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 HI content in galaxies in loose groupsGas deficiency in cluster spirals is well known and ram-pressurestripping is considered the main gas removal mechanism. In some compactgroups too gas deficiency is reported. However, gas deficiency in loosegroups is not yet well established. Lower dispersion of the membervelocities and the lower density of the intragroup medium in small loosegroups favour tidal stripping as the main gas removal process in them.Recent releases of data from the HI Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) andcatalogues of nearby loose groups with associated diffuse X-ray emissionhave allowed us to test this notion. In this paper, we address thefollowing questions: (i) do galaxies in groups with diffuse X-rayemission statistically have lower gas content compared to the ones ingroups without diffuse X-ray emission? (ii) does HI deficiency vary withthe X-ray luminosity, LX, of the loose group in a systematicway? We find that (i) galaxies in groups with diffuse X-ray emission, onaverage, are HI deficient, and have lost more gas compared to those ingroups without X-ray emission; the latter are found not to havesignificant HI deficiency; (ii) no systematic dependence of the HIdeficiency with LX is found. Ram-pressure-assisted tidalstripping and evaporation by thermal conduction are the two possiblemechanisms to account for this excess gas loss. Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. III. Dating the last star formation eventUsing 6 colours and 4 Lick line-indices we derive two-component modelsof the populations of ellipticals, involving a "primary" and a"juvenile" population. The first component is defined by the regressionsof indices against the central velocity dispersion found in Papers I andII for the {Nop} sample of non-peculiar objects. The second one isapproximated by an SSP, and the modeling derives its age A, metallicityZ and fractional V-luminosity q_V, the fractional mass qMbeing found therefrom. The model is designed for "blueish" peculiargalaxies, i.e. the {Pec} sample and NGC 2865 family in the terminologyof Paper I. The morphological peculiarities and the population anomalyare then believed to involve the same event, i.e. a merger plusstarburst. It is possible to improve the models in a few cases byintroducing diffuse dust (as suggested by far IR data), and/or by takinginto account the fact that Lick- and colour indices do not relate toidentical galaxy volumes. In most of the cases, the mass ratio of youngstars qM seems too small for the product of a recent majormerger: the events under consideration might be minor mergers bringing"the final touch" to the build-up of the structure of the E-type object.The same modeling has been successfully applied to blueish galaxies ofthe {Nop} sample, without morphological peculiarities however, tosupport the occurence of a distinct perturbing event. A few reddishobjects of the {Pec} sample (NGC 3923 family) and of the {Nop} sampleare also modeled, in terms of an excess of high metallicity stars, ordiffuse dust, or both, but the results are inconclusive. The X-ray emission properties and the dichotomy in the central stellar cusp shapes of early-type galaxiesThe 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. Spherical models for early-type galaxies with cuspy mass densitiesSpherical mass density models are used to fit the central surfacebrightness profiles of early-type galaxies which are generated fromNuker law parameters obtained from the literature. The mass density andthe corresponding potential are in an analytical form. It is shown thatonly a few mass density components are necessary to obtain a good fitand that for all power-law galaxies and for the core galaxies that weconsider, most or all of the mass density components must have cusps toprovide good fits. The applied quadratic programming fitting allows fora method of deprojection, which is reliable and convenient. The resultscan be used directly for further dynamical modelling. The Epochs of Early-Type Galaxy Formation as a Function of EnvironmentThe aim of this paper is to set constraints on the epochs of early-typegalaxy formation through the archaeology'' of the stellar populationsin local galaxies. Using our models of absorption-line indices thataccount for variable abundance ratios, we derive ages, totalmetallicities, and element ratios of 124 early-type galaxies in high-and low-density environments. The data are analyzed by comparison withmock galaxy samples created through Monte Carlo simulations taking thetypical average observational errors into account, in order to eliminateartifacts caused by correlated errors. We find that all threeparameters, age, metallicity, and α/Fe ratio, are correlated withvelocity dispersion. We show that these results are robust againstrecent revisions of the local abundance pattern at high metallicities.To recover the observed scatter we need to assume an intrinsic scatterof about 20% in age, 0.08 dex in [Z/H], and 0.05 dex in [α/Fe].All low-mass objects withM*<~1010Msolar (σ<~130kms-1) show evidence for the presence of intermediate-agestellar populations with low α/Fe ratios. About 20% of theintermediate-mass objects with1010<~M*/Msolar<~1011[110<~σ/(kms-1)<~230 both elliptical andlenticular galaxies] must have either a young subpopulation or a bluehorizontal branch. On the basis of the above relationships, valid forthe bulk of the sample, we show that the Mg-σ relation is mainlydriven by metallicity, with similar contributions from the α/Feratio (23%) and age (17%). We further find evidence for an influence ofthe environment on the stellar population properties. Massive early-typegalaxies in low-density environments seem on average ~2 Gyr younger andslightly (~0.05-0.1 dex) more metal-rich than their counterparts inhigh-density environments. No offsets in the α/Fe ratios areinstead detected. With the aid of a simple chemical evolution model, wetranslate the derived ages and α/Fe ratios into star formationhistories. We show that most star formation activity in early-typegalaxies is expected to have happened between redshifts ~3 and 5 inhigh-density environments and between redshifts 1 and 2 in low-densityenvironments. We conclude that at least 50% of the total stellar massdensity must have already formed at z~1, in good agreement withobservational estimates of the total stellar mass density as a functionof redshift. Our results suggest that significant mass growth in theearly-type galaxy population below z~1 must be restricted to lessmassive objects, and a significant increase of the stellar mass densitybetween redshifts 1 and 2 should be present, caused mainly by the fieldgalaxy population. The results of this paper further imply the presenceof vigorous star formation episodes in massive objects at z~2-5 andevolved elliptical galaxies around z~1, both observationally identifiedas SCUBA galaxies and extremely red objects, respectively. Star Formation Histories of Nearby Elliptical Galaxies. I. Volume-Limited SampleThis work presents high signal-to-noise ratio spectroscopic observationsof a representative sample of nearby elliptical galaxies. Theseobservations provide a strong test of models for the formation ofelliptical galaxies and their star formation histories. Combining thesedata with the González data set, a volume-limited sample of 45galaxies has been defined. Results are in agreement with previousstudies: the existence of the metallicity hyperplane and the Z-plane ofTrager and coworkers is confirmed, and the distribution is clearly dueto physical variations in stellar population parameters and notmeasurement uncertainty. Trends between stellar population parametersand galaxy structural parameters suggest that angular momentum maydetermine the chemical abundance of a galaxy at a given mass. The Centers of Early-Type Galaxies with Hubble Space Telescope. V. New WFPC2 PhotometryWe present observations of 77 early-type galaxies imaged with the PC1CCD of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2. Nuker-law'' parametricfits to the surface brightness profiles are used to classify the centralstructure into core'' or power-law'' forms. Core galaxies aretypically rounder than power-law galaxies. Nearly all power-law galaxieswith central ellipticities ɛ>=0.3 have stellar disks,implying that disks are present in power-law galaxies withɛ<0.3 but are not visible because of unfavorable geometry. Afew low-luminosity flattened core galaxies also have disks; these may betransition forms from power-law galaxies to more luminous core galaxies,which lack disks. Several core galaxies have strong isophote twistsinterior to their break radii, although power-law galaxies have interiortwists of similar physical significance when the photometricperturbations implied by the twists are evaluated. Central colorgradients are typically consistent with the envelope gradients; coregalaxies have somewhat weaker color gradients than power-law galaxies.Nuclei are found in 29% of the core galaxies and 60% of the power-lawgalaxies. Nuclei are typically bluer than the surrounding galaxy. Whilesome nuclei are associated with active galactic nuclei (AGNs), just asmany are not; conversely, not all galaxies known to have a low-level AGNexhibit detectable nuclei in the broadband filters. NGC 4073 and 4382are found to have central minima in their intrinsic starlightdistributions; NGC 4382 resembles the double nucleus of M31. In general,the peak brightness location is coincident with the photocenter of thecore to a typical physical scale of <1 pc. Five galaxies, however,have centers significantly displaced from their surrounding cores; thesemay be unresolved asymmetric double nuclei. Finally, as noted byprevious authors, central dust is visible in about half of the galaxies.The presence and strength of dust correlates with nuclear emission;thus, dust may outline gas that is falling into the central black hole.The prevalence of dust and its morphology suggest that dust clouds form,settle to the center, and disappear repeatedly on ~108 yrtimescales. We discuss the hypothesis that cores are created by thedecay of a massive black hole binary formed in a merger. Apart fromtheir brightness profiles, there are no strong differences between coregalaxies and power-law galaxies that demand this scenario; however, therounder shapes of core, their lack of disks, and their reduced colorgradients may be consistent with it.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated withGO and GTO proposals 5236, 5446, 5454, 5512, 5943, 5990, 5999, 6099,6386, 6554, 6587, 6633, 7468, 8683, and 9107. Near infra-red and optical colour gradients in E-type galaxies. Inferences on dust contentColour gradients are considered for a sample of circa 50 E-type galaxiesin the Local Supercluster. The new data includes isophotal colourprofiles in J-H, J-K, V-J and V-K, measured using 2MASS frames mostlyfrom the Large Galaxies Atlas, V frames from previous work and Vprofiles from the literature. This is supplemented by U-B, B-V, B-R, V-Icolour gradients obtained anew from published photometric data. Colourgradients in E galaxies show remarkably large variations from object toobject and do not correlate with other properties. Metallicity gradientsare the primary cause as shown before. Age gradients with oppositeeffects are possibly needed to explain objects with small colourgradients. Some empirical evidence of such age effects has been foundfor a subset of objects with morphological peculiarities and youngerstars mixed. Dust has only modest effects on colour gradients, as shownby the fact that objects with zero IRAS 100 μ flux have the sameaverage values of the gradients, except in V-J and V-K, as those withnon zero flux (cf. Table 7). This last subsample however exhibits poorbut definite correlations between IRAS flux and gradients, which mightbe caused by the presence of a few relatively dusty galaxies in thesample. Given the absence of a correlation between any gradients andgalaxy velocity dispersion (and hence mass), the observations do notagree with the predictions of the monolithic scenario for the formationof E galaxies. Simulated datasets of “dummy” objectsmimicking the hierarchical scenario have been obtained, and used to testa technique for estimating the dust content of E-galaxies from thecomparison of the V-K (or V-J) colour gradients with the U-B (or B-V)ones: the contents of diffuse dust, gauged in terms of published models,are obtained for a dozen objects. Are radio galaxies and quiescent galaxies different? Results from the analysis of HST brightness profilesWe 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. Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. II. Visual-near IR colours as population indicesAs a complement to the data collected and discussed in Paper I of thisseries, 2MASS near-IR images have been used, in connection withavailable V light aperture photometry, to derive the colours V-J, V-K,J-H and J-K within the effective aperture A_e: nearly the same completesample of 110 E-type galaxies is treated. In Paper I these wereclassified, based on morphological criteria, into the peculiar'' (orPec) and normal'' (or Nop) subsamples. For the Nop subsample, thederived colour indices are tightly related to the galaxy masses, asmeasured by the central velocity dispersion σ0,although with rather small slopes as regards J-H and J-K. For the Pecsubsample, the V-J and V-K colours behave as UBV and line-indices: partof the objects show blue residuals from the appropriatecolour-σ0 regression, which is evidence of a youngerpopulation mixed with the normal'' one traced by the Nop regressions;the other shows no deviations from the Nop subsample. The distinctionamong Pec objects between the YP family (NGC 2865 type), and the NP one(NGC 3923 type), is statistically supported, and generally confirmed inspecific cases.Based in part on observations collected at the Observatoire deHaute-Provence.Table 4 is only available in electonic form at the CDS via anonymous ftpto cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/429/819 Double Nuclei and TDGs": Colliding or Activity of Nucleus Monster?It is known that among active galaxies (AG) with strong emission lines (UV-galaxies, Sy 1 and Sy2, Markarian and Kazarian galaxies,Radio-galaxies, QSO's host galaxies and so on) there are large per centof objects with double and multiple nucleus. The common sizes andvolumes of these nuclei are on the order of a few hundred parsecs orkilo-parsecs. In fact these are not double galaxies or clusters ofgalaxies as many of astronomers believe, but just the complicatednucleus of AG. The problem is: what are the nature and the birth ofthese objects? There are in fact two basic suppositions in the subject:(a) The complicated nuclei are the result of merging or colliding of twoor more galaxies, or: (b) They are the results of nuclear activity. Theresults of detailed spectroscopic observations of a number of "tidalgalaxies", carried out with the 5m Palomar telescope, 2.6m telescope ofAmbartsumian Byurakan astrophysical observatory (multi-pupilspectroscopy with Tiger receiver) and 6m telescope of SpecialAstrophysical observatory of Russia are presented. It is shown that inmany cases the "tidal dwarf galaxies "(or actually complicatednucleus) are the result of galactic nuclear activity. Cold Dust in Early-Type Galaxies. I. ObservationsWe describe far-infrared observations of early-type galaxies selectedfrom the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) archive. This ratherinhomogeneous sample includes 39 giant elliptical galaxies and 14 S0 (orlater) galaxies. These galaxies were observed with the array photometerPHOT on-board the ISO satellite using a variety of different observingmodes-sparse maps, mini-maps, oversampled maps, and singlepointings-each of which requires different and often rather elaboratephotometric reduction procedures. The ISO background data agree wellwith the COBE-DIRBE results to which we have renormalized ourcalibrations. As a further check, the ISO fluxes from galaxies at 60 and100 μm agree very well with those previously observed with IRAS atthese wavelengths. The spatial resolution of ISO is several timesgreater than that of IRAS, and the ISO observations extend out to 200μm, which views a significantly greater mass of colder dust notassessable to IRAS. Most of the galaxies are essentially point sourcesat ISO resolution, but a few are clearly extended at FIR wavelengthswith image sizes that increase with FIR wavelength. The integratedfar-infrared luminosities do not correlate with optical luminosities,suggesting that the dust may have an external, merger-related origin. Ingeneral, the far-infrared spectral energy distributions can be modeledwith dust at two temperatures, ~43 and ~20 K, which probably representlimits of a continuous range of temperatures. The colder dust componentdominates the total mass of dust, 106-107Msolar, which is typically more than 10 times larger than thedust masses previously estimated for the same galaxies using IRASobservations. For S0 galaxies we find that the optically normalizedfar-infrared luminosity LFIR/LB correlatesstrongly with the mid-infrared luminosityL15μm/LB, but that correlation is weaker forelliptical galaxies.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands, and United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS andNASA. Companions to Isolated Elliptical Galaxies: Revisiting the Bothun-Sullivan SampleWe 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. Revised Rates of Stellar Disruption in Galactic NucleiWe 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. Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. I. An old question revisitedMorphological peculiarities, as defined from isophote asymmetries andnumber of detected shells, jets or similar features, have been estimatedin a sample of 117 E classified galaxies, and qualified by an ad hocΣ2 index. The overall frequency of peculiar'' objects(Pec subsample) is 32.5%. It decreases with the cosmic density of theenvironment, being minimal for the Virgo cluster, the densestenvironment in the sampled volume. This environmental effect is strongerfor galaxies with relatively large Σ2.The Pec subsample objects are compared with normal'' objects (Nopsubsample) as regards their basic properties. Firstly, theysystematically deviate from the Fundamental Plane and the Faber-Jacksonrelation derived for the Nop subsample, being too bright for their mass.Secondly, the dust content of galaxies, as estimated from IRAS fluxes,are similar in both subsamples. Third, the same is true of the frequencyof Kinematically Distinct cores (KDC), suggesting that KDC andmorphological peculiarities do not result from the same events in thehistory of E-galaxies.Using the Nop sample alone, we obtain very tight reference relationsbetween stellar population indicators (U-B, B-V, B-R, V-I,Mg2, Hβ, , Mgb) and the central velocitydispersion σ0. The discussion of the residuals of theserelations allows us to classify the Pec galaxies in two families i.e.the YP or NGC 2865 family, and the NP or NGC 3923 one. Galaxies in thefirst group show consistent evidence for a younger stellar populationmixed with the old one, in agreement with classical results (Schweizeret al. \cite{Schweizer1990}; Schweizer & Seitzer\cite{Schweizer1992}). The second group, however, has normal, orreddish, populations. It is remarkable that a fraction (circa 40%) ofmorphologically perturbed objects do not display any signature of ayoung population, either because the event responsible for thepecularity is too ancient, or because it did not produce significantstar formation (or eventually that the young sub-population has highmetallicity).A preliminary attempt is made to interpret the populations of Pecobjects by combining a young Single Stellar Population with a Nopgalaxy, with only limited success, perhaps largely due to uncertaintiesin the SSP indices used.Based in part on observations collected at the Observatoire deHaute-Provence.Figures \ref{fig1}-\ref{fig3} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.orgTable 10 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/423/833 Spherical Models for Early-type Galaxies with Cuspy Mass DensitiesNot Available 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. Stellar collisions in galactic centres: black hole growth and colour gradientsWe study the effects of stellar collisions, particularly on feedingmassive black holes (BHs) and colour gradients, in realistic galacticcentres. We find that the mass released by stellar collisions is notsufficient to account for the present BH mass in galactic centres,especially in bright galaxies. This study, together with the study byMagorrian & Tremaine on tidal disruption of stars by massive BHs,implies that the material for BH growth (especially in galaxies brighterthan ~109 Lsolar) can only come from othersources, for example, the mass released by stellar evolution in theinitial ~1 Gyr of the lifetime of the galaxy, or the gas that sinks tothe galactic centre in a galaxy merger. We also analyse how the colourof a stellar system is affected by collisions of stars. We find thatcollisions between main-sequence stars cannot cause observable colourgradients in the visible bands at projected radius R>~ 0.1 arcsec inM31, M32 and other nearby galactic centres. This result is consistentwith the lack of an observable colour gradient in M32 at R >~ 0.1arcsec. At even smaller radii, the colour differences caused bycollisions between main-sequence stars are at most 0.08 mag at R = 0.02arcsec. The averaged bluing caused by stellar collisions in the region R< 0.1 arcsec of M32 should not be larger than 0.06 mag in colourindex U - V and 0.02 mag in V - I. The observed bluing in the centre ofthe galaxy M31 (in a 0.14 × 0.14 arcsec2 box) must becaused by some mechanism other than collisions between main-sequencestars. Lensing and the Centers of Distant Early-Type GalaxiesGravitational 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 galaxiesWe 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: Circular-Aperture PhotometryWe present R-band CCD photometry for 1332 early-type galaxies, observedas part of the ENEAR survey of peculiar motions using early-typegalaxies in the nearby universe. Circular apertures are used to tracethe surface brightness profiles, which are then fitted by atwo-component bulge-disk model. From the fits, we obtain the structuralparameters required to estimate galaxy distances using theDn-σ and fundamental plane relations. We find thatabout 12% of the galaxies are well represented by a pure r1/4law, while 87% are best fitted by a two-component model. There are 356repeated observations of 257 galaxies obtained during different runsthat are used to derive statistical corrections and bring the data to acommon system. We also use these repeated observations to estimate ourinternal errors. The accuracy of our measurements are tested by thecomparison of 354 galaxies in common with other authors. Typical errorsin our measurements are 0.011 dex for logDn, 0.064 dex forlogre, 0.086 mag arcsec-2 for<μe>, and 0.09 for mRC,comparable to those estimated by other authors. The photometric datareported here represent one of the largest high-quality and uniformall-sky samples currently available for early-type galaxies in thenearby universe, especially suitable for peculiar motion studies.Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO),National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., undercooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF);European Southern Observatory (ESO); Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(FLWO); and the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak. A new catalogue of ISM content of normal galaxiesWe have compiled a catalogue of the gas content for a sample of 1916galaxies, considered to be a fair representation of normality''. Thedefinition of a normal'' galaxy adopted in this work implies that wehave purposely excluded from the catalogue galaxies having distortedmorphology (such as interaction bridges, tails or lopsidedness) and/orany signature of peculiar kinematics (such as polar rings,counterrotating disks or other decoupled components). In contrast, wehave included systems hosting active galactic nuclei (AGN) in thecatalogue. This catalogue revises previous compendia on the ISM contentof galaxies published by \citet{bregman} and \citet{casoli}, andcompiles data available in the literature from several small samples ofgalaxies. Masses for warm dust, atomic and molecular gas, as well asX-ray luminosities have been converted to a uniform distance scale takenfrom the Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC). We have used twodifferent normalization factors to explore the variation of the gascontent along the Hubble sequence: the blue luminosity (LB)and the square of linear diameter (D225). Ourcatalogue significantly improves the statistics of previous referencecatalogues and can be used in future studies to define a template ISMcontent for normal'' galaxies along the Hubble sequence. The cataloguecan be accessed on-line and is also available at the Centre desDonnées Stellaires (CDS).The catalogue is available in electronic form athttp://dipastro.pd.astro.it/galletta/ismcat and at the CDS via anonymousftp to\ cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via\http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/405/5 Evolution of massive binary black holesSince many or most galaxies have central massive black holes (BHs),mergers of galaxies can form massive binary black holes (BBHs). In thispaper we study the evolution of massive BBHs in realistic galaxy models,using a generalization of techniques used to study tidal disruptionrates around massive BHs. The evolution of BBHs depends on BH mass ratioand host galaxy type. BBHs with very low mass ratios (say, <~0.001)are hardly ever formed by mergers of galaxies, because the dynamicalfriction time-scale is too long for the smaller BH to sink into thegalactic centre within a Hubble time. BBHs with moderate mass ratios aremost likely to form and survive in spherical or nearly sphericalgalaxies and in high-luminosity or high-dispersion galaxies; they aremost likely to have merged in low-dispersion galaxies (line-of-sightvelocity dispersion <~90kms-1 ) or in highly flattened ortriaxial galaxies. The semimajor axes and orbital periods of survivingBBHs are generally in the range 10-3 -10pc and10-105 yr they are also larger in high-dispersion galaxiesthan in low-dispersion galaxies, larger in nearly spherical galaxiesthan in highly flattened or triaxial galaxies, and larger for BBHs withequal masses than for BBHs with unequal masses. The orbital velocitiesof surviving BBHs are generally in the range 102-104 kms-1 . The methods of detecting survivingBBHs are also discussed. If no evidence of BBHs is found in AGNs, thismay be either because gas plays a major role in BBH orbital decay orbecause nuclear activity switches on soon after a galaxy merger, andends before the smaller BH has had time to spiral to the centre of thegalaxy. Nuclear Cusps and Cores in Early-Type Galaxies as Relics of Binary Black Hole MergersWe present an analysis of the central cusp slopes and core parameters ofearly-type galaxies using a large database of surface brightnessprofiles obtained from Hubble Space Telescope observations. We examinethe relation between the central cusp slopes, core parameters, and blackhole masses in early-type galaxies, in light of two models that attemptto explain the formation of cores and density cusps via the dynamicalinfluence of black holes. Contrary to the expectations fromadiabatic-growth models, we find that the cusp slopes do not steepenwith increasing black hole mass fraction. Moreover, a comparison ofkinematic black hole mass measurements with the masses predicted by theadiabatic models shows that they overpredict the masses by a factor of~3. Simulations involving binary black hole mergers predict that boththe size of the core and the central mass deficit correlate with thefinal black hole mass. These relations are qualitatively supported bythe present data. Bar Galaxies and Their EnvironmentsThe prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment. Line-strength indices and velocity dispersions for 148 early-type galaxies in different environmentsWe have derived high quality line-strength indices and velocitydispersions for a sample of 148 early-type galaxies in differentenvironments. The wavelength region covered by the observations (lambda=~ 4600 to 6600 Å) includes the Lick/IDS indices Hβ,Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, Fe5015, Fe5270, Fe5335, Fe5406,Fe5709, Fe5782, NaD, TiO1 and TiO2. The data areintended to address possible differences of the stellar populations ofearly-type galaxies in low- and high-density environments. This paperdescribes the sample properties, explains the data reduction andpresents the complete list of all the measurements. Most galaxies of thesample (85%) had no previous measurements of any Lick/IDS indices andfor 30% of the galaxies we present first-time determinations of theirvelocity dispersions. Special care is taken to identify galaxies withemission lines. We found that 62 per cent of the galaxies in the samplehave emission lines, as measured by the equivalent width of the [OIII]5007Å line, EW[OIII] > 0.3 Å. Tables 5 and 6 are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/395/431. They are also available via ftp atftp.mpe.mpg.de in the directory people/dthomas/Beuing02 or via WWW atftp://ftp.mpe.mpg.de/people/dthomas/Beuing02. Near-infrared surface photometry of early-type galaxiesCCD infrared (JHKs) photometry was performed on a sample of10 elliptical and 2 lenticular galaxies. Isophotal parameters,brightness profiles, integrated colors and color gradients arepresented. Color gradients found are very weak, showing bluer colorstowards the outer regions. The colors of the sample galaxies arecompatible with stellar populations like those found in metal-richclusters of the Galaxy; objects NGC 7192, NGC 7562 and NGC 7619 arecompatible with less metal-rich populations. The brightness profile ofmost galaxies is well described by the r1/4 law. The profilesof NGC 1600 and NGC 720 are described by Sérsic's law with n ~1.5 and n ~ 1.8 respectively. The infrared effective radius of theobjects studied is typically one half of its counterpart in the B band,which can be an indication that the stellar population that dominatesthe infrared emission is more concentrated in the central regions. Weshow that the sample satisfies the Fundamental Plane relation ofelliptical galaxies in the infrared, with an rms scatter of 0.20 for Jand H and 0.23 for Ks. The Colors of Globular ClustersA compilation has been made of available data on the ratio of the numberof metal-rich ([Fe/H]>-1.0) to metal-poor ([Fe/H]<-1.0) clustersin various globular cluster systems. Among early-type galaxies of typesE, E/S0, and S0, the ratio of blue to red globular clusters is found tovary by almost 2 orders of magnitude. The data suggest that cD galaxieshave the widest range of evolutionary histories. The fraction ofmetal-rich red clusters is largest among early-type galaxies and appearsto decrease toward later Hubble types. 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.
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