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|Stellar kinematics and populations of early-type galaxies with the SAURON and OASIS integral-field spectrographs|
We summarise the results and achievements of integral-field spectroscopyof early-type galaxies, observed as part of a survey using both theSAURON and OASIS spectrographs. From the perspective of integral-fieldspectroscopy, these otherwise smooth and featureless objects show awealth of structure, both in their stellar kinematics and populations.We focus on the stellar content, and examine properties on bothkiloparsec scales with SAURON, and scales of 100’s of parsecs withOASIS. These complementary studies reveal two types of kinematicallydistinct components (KDCs), differing primarily in their intrinsicsizes. In previous studies, KDCs and their host galaxies have generallybeen found to be unremarkable in other aspects. We show that large KDCs,typical of the well-studied cases, indeed show little or no agedifferences with their host galaxy. The KDCs detected with the higherspatial-resolution of OASIS are intrinsically smaller and include, incontrast, a significant fraction of young stars. We speculate on therelationship between KDCs and their host galaxies, and the implicationsfor young populations in early-type galaxies.
|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.
|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.
|Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. II. Optical Study and Interpretation|
Our X-ray study of the nuclear activity in a new sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, as well as in a larger sample from the literature,confirmed (Paper I) that the Bondi accretion rate of diffuse hot gas isnot a good indicator of the SMBH X-ray luminosity. Here we suggest thata more reliable estimate of the accretion rate must include the gasreleased by the stellar population inside the sphere of influence of theSMBH, in addition to the Bondi inflow of hot gas across that surface. Weuse optical surface brightness profiles to estimate the mass-loss ratefrom stars in the nuclear region: we show that for our sample ofgalaxies it is an order of magnitude higher (~10-4 to10-3 Msolar yr-1) than the Bondi inflowrate of hot gas, as estimated from Chandra (Paper I). Only by takinginto account both sources of fuel can we constrain the true accretionrate, the accretion efficiency, and the power budget. Radiativelyefficient accretion is ruled out, for quiescent SMBHs. For typicalradiatively inefficient flows, the observed X-ray luminosities of theSMBHs imply accretion fractions ~1%-10% (i.e., ~90%-99% of the availablegas does not reach the SMBH) for at least five of our six targetgalaxies and most of the other galaxies with known SMBH masses. Wediscuss the conditions for mass conservation inside the sphere ofinfluence, so that the total gas injection is balanced by accretion plusoutflows. We show that a fraction of the total accretion power(mechanical plus radiative) would be sufficient to sustain aself-regulating, slow outflow that removes from the nuclear region allthe gas that does not sink into the BH (``BH feedback''). The rest ofthe accretion power may be carried out in a jet or advected. We alsodiscuss scenarios that would lead to an intermittent nuclear activity.
|Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. I. X-Ray Study|
We have studied the nuclear activity in a sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, with new Chandra data and archival HST opticalimages. Their nuclear sources have X-ray luminosities~1038-1039 ergs s-1(LX/LEdd~10-8 to 10-7) andcolors or spectra consistent with accreting supermassive black holes(SMBHs), except for the nucleus of NGC 4486B, which is softer thantypical AGN spectra. In a few cases, the X-ray morphology of the nuclearsources shows hints of marginally extended structures, in addition tothe surrounding diffuse thermal emission from hot gas, which isdetectable on scales >~1 kpc. In one case (NGC 5845), a dusty diskmay partially obstruct our direct view of the SMBH. We have estimatedthe temperature and density of the hot interstellar medium, which is onemajor source of fuel for the accreting SMBH; typical central densitiesare ne~(0.02+/-0.01) cm-3. Assuming that the hotgas is captured by the SMBH at the Bondi rate, we show that the observedX-ray luminosities are too faint to be consistent with standard diskaccretion, but brighter than predicted by radiatively inefficientsolutions (e.g., advection-dominated accretion flows [ADAFs]). In total,there are ~20 galaxies for which SMBH mass, hot gas density, and nuclearX-ray luminosity are simultaneously known. In some cases, the nuclearsources are brighter than predicted by the ADAF model; in other cases,they are consistent or fainter. We discuss the apparent lack ofcorrelations between Bondi rate and X-ray luminosity and suggest that,in order to understand the observed distribution, we need to know twoadditional parameters: the amount of gas supplied by the stellarpopulation inside the accretion radius, and the fraction (possibly<<1) of the total gas available that is accreted by the SMBH. Weleave a detailed study of these issues to a subsequent paper.
|A Chandra Survey of Early-Type Galaxies. I. Metal Enrichment in the Interstellar Medium|
We present a Chandra study of the emission-weighted metal abundances in28 early-type galaxies, spanning ~3 orders of magnitude in X-rayluminosity (LX). We report constraints for Fe, O, Ne, Mg, Si,S, and Ni. We find no evidence of the very subsolar Fe abundance(ZFe) historically reported, confirming a trend in recentobservations of bright galaxies and groups, nor do we find anycorrelation between ZFe and luminosity. Excepting one case,the ISM is single-phase, indicating that multitemperature fits foundwith ASCA reflected temperature gradients that we resolve with Chandra.We find no evidence that ZFe (ISM) is substantially lowerthan the stellar metallicity estimated from simple stellar populationmodels. In general, these quantities are similar, which is inconsistentwith galactic wind models and recent hierarchical chemical enrichmentsimulations. Our abundance ratio constraints imply that 66%+/-11% of theISM Fe was produced in SNe Ia, similar to the solar neighborhood,indicating similar enrichment histories for elliptical galaxies and theMilky Way. Although these values are sensitive to the considerablesystematic uncertainty in the supernova yields, they are in agreementwith observations of more massive systems. This indicates considerablehomology in the enrichment process operating from cluster scales tolow-to-intermediate-LX galaxies. The data uniformly exhibitlow ZO/ZMg ratios, which have been reported insome clusters, groups, and galaxies. This is inconsistent with standardSN II metal yield calculations and may indicate an additional source ofenrichment, such as Population III hypernovae.
|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.
|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.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear data|
We have derived ages, metallicities and enhanced-element ratios[α/Fe] for a sample of 83 early-type galaxies essentially ingroups, the field or isolated objects. The stellar-population propertiesderived for each galaxy correspond to the nuclear re/8aperture extraction. The median age found for Es is 5.8+/-0.6 Gyr andthe average metallicity is +0.37+/-0.03 dex. For S0s, the median age is3.0+/-0.6 Gyr and [Z/H]= 0.53+/-0.04 dex. We compare the distribution ofour galaxies in the Hβ-[MgFe] diagram with Fornax galaxies. Ourelliptical galaxies are 3-4 Gyr younger than Es in the Fornax cluster.We find that the galaxies lie in a plane defined by [Z/H]= 0.99logσ0- 0.46 log(age) - 1.60, or in linear terms Z~σ0× (age) -0.5. More massive (largerσ0) and older galaxies present, on average, large[α/Fe] values, and therefore must have undergone shorterstar-formation time-scales. Comparing group against field/isolatedgalaxies, it is not clear that environment plays an important role indetermining their stellar-population history. In particular, ourisolated galaxies show ages differing by more than 8 Gyr. Finally weexplore our large spectral coverage to derive log(O/H) metallicity fromthe Hα and NIIλ6584 and compare it with model-dependent[Z/H]. We find that the O/H abundances are similar for all galaxies, andwe can interpret it as if most chemical evolution has already finishedin these galaxies.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear data|
This is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies.
|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.
|The NGC 5846 Group: Dynamics and the Luminosity Function to MR=-12|
We conduct a photometric and spectroscopic survey of a 10deg2 region surrounding the nearby NGC 5846 group ofgalaxies, using the Canada-France-Hawaii and Keck I telescopes to studythe population of dwarf galaxies as faint as MR=-10.Candidates are identified on the basis of quantitative surfacebrightness and qualitative morphological criteria. Spectroscopic followup and a spatial correlation analysis provide the basis for affirminggroup memberships. Altogether, 324 candidates are identified, and 83have spectroscopic membership confirmation. We argue on statisticalgrounds that a total of 251+/-10 galaxies in our sample are groupmembers. The observations, together with archival Sloan Digital SkySurvey, ROSAT, XMM-Newton, and ASCA data, suggest that the giantellipticals NGC 5846 and NGC 5813 are the dominant components ofsubgroups separated by 600 kpc in projection and embedded in a 1.6 Mpcdiameter dynamically evolved halo. The galaxy population isoverwhelmingly early type. The group velocity dispersion is 322 kms-1, its virial mass is 8.4×1013Msolar, and M/LR=320 MsolarL-1solar. The ratio of dwarfs to giants is largecompared with other environments in the Local Supercluster studied, and,correspondingly, the luminosity function is relatively steep, with afaint-end Schechter function slope of αd=-1.3+/-0.1(statistical) +/-0.1 (systematic) at our completeness limit ofMR=-12.
|The Nuclear Disk in the Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4486A|
Many ellipticals contain nuclear disks of dust and gas. Some ellipticalscontain nuclear disks of stars that are distinct from the rest of thegalaxy. We show that the dwarf E2 galaxy NGC 4486A contains both-it is a``Rosetta stone'' object that tells us how nuclear disks evolve. Itsproperties suggest that, as accreted gas dissipates and settles towardthe center, it forms stars and builds a stellar disk. Secular growth mayexplain not only the most distinct nuclear disks such as the one in NGC4486A but also some of the disky distortions that are commonly seen inelliptical galaxies. That is, density distributions may grow secularlycuspier. This would result in chaotic mixing of stellar orbits in phasespace and would tend to make an elliptical galaxy evolve toward a morenearly axisymmetric shape.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
|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.
|Are radio galaxies and quiescent galaxies different? Results from the analysis of HST brightness profiles|
We present a study of the optical brightness profiles of early typegalaxies, using a number of samples of radio galaxies and opticallyselected elliptical galaxies. For the radio galaxy samples - B2 ofFanaroff-Riley type I and 3C of Fanaroff-Riley type II - we determined anumber of parameters that describe a "Nuker-law" profile, which werecompared with those already known for the optically selected objects. Wefind that radio active galaxies are always of the "core" type (i.e. aninner Nuker law slope γ < 0.3). However, there are core-typegalaxies which harbor no significant radio source and which areindistinguishable from the radio active galaxies. We do not find anyradio detected galaxy with a power law profile (γ > 0.5). Thisdifference is not due to any effect with absolute magnitude, since in aregion of overlap in magnitude the dichotomy between radio active andradio quiescent galaxies remains. We speculate that core-type objectsrepresent the galaxies that have been, are, or may become, radio activeat some stage in their lives; active and non-active core-type galaxiesare therefore identical in all respects except their eventualradio-activity: on HST scales we do not find any relationship betweenboxiness and radio-activity. There is a fundamental plane, defined bythe parameters of the core (break radius rb and breakbrightness μ_b), which is seen in the strong correlation betweenrb and μ_b. The break radius is also linearly proportionalto the optical Luminosity in the I band. Moreover, for the few galaxieswith an independently measured black hole mass, the break radius turnsout to be tightly correlated with MBH. The black hole masscorrelates even better with the combination of fundamental planeparameters rb and μ_b, which represents the centralvelocity dispersion.
|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.
|Companions to Isolated Elliptical Galaxies: Revisiting the Bothun-Sullivan Sample|
We investigate the number of physical companion galaxies for a sample ofrelatively isolated elliptical galaxies. The NASA/IPAC ExtragalacticDatabase (NED) has been used to reinvestigate the incidence of satellitegalaxies for a sample of 34 elliptical galaxies, first investigated byBothun & Sullivan using a visual inspection of Palomar Sky Surveyprints out to a projected search radius of 75 kpc. We have repeatedtheir original investigation using data cataloged in NED. Nine of theseelliptical galaxies appear to be members of galaxy clusters; theremaining sample of 25 galaxies reveals an average of +1.0+/-0.5apparent companions per galaxy within a projected search radius of 75kpc, in excess of two equal-area comparison regions displaced by 150-300kpc. This is significantly larger than the +0.12+/-0.42companions/galaxy found by Bothun & Sullivan for the identicalsample. Making use of published radial velocities, mostly availablesince the completion of the Bothun-Sullivan study, identifies thephysical companions and gives a somewhat lower estimate of +0.4companions per elliptical galaxy. This is still 3 times larger than theoriginal statistical study, but given the incomplete and heterogeneousnature of the survey redshifts in NED, it still yields a firm lowerlimit on the number (and identity) of physical companions. An expansionof the search radius out to 300 kpc, again restricted to sampling onlythose objects with known redshifts in NED, gives another lower limit of4.5 physical companions per galaxy. (Excluding five elliptical galaxiesin the Fornax Cluster, this average drops to 3.5 companions perelliptical.) These physical companions are individually identified andlisted, and the ensemble-averaged radial density distribution of theseassociated galaxies is presented. For the ensemble, the radial densitydistribution is found to have a falloff consistent withρ~R-0.5 out to approximately 150 kpc. For non-FornaxCluster companions the falloff continues out to the 300 kpc limit of thesurvey. The velocity dispersion of these companions is found to reach amaximum of 350 km s-1 at around 120 kpc, after which theyfall at a rate consistent with Keplerian falloff. This falloff may thenindicate the detection of a cut-off in the mass-density distribution inthe elliptical galaxies' dark matter halo at ~100 kpc.
|On the Black Hole Mass-Bulge Mass Relation|
We have reexamined the relation between the mass of the central blackholes in nearby galaxies, Mbh, and the stellar mass of thesurrounding spheroid or bulge, Mbulge. For a total of 30galaxies bulge masses were derived through Jeans equation modeling oradopted from dynamical models in the literature. In stellarmass-to-light ratios, the spheroids and bulges span a range of a factorof 8. The bulge masses were related to well-determined black hole massestaken from the literature. With these improved values forMbh, compared to Magorrian et al., and our redetermination ofMbulge, we find that the Mbh-Mbulgerelation becomes very tight. We findMbh~M1.12+/-0.06bulge with an observedscatter of <~0.30 dex, a fraction of which can be attributed tomeasurement errors. The scatter in this relation is therefore comparableto the scatter in the relations of Mbh with σ and thestellar concentration. These results confirm and refine the work ofMarconi & Hunt. For Mbulge~5×1010Msolar the median black hole mass is 0.14%+/-0.04% of thebulge mass.
|Revised Rates of Stellar Disruption in Galactic Nuclei|
We compute rates of tidal disruption of stars by supermassive blackholes in galactic nuclei, using downwardly revised black hole massesfrom the MBH-σ relation. In galaxies with steep nucleardensity profiles, which dominate the overall event rate, the disruptionfrequency varies inversely with assumed black hole mass. We compute atotal rate for nondwarf galaxies of ~10-5 yr-1Mpc-3, about a factor of 10 higher than in earlier studies.Disruption rates are predicted to be highest in nucleated dwarfgalaxies, assuming that such galaxies contain black holes. Monitoring ofa rich galaxy cluster for a few years could rule out the existence ofintermediate-mass black holes in dwarf galaxies.
|Evidence for a New Elliptical-Galaxy Paradigm: Sérsic and Core Galaxies|
We fitted the surface-brightness profiles of 21 elliptical galaxiesusing both the Sérsic function and a new empirical model thatcombines an inner power law with an outer Sérsic function. Theprofiles are combinations of deconvolved Hubble Space Telescope (HST)profiles from the literature and ellipse fits to the full WFPC2 mosaicimages and thus span a radial range from ~0.02" to about twice thehalf-light radius. We are able to accurately fit the entire profilesusing either the Sérsic function or our new model. In doing so,we demonstrate that most, if not all, so-called ``power-law'' galaxiesare better described as ``Sérsic galaxies''-they are well modeledby the three-parameter Sérsic profile into the limits of HSTresolution-and that ``core'' galaxies are best understood as consistingof an outer Sérsic profile with an inner power-law cusp, which isa downward deviation from the inward extrapolation of the Sérsicprofile. This definition of cores resolves ambiguities that result whenthe popular ``Nuker law'' is fitted to the profiles of ellipticals andbulges, particularly at lower luminosities. We also find that using theNuker law to model core-galaxy nuclear profiles systematicallyoverestimates the core radii by factors of 1.5-4.5 and underestimatesthe inner power-law slope by ~20%-40% or more.
|The Relation between Black Hole Mass, Bulge Mass, and Near-Infrared Luminosity|
We present new accurate near-infrared (NIR) spheroid (bulge) structuralparameters obtained by a two-dimensional image analysis of all galaxieswith a direct black hole (BH) mass determination. As expected, NIR bulgeluminosities Lbul and BH masses are tightly correlated, andif we consider only those galaxies with a secure BH mass measurement andan accurate Lbul (27 objects), the spread ofMBH-Lbul is similar toMBH-σe, where σe is theeffective stellar velocity dispersion. We find an intrinsic rms scatterof ~=0.3 dex in logMBH. By combining the bulge effectiveradii Re measured in our analysis with σe,we find a tight linear correlation (rms~=0.25 dex) betweenMBH and the virial bulge mass(~Reσ2e), with~0.002. A partial correlationanalysis shows that MBH depends on both σeand Re and that both variables are necessary to drive thecorrelations between MBH and other bulge properties.
|Measuring Distances and Probing the Unresolved Stellar Populations of Galaxies Using Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations|
To empirically calibrate the IR surface brightness fluctuation (SBF)distance scale and probe the properties of unresolved stellarpopulations, we measured fluctuations in 65 galaxies using NICMOS on theHubble Space Telescope. The early-type galaxies in this sample includeelliptical and S0 galaxies and spiral bulges in a variety ofenvironments. Absolute fluctuation magnitudes in the F160W (1.6 μm)filter (MF160W) were derived for each galaxy using previouslymeasured I-band SBF and Cepheid variable star distances. F160W SBFs canbe used to measure distances to early-type galaxies with a relativeaccuracy of ~10%, provided that the galaxy color is known to ~0.035 magor better. Near-IR fluctuations can also reveal the properties of themost luminous stellar populations in galaxies. Comparison of F160Wfluctuation magnitudes and optical colors to stellar population modelpredictions suggests that bluer elliptical and S0 galaxies havesignificantly younger populations than redder ones and may also be moremetal-rich. There are no galaxies in this sample with fluctuationmagnitudes consistent with old, metal-poor (t>5 Gyr, [Fe/H]<-0.7)stellar population models. Composite stellar population models implythat bright fluctuations in the bluer galaxies may be the result of anepisode of recent star formation in a fraction of the total mass of agalaxy. Age estimates from the F160W fluctuation magnitudes areconsistent with those measured using the Hβ Balmer-line index. Thetwo types of measurements make use of completely different techniquesand are sensitive to stars in different evolutionary phases. Bothtechniques reveal the presence of intermediate-age stars in theearly-type galaxies of this sample.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
|Axisymmetric Dynamical Models of the Central Regions of Galaxies|
We present axisymmetric, orbit superposition models for 12 galaxiesusing data taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and ground-basedobservatories. In each galaxy, we detect a central black hole (BH) andmeasure its mass to accuracies ranging from 10% to 70%. We demonstratethat in most cases the BH detection requires both the HST andground-based data. Using the ground-based data alone does provide anunbiased measure of the BH mass (provided that they are fitted withfully general models), but at a greatly reduced significance. The mostsignificant correlation with host galaxy properties is the relationbetween the BH mass and the velocity dispersion of the host galaxy; wefind no other equally strong correlation and no second parameter thatimproves the quality of the mass-dispersion relation. We are also ableto measure the stellar orbital properties from these general models. Themost massive galaxies are strongly biased to tangential orbits near theBH, consistent with binary BH models, while lower mass galaxies have arange of anisotropies, consistent with an adiabatic growth of the BH.
|Lensing and the Centers of Distant Early-Type Galaxies|
Gravitational lensing provides a unique probe of the inner 10-1000 pc ofdistant galaxies (z~0.2-1). Theoretical studies have predicted that eachstrong lens system should have a faint image near the center of the lensgalaxy, which should, in principle, be visible in radio lenses but hasnever been detected. We study the predicted ``core'' images using modelsderived from the stellar distributions in nearby early-type galaxies. Wefind that realistic lens galaxies produce a remarkably wide range ofcore images, with magnifications spanning some 6 orders of magnitude.More concentrated galaxies produce fainter core images, although notwith any model-independent relation between the galaxy properties andthe core images. Some real galaxies have diffuse cores that should yieldbright core images (magnification μcore>~0.1), but morecommon are galaxies that yield faint core images(μcore<~0.001). Thus, stellar mass distributions aloneare probably concentrated enough to explain the lack of observed coreimages. Observational sensitivity may need to improve by an order ofmagnitude before detections of core images become common. Two-imagelenses should tend to have brighter core images than four-image lenses,so they will be the better targets for finding core images andexploiting these tools for studying the central mass distributions ofdistant galaxies.
|Metallicity distributions of globular cluster systems in galaxies|
We collected a sample of 100 galaxies for which different observers havedetermined colour indices of globular cluster candidates. The sampleincludes representatives of galaxies of various morphological types anddifferent luminosities. Colour indices (in most cases (V-I), but also(B-I) and (C-T_1)) were transformed into metallicities [Fe/H] accordingto a relation by Kissler-Patig (1998). These data were analysed with theKMM software in order to estimate similarity of the distribution withuni- or bimodal Gaussian distribution. We found that 45 of 100 systemshave bimodal metallicity distributions. Mean metallicity of themetal-poor component for these galaxies is < [Fe/H]> = -1.40 +/-0.02, of the metal-rich component < [Fe/H]> = -0.69 +/- 0.03.Dispersions of the distributions are 0.15 and 0.18, respectively.Distribution of unimodal metallicities is rather wide. These data willbe analysed in a subsequent paper in order to find correlations withparameters of galaxies and galactic environment.
|Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Spectroscopic Data|
We present central velocity dispersions and Mg2 line indicesfor an all-sky sample of ~1178 elliptical and S0 galaxies, of which 984had no previous measures. This sample contains the largest set ofhomogeneous spectroscopic data for a uniform sample of ellipticalgalaxies in the nearby universe. These galaxies were observed as part ofthe ENEAR project, designed to study the peculiar motions and internalproperties of the local early-type galaxies. Using 523 repeatedobservations of 317 galaxies obtained during different runs, the dataare brought to a common zero point. These multiple observations, takenduring the many runs and different instrumental setups employed for thisproject, are used to derive statistical corrections to the data and arefound to be relatively small, typically <~5% of the velocitydispersion and 0.01 mag in the Mg2 line strength. Typicalerrors are about 8% in velocity dispersion and 0.01 mag inMg2, in good agreement with values published elsewhere.
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