jets. Thissuggests that the ADAF and non-thermal jets may coexist. The flux ratiosbetween disc and jet seem to be different from LLAGN to LLAGN; disccomponents can be seen in nuclear radio spectra only if the jets arefaint. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear dataWe have derived ages, metallicities and enhanced-element ratios[α/Fe] for a sample of 83 early-type galaxies essentially ingroups, the field or isolated objects. The stellar-population propertiesderived for each galaxy correspond to the nuclear re/8aperture extraction. The median age found for Es is 5.8+/-0.6 Gyr andthe average metallicity is +0.37+/-0.03 dex. For S0s, the median age is3.0+/-0.6 Gyr and [Z/H]= 0.53+/-0.04 dex. We compare the distribution ofour galaxies in the Hβ-[MgFe] diagram with Fornax galaxies. Ourelliptical galaxies are 3-4 Gyr younger than Es in the Fornax cluster.We find that the galaxies lie in a plane defined by [Z/H]= 0.99logσ0- 0.46 log(age) - 1.60, or in linear terms Z~σ0× (age) -0.5. More massive (largerσ0) and older galaxies present, on average, large[α/Fe] values, and therefore must have undergone shorterstar-formation time-scales. Comparing group against field/isolatedgalaxies, it is not clear that environment plays an important role indetermining their stellar-population history. In particular, ourisolated galaxies show ages differing by more than 8 Gyr. Finally weexplore our large spectral coverage to derive log(O/H) metallicity fromthe Hα and NIIλ6584 and compare it with model-dependent[Z/H]. We find that the O/H abundances are similar for all galaxies, andwe can interpret it as if most chemical evolution has already finishedin these galaxies. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear dataThis is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies. Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data AnalysisX-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. Radio sources in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. IV. Radio luminosity function, importance of jet power, and radio properties of the complete Palomar sampleWe present the completed results of a high resolution radio imagingsurvey of all ( 200) low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) andAGNs in the Palomar Spectroscopic Sample of all ( 488) bright northerngalaxies. The high incidences of pc-scale radio nuclei, with impliedbrightness temperatures ≳107 K, and sub-parsec jetsargue for accreting black holes in ≳50% of all LINERs andlow-luminosity Seyferts; there is no evidence against all LLAGNs beingmini-AGNs. The detected parsec-scale radio nuclei are preferentiallyfound in massive ellipticals and in type 1 nuclei (i.e. nuclei withbroad Hα emission). The radio luminosity function (RLF) of PalomarSample LLAGNs and AGNs extends three orders of magnitude below, and iscontinuous with, that of “classical” AGNs. We find marginalevidence for a low-luminosity turnover in the RLF; nevertheless LLAGNsare responsible for a significant fraction of present day massaccretion. Adopting a model of a relativistic jet from Falcke &Biermann, we show that the accretion power output in LLAGNs is dominatedby the kinetic power in the observed jets rather than the radiatedbolometric luminosity. The Palomar LLAGNs and AGNs follow the samescaling between jet kinetic power and narrow line region (NLR)luminosity as the parsec to kilo-parsec jets in powerful radio galaxies.Eddington ratios {l_Edd} (=L_Emitted/L_Eddington) of≤10-1{-}10-5 are implied in jet models of theradio emission. We find evidence that, in analogy to Galactic black holecandidates, LINERs are in a “low/hard” state (gas poornuclei, low Eddington ratio, ability to launch collimated jets) whilelow-luminosity Seyferts are in a “high” state (gas richnuclei, higher Eddington ratio, less likely to launch collimated jets).In addition to dominating the radiated bolometric luminosity of thenucleus, the radio jets are energetically more significant thansupernovae in the host galaxies, and are potentially able to depositsufficient energy into the innermost parsecs to significantly slow thegas supply to the accretion disk. Ages and metallicities of Hickson compact group galaxies Hickson compact groups (HCGs) constitute an interesting extreme in therange of environments in which galaxies are located, as the spacedensity of galaxies in these small groups are otherwise only found inthe centres of much larger clusters. The work presented here uses Lickindices to make a comparison of ages and chemical compositions ofgalaxies in HCGs with those in other environments (clusters, loosegroups and the field). The metallicity and relative abundance ofα-elements' show strong correlations with galaxy age and centralvelocity dispersion, with similar trends found in all environments.However, we show that the previously reported correlation betweenα-element abundance ratios and velocity dispersion disappears whena full account is taken of the abundance ratio pattern in thecalibration stars. This correlation is thus found to be an artefact ofincomplete calibration to the Lick system.Variations are seen in the ranges and average values of age, metallicityand α-element abundance ratios for galaxies in differentenvironments. Age distributions support the hierarchical formationprediction that field galaxies are on average younger than their clustercounterparts. However, the ages of HCG galaxies are shown to be moresimilar to those of cluster galaxies than those in the field, contraryto the expectations of current hierarchical models. A trend for lowervelocity dispersion galaxies to be younger was also seen. This is againinconsistent with hierarchical collapse models, but is qualitativelyconsistent with the latest N-body smoothed particle hydrodynamics modelsbased on monolithic collapse in which star formation continues for manyGyr in low-mass haloes. Observations of Cold Dust in Nearby Elliptical GalaxiesSpectral energy distribution (SED) analyses that include new millimeterto far-infrared (FIR) observations obtained with continuum instrumentson the Nobeyama and James Clerk Maxwell Telescopes and the InfraredSpace Observatory are presented for seven nearby (<45 Mpc) FIR-brightelliptical galaxies. These are analyzed together with archival FIR andshortwave radio data obtained from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database(NED). The radio to infrared SEDs are best-fitted by power law plusgraybody models of dust residing in the central galactic regions withina 2.4 kpc diameter and with temperatures between ~21 and 28 K,emissivity index ~=2, and masses from ~1.6 to19×105Msolar. The emissivity index isconsistent with dust constituting amorphous silicate and carbonaceousgrains previously modeled for stellar-heated dust observed in the Galaxyand other nearby extragalactic sources. Using updated dust absorptioncoefficients for this type of dust, dust masses are estimated that aresimilar to those determined from earlier FIR data alone, even though thelatter results implied hotter dust temperatures. Fluxes and masses thatare consistent with the new FIR and submillimeter data are estimated fordust cooler than 20 K within the central galactic regions. Tighterphysical constraints for such cold, diffuse dust (if it exists) with lowsurface brightness will need sensitive FIR to submillimeter observationswith the Spitzer Space Telescope, SCUBA2, or ALMA. The Relation between Galaxy Activity and the Dynamics of Compact Groups of GalaxiesUsing a sample of 91 galaxies distributed over 27 compact groups (CGs)of galaxies, we define an index that allows us to quantify their levelof activity due to an active galactic nucleus (AGN) or star formation.By combining the mean activity index with the mean morphological type ofthe galaxies in a group, we are able to quantify the evolutionary stateof the groups. We find that they span an evolutionary sequence thatcorrelates with the spatial configuration of the galaxies in the CG. Wedistinguish three main configuration types: A, B, and C. Type A CGs showpredominantly low velocity dispersions and are rich in late-type spiralsthat show active star formation or harbor an AGN. Type B groups haveintermediate velocity dispersions and contain a large fraction ofinteracting or merging galaxies. Type C comprises CGs with high velocitydispersions, which are dominated by elliptical galaxies that show noactivity. We suggest that evolution proceeds A==>B==>C. Mappingthe groups with different evolution levels in a diagram of radius versusvelocity dispersion does not reveal the pattern expected based on theconventional fast merger model for CGs, which predicts a direct relationbetween these two parameters. Instead, we observe a trend contrary toexpectation: the evolutionary state of a group increases with velocitydispersion. This trend seems to be related to the masses of thestructures in which CGs are embedded. In general, the evolutionary stateof a group increases with the mass of the structure. This suggestseither that galaxies evolve more rapidly in massive structures or thatthe formation of CGs embedded in massive structures predated theformation of CGs associated with lower mass systems. Our observationsare consistent with the structure formation predicted by the CDM model(or ΛCDM), only if the formation of galaxies is a biased process. Properties of isolated disk galaxiesWe present a new sample of northern isolated galaxies, which are definedby the physical criterion that they were not affected by other galaxiesin their evolution during the last few Gyr. To find them we used thelogarithmic ratio, f, between inner and tidal forces acting upon thecandidate galaxy by a possible perturber. The analysis of thedistribution of the f-values for the galaxies in the Coma cluster leadus to adopt the criterion f ≤ -4.5 for isolated galaxies. Thecandidates were chosen from the CfA catalog of galaxies within thevolume defined by cz ≤5000 km s-1, galactic latitudehigher than 40o and declination ≥-2.5o. Theselection of the sample, based on redshift values (when available),magnitudes and sizes of the candidate galaxies and possible perturberspresent in the same field is discussed. The final list of selectedisolated galaxies includes 203 objects from the initial 1706. The listcontains only truly isolated galaxies in the sense defined, but it is byno means complete, since all the galaxies with possible companions underthe f-criterion but with unknown redshift were discarded. We alsoselected a sample of perturbed galaxies comprised of all the diskgalaxies from the initial list with companions (with known redshift)satisfying f ≥ -2 and \Delta(cz) ≤500 km s-1; a totalof 130 objects. The statistical comparison of both samples showssignificant differences in morphology, sizes, masses, luminosities andcolor indices. Confirming previous results, we found that late spiral,Sc-type galaxies are, in particular, more frequent among isolatedgalaxies, whereas Lenticular galaxies are more abundant among perturbedgalaxies. Isolated systems appear to be smaller, less luminous and bluerthan interacting objects. We also found that bars are twice as frequentamong perturbed galaxies compared to isolated galaxies, in particularfor early Spirals and Lenticulars. The perturbed galaxies have higherLFIR/LB and Mmol/LB ratios,but the atomic gas content is similar for the two samples. The analysisof the luminosity-size and mass-luminosity relations shows similartrends for both families, the main difference being the almost totalabsence of big, bright and massive galaxies among the family of isolatedsystems, together with the almost total absence of small, faint and lowmass galaxies among the perturbed systems. All these aspects indicatethat the evolution induced by interactions with neighbors would proceedfrom late, small, faint and low mass Spirals to earlier, bigger, moreluminous and more massive spiral and lenticular galaxies, producing atthe same time a larger fraction of barred galaxies but preserving thesame relations between global parameters. The properties we found forour sample of isolated galaxies appear similar to those of high redshiftgalaxies, suggesting that the present-day isolated galaxies could bequietly evolved, unused building blocks surviving in low densityenvironments.Tables \ref{t1} and \ref{t2} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Further clues to the nature of composite LINER/H II galaxiesWe have analyzed new, archival and published high resolution radio andX-ray observations of a sample of composite LINER/H II galaxies known toexhibit AGN-like properties. Five of the 16 AGN candidates havemilliarcsecond-scale detections and are found to display a compact, flatspectrum, high brightness temperature radio core, four of which alsoexhibit extended radio emission. Five of the eight AGN candidates withavailable high resolution X-ray observations were found to possess ahard X-ray nuclear source, two of which have no milliarcsecond radiodetection. The combined high resolution radio and X-ray data yield a 50%detection rate of low luminosity AGN among the AGN candidates, whichtranslates into a 12% detection rate for the entire composite LINER/H IIsample. In the sources where the AGN has been unambiguously detected,the ionizing power of the AGN is not sufficient to generate the observedemission lines, unless the hard X-rays are heavily obscured. We attemptto apply a canonical advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) and jetmodel to the sample sources in order to explain the observed radio andX-ray emission. While ADAFs may be responsible for the observed emissionin submillijansky radio cores like NGC 7331, they do not appearconsistent with the radio emission observed in the milliarcsecond-scaleradio detected cores; the latter sources are more likely to have anenergetically important contribution from a radio-emitting jet. Near-infrared imaging of ellipticals: surface brightness profiles and photometryWe present near-infrared K-band imaging of a large sample of candidatemerger remnant galaxies and Hickson Compact Group ellipticals. We derivelight profile indices, effective radii and surface brightnesses, as wellas total K-band magnitudes. We find that the light distributions of themerger remnant candidates are consistent with those of normal'ellipticals, and scatter around a mean profile index of (1/n) = 0.20.Many of our sample galaxies have surface brightness profiles that arenot well described by a de Vaucouleurs law (1/n= 0.25), and we discussthe implications of this on the derived total magnitudes. Comparing thetotal K magnitudes calculated by extrapolating a de Vaucouleurs profileand those derived using a generalized Sérsic form, we find that asignificant bias is introduced if the de Vaucouleurs law is not a gooddescription of the actual light profile. Tidally Triggered Star Formation in Close Pairs of Galaxies. II. Constraints on Burst Strengths and AgesGalaxy-galaxy interactions rearrange the baryons in galaxies and triggersubstantial star formation; the aggregate effects of these interactionson the evolutionary histories of galaxies in the universe are poorlyunderstood. We combine B- and R-band photometry and optical spectroscopyto estimate the strengths and timescales of bursts of triggered starformation in the centers of 190 galaxies in pairs and compact groups.Based on an analysis of the measured colors and EW(Hα), wecharacterize the preexisting and triggered populations separately. Thebest-fitting burst scenarios assume stronger reddening corrections forline emission than for the continuum and continuous star formationlasting for >~100 Myr. The most realistic scenarios require aninitial mass function that is deficient in the highest mass stars. Thecolor of the preexisting stellar population is the most significantsource of uncertainty. Triggered star formation contributessubstantially (probably >~50%) to the R-band flux in the centralregions of several galaxies; tidal tails do not necessarily accompanythis star formation. Many of the galaxies in our sample have bluercenters than outskirts, suggesting that pre- or nonmerger interactionsmay lead to evolution along the Hubble sequence. These objects wouldappear blue and compact at higher redshifts; the older, redder outskirtsof the disks would be difficult to detect. Our data indicate thatgalaxies with larger separations on the sky contain weaker, and probablyolder, bursts of star formation on average. However, confirmation ofthese trends requires further constraints on the colors of the olderstellar populations and on the reddening for individual galaxies. Core Radio and Optical Emission in the Nuclei of nearby FR I Radio GalaxiesIn this paper we analyze the relation between radio, optical continuumand Hα+[N II] emission from the cores of a sample of 21 nearbyFanaroff and Riley type I galaxies as observed with the VLBA and HST.The emission arises inside the inner tens of parsecs of the galaxies.Core radio emission is observed in 19/20 galaxies, optical corecontinuum emission is detected in 12/21 galaxies and Hα+[N II]core emission is detected in 20/21 galaxies. We confirm the recentlydetected linear correlation between radio and optical core emission inFR I galaxies and show that both core emissions also correlate withcentral Hα+[N II] emission. The tight correlations between radio,optical, and Hα+[N II] core emission constrain the bulk Lorentzfactor to γ~2-5 and γ<~2 for a continuous jet and a jetconsisting of discrete blobs, respectively, assuming jet-viewing anglesin the range 30°-90°. Radio and optical core emissions arelikely to be synchrotron radiation from the inner jet, possibly with asignificant contribution from emission by an accretion disk and/or flow.Elliptical galaxies with LINER nuclei without large-scale radio jetsseem to follow the core emission correlations found in FR I galaxies.This suggests that the central engines could be very similar for the twoclasses of active galactic nuclei. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. A comparison of stellar populations in galaxy spheroids across a wide range of Hubble typesWe present line-strengths and kinematics from the central regions of 32galaxies with Hubble types ranging from E to Sbc. Spectral indices,based on the Lick system, are measured in the optical and near-infrared(NIR). The 24 indices measured, in conjunction with models of theeffects of varying abundance ratios, permit the breaking ofage/metallicity degeneracy, and allow estimation of enhancements inspecific light elements (particularly C and Mg). The large range ofHubble types observed allows direct comparison of line-strengths in thecentres of early-type galaxies (E and S0) with those in spiral bulges,free from systematic differences that have plagued comparisons ofresults from different studies. Our sample includes field and Virgocluster galaxies. For early-type galaxies our data are consistent withpreviously reported trends of Mg2 and Mgb with velocitydispersion. In spiral bulges we find trends in all indices with velocitydispersion. We estimate luminosity-weighted ages, metallicities andheavy-element abundance ratios (enhancements) from optical indices.These show that bulges are less enhanced in light (α-capture)elements and have lower average age than early-type galaxies. Trendsinvolving age and metallicity also differ sharply between early and latetypes. An anticorrelation exists between age and metallicity in earlytypes, while, in bulges, metallicity is correlated with velocitydispersion. We consider the implications of these findings for models ofthe formation of these galaxies. We find that primordial collapse modelsof galaxy formation are ruled out by our observations, while severalpredictions of hierarchical clustering (merger) models are confirmed. The UZC-SSRS2 Group CatalogWe apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers. A catalogue and analysis of X-ray luminosities of early-type galaxiesWe present a catalogue of X-ray luminosities for 401 early-typegalaxies, of which 136 are based on newly analysed ROSAT PSPC pointedobservations. The remaining luminosities are taken from the literatureand converted to a common energy band, spectral model and distancescale. Using this sample we fit the LX:LB relationfor early-type galaxies and find a best-fit slope for the catalogue of~2.2. We demonstrate the influence of group-dominant galaxies on the fitand present evidence that the relation is not well modelled by a singlepower-law fit. We also derive estimates of the contribution to galaxyX-ray luminosities from discrete-sources and conclude that they provideLdscr/LB~=29.5ergs-1LBsolar-1. Wecompare this result with luminosities from our catalogue. Lastly, weexamine the influence of environment on galaxy X-ray luminosity and onthe form of the LX:LB relation. We conclude thatalthough environment undoubtedly affects the X-ray properties ofindividual galaxies, particularly those in the centres of groups andclusters, it does not change the nature of whole populations. X-ray luminosities of galaxies in groupsWe have derived the X-ray luminosities of a sample of galaxies ingroups, making careful allowance for contaminating intragroup emission.The LX:LB and LX:LFIRrelations of spiral galaxies in groups appear to be indistinguishablefrom those in other environments, however the elliptical galaxies fallinto two distinct classes. The first class is central-dominant groupgalaxies, which are very X-ray luminous and may be the focus of groupcooling flows. All other early-type galaxies in groups belong to thesecond class, which populates an almost constant band ofLX/LB over the range9.8 Compact Groups of Galaxies: Evolution of the Stellar PopulationWe present a study focusing on the nature of compact groups (CGs)through the study of their elliptical (E) galaxies. Parametersdescribing the internal dynamics and the stellar populations of thegalaxies are compared with their counterparts in other environments. Oursample has 24 bright E galaxies located in the core of Hickson CGs and11 bright bona fide' Es, located in the field or very loose groups.Their spectra were obtained with the 2.1 m Telescope at KPNO and have a4.1 Å resolution over the wavelength range 3500-7000 Å. Wehave found that, from the dynamical point of view, E galaxies in CGs areessentially similar to those in dense clusters. Moreover, the stellarpopulations of Es in CGs seem to be older and less metal rich than thosein the field, behaviour which has also been observed by Rose et al.(1994). The Frequency of Active and Quiescent Galaxies with Companions: Implications for the Feeding of the NucleusWe analyze the idea that nuclear activity, either active galactic nuclei(AGNs) or star formation, can be triggered by interactions by studyingthe percentage of active, H II, and quiescent galaxies with companions.Our sample was selected from the Palomar survey and avoids selectionbiases faced by previous studies. This sample was split into fivedifferent groups, Seyfert galaxies, LINERs, transition galaxies, H IIgalaxies, and absorption-line galaxies. The comparison between the localgalaxy density distributions of the different groups showed that in mostcases there is no statistically significant difference among galaxies ofdifferent activity types, with the exception that absorption-linegalaxies are seen in higher density environments, since most of them arein the Virgo Cluster. The comparison of the percentage of galaxies withnearby companions showed that there is a higher percentage of LINERs,transition galaxies, and absorption-line galaxies with companions thanSeyfert and H II galaxies. However, we find that when we consider onlygalaxies of similar morphological types (elliptical or spiral), there isno difference in the percentage of galaxies with companions amongdifferent activity types, indicating that the former result was due tothe morphology-density effect. In addition, only small differences arefound when we consider galaxies with similar Hα luminosities. Thecomparison between H II galaxies of different Hα luminositiesshows that there is a significantly higher percentage of galaxies withcompanions among H II galaxies with L(Hα)>1039 ergss-1 than among those with L(Hα)<=1039ergs s-1, indicating that interactions increase the amount ofcircumnuclear star formation, in agreement with previous results. Thefact that we find that galaxies of different activity types have thesame percentage of companions suggests that interactions betweengalaxies is not a necessary condition to trigger the nuclear activity inAGNs. We compare our results with previous ones and discuss theirimplications. The Fundamental Plane of Elliptical Galaxies in Compact GroupsWe present a study focusing on the nature of compact groups through thestudy of their elliptical galaxies. We determine velocity dispersions(σ) for 18 bright elliptical galaxies located in the core ofHickson compact groups and a control sample of 12 bright bona fideelliptical galaxies located in the field or very loose groups. Severaltests are carried out to avoid sources of systematic effects in σmeasurements. We use these velocity dispersions to compare the positionsof 11 compact group galaxies in the fundamental plane with those of alarge and homogeneous sample of elliptical galaxies. We find that littleor no significant difference exists, as far as the fundamental plane isconcerned, between elliptical galaxies in compact groups and theircounterparts in other environments. HI observations of loose galaxy groups. I. Data and global propertiesAt Nançay, 21-cm H I line observations were made of 15spiral-dominated loose groups of galaxies, divided into two samples: aninteracting'' sample containing at least one pair of interactinggalaxies, and a control'' sample having no optical evidence ofinteractions or morphological disturbances among the group members. Theinteracting sample consists of 62 galaxies representing 9 differentgroups, and the control sample contains 40 galaxies representing 6groups. Of the 91 galaxy and galaxy pairs observed, 74 were detected,while upper limits were placed on the remaining 17 objects. Thesehomogeneous H I data, which will be used in future analyses, providecomparative information on the H I content of groups and serve as aprobe of the vicinity of the target spirals for H I clouds or very lowsurface brightness gas-rich galaxies. The gas content of peculiar galaxies: Counterrotators and polar ringsThis paper studies the global ISM content in a sample of 104 accretinggalaxies, including counterrotators and polar rings, which spans theentire Hubble sequence. The molecular, atomic and hot gas content ofaccretors is compared to a newly compiled sample of normal galaxies. Wepresent results of a small survey of the J=1-0 line of 12COwith the 15 m SEST telescope on a sample of 11 accretors (10counterrotators and 1 polar ring). The SEST sample is enlarged withpublished data from 48 galaxies, for which observational evidence ofcounterrotation in the gas and/or the stars has been found. Furthermore,the available data on a sample of 46 polar ring galaxies has beencompiled. In order to explore the existence of an evolutionary pathlinking the two families of accretors, the gas content ofcounterrotators and polar rings is compared. It was found that thenormalized content of cold gas (Mgas/LB) in polarrings is ~ 1 order of magnitude higher than the reference value derivedfor normal galaxies. The inferred gas masses are sufficient to stabilizepolar rings through self-gravity. In contrast, it was found that thecold gas content of counterrotators is close to normal for all galaxytypes. Although counterrotators and polar rings probably share a commonorigin, the gas masses estimated here confirm that light gas ringsaccreted by future counterrotators may have evolved faster than theself-gravitating structures of polar rings. In this scenario, thetransformation of atomic into molecular gas could be enhanced near thetransition region between the prograde and the retrograde disks,especially in late-type accretors characterized by a high content ofprimordial gas. This is tentatively confirmed in this work: the measuredH2/HI ratio seems larger in counterrotators than in normal orpolar ring galaxies for types later than S0s. Based on observationscollected at SEST telescope, European Southern Observatory, La Silla,Chile. Table 1 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org The visible environment of galaxies with counterrotationIn this paper we present a statistical study of the environments of 49galaxies in which there is gas- or stellar-counterrotation. The numberof possible companions in the field (to apparent magnitude 22), theirsize and concentration were considered. All the statistical parameterswere analysed by means of Kolgomorov-Smirnov tests, using a controlsample of 43 galaxies without counterrotation. From our data, nosignificant differences between the counter-rotating and control samplesappear. This is different to Seyfert or radio-loud galaxies which lie inenvironments with a higher density of companions. On the contrary, if aweak tendency exists, for galaxies with gas counterrotation only, it isdiscovered in regions of space where the large scale density of galaxiesis smaller. Our results tend to disprove the hypothesis thatcounterrotation and polar rings derive from a recent interaction with asmall satellite or a galaxy of similar size. To a first approximation,they seem to follow the idea that all galaxies are born through a mergerprocess of smaller objects occurring very early in their life, or thatthey derive from a continuous, non-traumatic infall of gas that formedstars later. Whatever the special machinery is which producescounterrotation or polar rings instead of a co-planar, co-rotatingdistribution of gas and stars, it seems not to be connected to thepresent galaxy density of their environments. A ROSAT High Resolution Imager survey of bright nearby galaxiesWe use the extensive public archive of ROSAT High Resolution Imager(HRI) observations to carry out a statistical investigation of the X-rayproperties of nearby galaxies. Specifically we focus on the sample of486 bright (BT<=12.5) northern galaxies studied by Ho,Filippenko and Sargent (HFS) in the context of their exploration of theoptical spectroscopic properties of nearby galactic nuclei. Over 20percent of HFS galaxies are encompassed in ROSAT HRI fields of reasonable(>=10ks) exposure. The X-ray sources detected within the opticalextent of each galaxy are categorized as either nuclear or non-nuclear,depending on whether the source is positioned within or outside a25-arcsec radius circle centred on the optical nucleus. A nuclear X-raysource is detected in over 70per cent of the galaxies harbouring eithera Seyfert or LINER nucleus, compared with a detection rate of only~40per cent in less active systems. The correlation of the Hαluminosity with nuclear X-ray luminosity previously observed in QSOs andbright Seyfert 1 galaxies appears to extend down into the regime ofultra-low luminosity(LX~1038-1040ergs-1) activegalactic nuclei (AGN). The inferred accretion rates for this sample oflow-luminosity AGN are significantly sub-Eddington. In total, 142non-nuclear sources were detected. In combination with published datafor M31, this leads to a luminosity distribution (normalized to anoptical blue luminosity of 1010Lsolar) for thediscrete X-ray source population in spiral galaxies of the formdN/dL38 = (1.0 ± 0.2)L-1.838where L38 is the X-ray luminosity in units of1038ergs-1. The implied LXLBratio is ~1.1×1039ergs-1(1010Lsolar)-1. The nature ofthe substantial number of superluminous' non-nuclear objects detectedin the survey is discussed. The Nature of Composite LINER/H II Galaxies as Revealed from High-Resolution VLA ObservationsA sample of 37 nearby galaxies displaying composite LINER/H II and pureH II spectra was observed with the VLA in an investigation of the natureof their weak radio emission. The resulting radio contour maps overlaidon optical galaxy images are presented here, together with an extensiveliterature list and discussion of the individual galaxies. Radiomorphological data permit assessment of the classical active galacticnucleus (AGN)'' contribution to the global activity observed in thesetransition'' LINER galaxies. One in five of the latter objects displayclear AGN characteristics: these occur exclusively in bulge-dominatedhosts. Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of GroupsIn this paper we describe the Nearby Optical Galaxy (NOG) sample, whichis a complete, distance-limited (cz<=6000 km s-1) andmagnitude-limited (B<=14) sample of ~7000 optical galaxies. Thesample covers 2/3 (8.27 sr) of the sky (|b|>20deg) andappears to have a good completeness in redshift (97%). We select thesample on the basis of homogenized corrected total blue magnitudes inorder to minimize systematic effects in galaxy sampling. We identify thegroups in this sample by means of both the hierarchical and thepercolation `friends-of-friends'' methods. The resulting catalogs ofloose groups appear to be similar and are among the largest catalogs ofgroups currently available. Most of the NOG galaxies (~60%) are found tobe members of galaxy pairs (~580 pairs for a total of ~15% of objects)or groups with at least three members (~500 groups for a total of ~45%of objects). About 40% of galaxies are left ungrouped (field galaxies).We illustrate the main features of the NOG galaxy distribution. Comparedto previous optical and IRAS galaxy samples, the NOG provides a densersampling of the galaxy distribution in the nearby universe. Given itslarge sky coverage, the identification of groups, and its high-densitysampling, the NOG is suited to the analysis of the galaxy density fieldof the nearby universe, especially on small scales. The Nuclear Activity of Galaxies in the Hickson Compact GroupsIn order to investigate the nuclear activity of galaxies residing incompact groups of galaxies, we present results of our opticalspectroscopic program made at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory. We haveperformed optical spectroscopy of 69 galaxies belonging to 31 Hicksoncompact groups (HCGs) of galaxies. Among them, three galaxies havediscordant redshifts and, moreover, spectral quality is too poor toclassify another three galaxies. Therefore, we describe our results forthe remaining 63 galaxies. Our main results are summarized as follows:(1) We have found in our sample 28 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), 16 HII nuclei, and 19 normal galaxies showing no emission line. We used thisHCG sample for statistical analyses. (2) Comparing the frequencydistributions of activity types between the HCGs and the field galaxieswhose data are taken from Ho, Filippenko, & Sargent (382 fieldgalaxies), we find that the frequency of H II nuclei in the HCGs issignificantly less than that in the field. However, this difference maybe due to selection bias to the effect that our HCG sample contains moreearly-type galaxies than the field, because it is known that H II nucleiare rarer in early-type galaxies than in later ones. (3) Applying acorrection to this morphological bias to the HCG sample, we find thatthere is no statistically significant difference in the frequency ofoccurrence of emission-line galaxies between the HCGs and the field.This implies that the dense galaxy environment in the HCGs does notaffect the triggering of either the AGN activity and the nuclearstarburst. We discuss some implications on the nuclear activity in theHCG galaxies. Arcsecond Positions of UGC GalaxiesWe present accurate B1950 and J2000 positions for all confirmed galaxiesin the Uppsala General Catalog (UGC). The positions were measuredvisually from Digitized Sky Survey images with rms uncertaintiesσ<=[(1.2")2+(θ/100)2]1/2,where θ is the major-axis diameter. We compared each galaxymeasured with the original UGC description to ensure high reliability.The full position list is available in the electronic version only. Radio Emission of Shakhbazian Compact Galaxy GroupsWe detect 353 radio sources from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS) and theFIRST Survey within the areas of 179 Shakhbazian compact groups (ShCGs)of galaxies. Ninety-three of them are identified with galaxies in 74ShCGs. Six radio sources have complex structure. The radio spectra of 22sources are determined. Radio luminosities of galaxies in ShCGs are ingeneral higher than those of galaxies in Hickson compact groups (HCGs).A comparison of radio (at 1.4 GHz) and FIR (at 60 μm) fluxes of ShCGgalaxies with those of HCG galaxies shows that galaxies in ShCGs arerelatively stronger emitters at radio wavelengths, while galaxies inHCGs have relatively stronger FIR emission. The reasons for suchdifferences are discussed.
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