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|Optical/near-infrared colours of early-type galaxies and constraints on their star formation histories|
We introduce and discuss the properties of a theoretical (B-K)(J-K)integrated colour diagram for single-age, single-metallicity stellarpopulations. We show how this combination of integrated colours is ableto largely disentangle the well-known age-metallicity degeneracy whenthe age of the population is greater than ~300Myr, and thus providesvaluable estimates of both age and metallicity of unresolved stellarsystems. We discuss in detail the effect on this colour-colour diagramof α-enhanced metal abundance ratios (typical of the oldestpopulations in the Galaxy), the presence of blue horizontal branch starsunaccounted for in the theoretical calibration and of statistical colourfluctuations in low-mass stellar systems. In the case of populationswith multiple stellar generations, the luminosity-weighted mean ageobtained from this diagram is shown to be heavily biased towards theyoungest stellar components. We then apply this method to several datasets for which optical and near-infrared photometry are available in theliterature. We find that Large Magellanic Cloud and M31 clusters havecolours which are consistent with the predictions of the models, butthese do not provide a sensitive test due to the fluctuations which arepredicted by our modelling of the Poisson statistics in such low-masssystems. For the two Local Group dwarf galaxies NGC 185 and 6822, themean ages derived from the integrated colours are consistent with thestar formation histories inferred independently from photometricobservations of their resolved stellar populations.The methods developed here are applied to samples of nearby early-typegalaxies with high-quality aperture photometry in the literature. Asample of bright field and Virgo cluster elliptical galaxies is found toexhibit a range of luminosity-weighted mean ages from 3 to 14Gyr, with amean of ~8Gyr, independent of environment, and mean metallicities at orjust above the solar value. Colour gradients are found in all of thegalaxies studied, in the sense that central regions are redder. Apartfrom two radio galaxies, where the extreme central colours are clearlydriven by the active galactic nucleus, and one galaxy which also shows aradial age gradient, these colour changes appear consistent withmetallicity changes at a constant mean age. Finally, aperture data forfive Virgo early-type dwarf galaxies show that these galaxies appear tobe shifted to lower mean metallicities and lower mean ages (range1-6Gyr) than their higher luminosity counterparts.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. VIII. The Nuclei of Early-Type Galaxies|
The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey is a Hubble Space Telescope program toobtain high-resolution imaging in widely separated bandpasses (F475W~gand F850LP~z) for 100 early-type members of the Virgo Cluster, spanninga range of ~460 in blue luminosity. We use this large, homogenous dataset to examine the innermost structure of these galaxies and tocharacterize the properties of their compact central nuclei. We presenta sharp upward revision in the frequency of nucleation in early-typegalaxies brighter than MB~-15 (66%<~fn<~82%)and show that ground-based surveys underestimated the number of nucleidue to surface brightness selection effects, limited sensitivity andpoor spatial resolution. We speculate that previously reported claimsthat nucleated dwarfs are more concentrated toward the center of Virgothan their nonnucleated counterparts may be an artifact of theseselection effects. There is no clear evidence from the properties of thenuclei, or from the overall incidence of nucleation, for a change atMB~-17.6, the traditional dividing point between dwarf andgiant galaxies. There does, however, appear to be a fundamentaltransition at MB~-20.5, in the sense that the brighter,``core-Sérsic'' galaxies lack resolved (stellar) nuclei. A searchfor nuclei that may be offset from the photocenters of their hostgalaxies reveals only five candidates with displacements of more than0.5", all of which are in dwarf galaxies. In each case, however, theevidence suggests that these ``nuclei'' are, in fact, globular clustersprojected close to the galaxy photocenter. Working from a sample of 51galaxies with prominent nuclei, we find a median half-light radius of=4.2 pc, with the sizes of individual nucleiranging from 62 pc down to <=2 pc (i.e., unresolved in our images) inabout a half-dozen cases. Excluding these unresolved objects, the nucleisizes are found to depend on nuclear luminosity according to therelation rh L0.50+/-0.03. Because the largemajority of nuclei are resolved, we can rule out low-level AGNs as anexplanation for the central luminosity excess in almost all cases. Onaverage, the nuclei are ~3.5 mag brighter than a typical globularcluster. Based on their broadband colors, the nuclei appear to have oldto intermediate age stellar populations. The colors of the nuclei ingalaxies fainter than MB~-17.6 are tightly correlated withtheir luminosities, and less so with the luminosities of their hostgalaxies, suggesting that their chemical enrichment histories weregoverned by local or internal factors. Comparing the nuclei to the``nuclear clusters'' found in late-type spiral galaxies reveals a closematch in terms of size, luminosity, and overall frequency. A formationmechanism that is rather insensitive to the detailed properties of thehost galaxy properties is required to explain this ubiquity andhomogeneity. The mean of the frequency function for thenucleus-to-galaxy luminosity ratio in our nucleated galaxies,=-2.49+/-0.09 dex (σ=0.59+/-0.10), isindistinguishable from that of the SBH-to-bulge mass ratio,=-2.61+/-0.07dex (σ=0.45+/-0.09), calculated in 23 early-type galaxies withdetected supermassive black holes (SBHs). We argue that the compactstellar nuclei found in many of our program galaxies are the low-masscounterparts of the SBHs detected in the bright galaxies. If thisinterpretation is correct, then one should think in terms of ``centralmassive objects''-either SBHs or compact stellar nuclei-that accompanythe formation of almost all early-type galaxies and contain a meanfraction ~0.3% of the total bulge mass. In this view, SBHs would be thedominant formation mode above MB~-20.5.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. IX. The Color Distributions of Globular Cluster Systems in Early-Type Galaxies|
We present the color distributions of globular cluster (GC) systems for100 early-type galaxies observed in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey, thedeepest and most homogeneous survey of this kind to date. On average,galaxies at all luminosities in our study (-22
|Virgo Cluster Early-Type Dwarf Galaxies with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. On the Possible Disk Nature of Bright Early-Type Dwarfs|
We present a systematic search for disk features in 476 Virgo Clusterearly-type dwarf (dE) galaxies. This is the first such study of analmost-complete, statistically significant dE sample, which includes allcertain or possible cluster members with mB<=18 that arecovered by the optical imaging data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DataRelease 4. Disk features (spiral arms, edge-on disks, or bars) wereidentified by applying unsharp masks to a combined image from threebands (g, r, and i), as well as by subtracting the axisymmetric lightdistribution of each galaxy from that image. Fourteen objects areunambiguous identifications of disks, 10 objects show ``probable disk''features, and 17 objects show ``possible disk'' features. The numberfraction of these galaxies, for which we introduce the term ``dEdi,''reaches more than 50% at the bright end of the dE population anddecreases to less than 5% for magnitudes mB>16. Althoughpart of this observed decline might be due to the lower signal-to-noiseratio at fainter magnitudes, we show that it cannot be caused solely bythe limitations of our detection method. The luminosity function of ourfull dE sample can be explained by a superposition of dEdis and ordinarydEs, strongly suggesting that dEdis are a distinct type of galaxy. Thisis supported by the projected spatial distribution: dEdis show basicallyno clustering and roughly follow the spatial distribution of spirals andirregulars, whereas ordinary dEs are distributed similarly to thestrongly clustered E/S0 galaxies. While the flattening distribution ofordinary dEs is typical for spheroidal objects, the distribution ofdEdis is significantly different and agrees with their being flat oblateobjects. We therefore conclude that the dEdis are not spheroidalgalaxies that just have an embedded disk component but are instead apopulation of genuine disk galaxies. Several dEdis display well-definedspiral arms with grand-design features that clearly differ from theflocculent, open arms typical for late-type spirals that have frequentlybeen proposed as progenitors of dEs. This raises the question of whatprocess is able to create such spiral arms-with pitch angles like thoseof Sab/Sb galaxies-in bulgeless dwarf galaxies.
|Morphological evolution of discs in clusters|
The recent discovery of hidden non-axisymmetric and disc-like structuresin bright Virgo dwarf elliptical and lenticular galaxies (dE/dSph/dS0)indicates that they may have late-type progenitors. Using N-bodysimulations we follow the evolution of disc galaxies within a Λcold dark matter (ΛCDM) cluster simulated with 107particles, where the hierarchical growth and galaxy harassment aremodelled self-consistently. Most of the galaxies undergo significantmorphological transformation, even at the outskirts of the cluster, andmove through the Hubble sequence from late-type discs to dwarfspheroidals. None of the discs is completely destroyed, therefore theycannot be the progenitors of ultracompact dwarf (UCD) galaxies. The timeevolution of the simulated galaxies is compared with unsharp maskedimages obtained from Very Large Telescope (VLT) data and the projectedkinematics of our models with the latest high-resolution spectroscopicstudies from the Keck and Palomar telescopes.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. X. Half-Light Radii of Globular Clusters in Early-Type Galaxies: Environmental Dependencies and a Standard Ruler for Distance Estimation|
We have measured half-light radii, rh, for thousands ofglobular clusters (GCs) belonging to the 100 early-type galaxiesobserved in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey and the elliptical galaxy NGC4697. An analysis of the dependencies of the measured half-light radiion both the properties of the GCs themselves and their host galaxiesreveals that, in analogy with GCs in the Galaxy but in a milder fashion,the average half-light radius increases with increasing galactocentricdistance or, alternatively, with decreasing galaxy surface brightness.For the first time, we find that the average half-light radius decreaseswith the host galaxy color. We also show that there is no evidence for avariation of rh with the luminosity of the GCs. Finally, wefind in agreement with previous observations that the averagerh depends on the color of GCs, with red GCs being ~17%smaller than their blue counterparts. We show that this difference isprobably a consequence of an intrinsic mechanism, rather than projectioneffects, and that it is in good agreement with the mechanism proposed byJordán. We discuss these findings in light of two simple picturesfor the origin of the rh of GCs and show that both lead to abehavior in rough agreement with the observations. After accounting forthe dependencies on galaxy color, galactocentric radius, and underlyingsurface brightness, we show that the average GC half-light radii can be successfully used as a standard ruler fordistance estimation. We outline the methodology, provide a calibrationfor its use, and discuss the prospects for this distance estimator withfuture observing facilities. We find =2.7+/-0.35 pcfor GCs with (g-z)=1.2 mag in a galaxy with color(g-z)gal=1.5 mag and at an underlying surface z-bandbrightness of μz=21 mag arcsec-2. Using thistechnique, we place an upper limit of 3.4 Mpc on the 1 σline-of-sight depth of the Virgo Cluster. Finally, we examine the formof the rh distribution for our sample galaxies and provide ananalytic expression that successfully describes this distribution.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. II. Data Reduction Procedures|
The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey is a large program to carry out multicolorimaging of 100 early-type members of the Virgo Cluster using theAdvanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope. DeepF475W and F850LP images (~SDSS g and z) are being used to study thecentral regions of the program galaxies, their globular cluster systems,and the three-dimensional structure of Virgo itself. In this paper, wedescribe in detail the data reduction procedures used for the survey,including image registration, drizzling strategies, the computation ofweight images, object detection, the identification of globular clustercandidates, and the measurement of their photometric and structuralparameters.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. I. Introduction to the Survey|
The Virgo Cluster is the dominant mass concentration in the LocalSupercluster and the largest collection of elliptical and lenticulargalaxies in the nearby universe. In this paper, we present anintroduction to the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey: a program to image, in theF475W and F850LP bandpasses (~Sloan g and z), 100 early-type galaxies inthe Virgo Cluster using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the HubbleSpace Telescope. We describe the selection of the program galaxies andtheir ensemble properties, the choice of filters, the field placementand orientation, the limiting magnitudes of the survey, coordinatedparallel observations of 100 ``intergalactic'' fields with WFPC2, andsupporting ground-based spectroscopic observations of the programgalaxies. In terms of depth, spatial resolution, sample size, andhomogeneity, this represents the most comprehensive imaging survey todate of early-type galaxies in a cluster environment. We brieflydescribe the main scientific goals of the survey, which include themeasurement of luminosities, metallicities, ages, and structuralparameters for the many thousands of globular clusters associated withthese galaxies, a high-resolution isophotal analysis of galaxiesspanning a factor of ~450 in luminosity and sharing a commonenvironment, the measurement of accurate distances for the full sampleof galaxies using the method of surface brightness fluctuations, and adetermination of the three-dimensional structure of Virgo itself.ID="FN1"> 1Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble SpaceTelescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which isoperated by the association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
|The Colors of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy Globular Cluster Systems, Nuclei, and Stellar Halos|
We present the results of a Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 F555W and F814Wsurvey of 69 dwarf elliptical galaxies (dEs) in the Virgo and FornaxClusters and Leo Group. The V-I colors of the dE globular clusters,nuclei, and underlying field-star populations are used to trace the dEstar formation histories. We find that the dE globular clustercandidates are as blue as the metal-poor globular clusters of the MilkyWay. The observed correlation of the dE globular cluster systems' V-Icolor with the luminosity of the host dE is strong evidence that theglobular clusters were formed within the halos of dEs and do not have apregalactic origin. Assuming that the majority of dE clusters are old,the mean globular cluster color-host galaxy luminosity correlationimplies a cluster metallicity-galaxy luminosity relation of~L0.22+/-0.05B, which issignificantly shallower than the field-star metallicity-host galaxyluminosity relationship observed in Local Group dwarfs(~L0.4). The dE stellar envelopes are0.1-0.2 mag redder in V-I than their globular clusters and nuclei. Thiscolor offset implies separate star formation episodes within the dEs forthe clusters and field stars, while the very blue colors of two dEnuclei trace a third star formation event in those dEs less than 1 Gyrago.
|Stellar Populations of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies: UBVRI Photometry of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
We present UBVRI surface photometry for 16 dwarf elliptical galaxies inthe Virgo Cluster with previously measured kinematic properties. Theglobal optical colors are red, with median values for the sample of0.24+/-0.03 in U-B, 0.77+/-0.02 in B-V, and 1.02+/-0.03 in V-I. Werecover the well-known color-magnitude relation for cluster galaxies butfind no significant difference in dominant stellar population betweenrotating and nonrotating dwarf elliptical galaxies; the average age ofthe dominant stellar population is 5-7 Gyr in all 16 galaxies in thissample. Analysis of optical spectra confirm these age estimates andindicate Fe and Mg abundances in the range of 1/20 to one-third ofsolar, as expected for low-luminosity galaxies. Based on Lick indicesand simple stellar population models, the derived [α/Fe] ratiosare subsolar to solar, indicating a more gradual chemical enrichmenthistory for dE's as compared with giant elliptical galaxies in the VirgoCluster. These observations confirm the marked difference in stellarpopulation and stellar distribution between dwarf and giant ellipticalgalaxies and further substantiate the need for alternative evolutionaryscenarios for the lowest mass cluster galaxies. We argue that it islikely that several different physical mechanisms played a significantrole in the production of the Virgo Cluster dE galaxies including insitu formation, infall of dE's that were once part of Local Groupanalogs, and transformation of dwarf irregular galaxies by the clusterenvironment. The observations support the hypothesis that a largefraction of the Virgo Cluster dE's are formed by ram pressure strippingof gas from infalling dI's.Based on observations with the VATT: the Alice P. Lennon Telescope andthe Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility.
|Rotationally Supported Virgo Cluster Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies: Stripped Dwarf Irregular Galaxies?|
New observations of 16 dwarf elliptical galaxies (dEs) in the VirgoCluster indicate that at least seven dEs have significant velocitygradients along their optical major axis, with typical rotationamplitudes of 20-30 km s-1. Of the remaining nine galaxies inthis sample, six have velocity gradients of less than 20 kms-1 kpc-1, while the other three observations hadtoo low a signal-to-noise ratio to determine an accurate velocitygradient. Typical velocity dispersions for these galaxies are ~44+/-5 kms-1, indicating that rotation can be a significant componentof the stellar dynamics of Virgo dEs. When corrected for the limitedspatial extent of the spectral data, the rotation amplitudes of therotating dEs are comparable to those of similar-brightness dwarfirregular galaxies (dIs). Evidence of a relationship between therotation amplitude and galaxy luminosity is found and, in fact, agreeswell with the Tully-Fisher relation. The similarity in the scalingrelations of dIs and dEs implies that it is unlikely that dEs evolvefrom significantly more luminous galaxies. These observations reaffirmthe possibility that some cluster dEs may be formed when the neutralgaseous medium is stripped from dIs in the cluster environment. Wehypothesize that several different mechanisms are involved in thecreation of the overall population of dEs and that stripping ofinfalling dIs may be the dominant process in the creation of dEs inclusters like Virgo.
|Galaxy Populations and Evolution in Clusters. IV. Deep H I Observations of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
In this paper we present deep Arecibo H I and WIYN optical observationsof Virgo Cluster dwarf elliptical galaxies. Based on this data we arguethat a significant fraction of low-mass galaxies in the Virgo Clusterrecently underwent evolution. Our new observations consist of H I 21 cmline observations for 22 classified dE galaxies with optical radialvelocities consistent with membership in the Virgo Cluster. Clustermembers VCC 390 and VCC 1713 are detected with H I massesMHI=6×107 and 8×107Msolar, respectively, while MHI values in theremaining 20 dE galaxies have upper limits as low as~5×105 Msolar. We combine our results withthose for 26 other Virgo Cluster dE galaxies with H I observations inthe literature, seven of which have H I detection claims. New opticalimages from the WIYN telescope of five of these H I-detected dEgalaxies, along with archival data, suggest that seven of the claimeddetections are true H I detections, yielding a ~15% detection rate.These H I-detected, classified dE galaxies are preferentially locatednear the periphery of the Virgo Cluster. Three Virgo dE galaxies haveobserved H I velocity widths greater than 200 km s-1,possibly indicating the presence of a large dark matter content ortransient extended H I. We discuss the possible origins of these objectsand argue that they originate from field galaxies accreted onto highangular momentum orbits by Virgo in the last few Gyr. As a result ofthis, we argue, these galaxies are slowly transformed within the clusterby gradual gas-stripping processes, associated truncation of starformation, and passive fading of stellar populations. Low-mass,early-type cluster galaxies are therefore currently being produced asthe product of cluster environmental effects. We utilize our results ina simple model to estimate the recent (past 1-3 Gyr) average massaccretion rate into the Virgo Cluster, deriving a value of M~50Msolar yr-1.
|Internal Dynamics, Structure, and Formation of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies. II. Rotating versus Nonrotating Dwarfs|
We present spatially resolved internal kinematics and stellar chemicalabundances for a sample of dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies in the VirgoCluster observed with the Keck telescope and Echelle Spectrograph andImager. In combination with previous measurements, we find that four outof 17 dE's have major-axis rotation velocities consistent withrotational flattening, while the remaining dE's have no detectablemajor-axis rotation. Despite this difference in internal kinematics,rotating and nonrotating dE's are remarkably similar in terms of theirposition in the fundamental plane, morphological details, stellarpopulations, and local environment. We present evidence for (or confirmthe presence of) faint underlying disks and/or weak substructure in afraction of both rotating and nonrotating dE's, but a comparable numberof counterexamples exist for both types that show no evidence of suchstructure. Absorption line strengths were determined based on theLick/IDS system (Hβ, Mg b, Fe5270, and Fe5335) for the centralregion of each galaxy. We find no difference in the line-strengthindices, and hence stellar populations, between rotating and nonrotatingdE galaxies. The best-fitting mean age and metallicity for our same of17 dE's are 5 Gyr and [Fe/H]=-0.3 dex, respectively, with rms spreads of3 Gyr and 0.1 dex. The majority of dE's are consistent with solar[α/Fe] abundance ratios. By contrast, the stellar populations ofclassical elliptical galaxies are, on average, older, more metal-rich,and α-enhanced relative to our dE sample. The line strengths ofour dE's are consistent with the extrapolation of the line strengthversus velocity dispersion trend seen in classical elliptical galaxies.Finally, the local environments of both rotating and nonrotating dE'sappear to be diverse in terms of their proximity to larger galaxies inreal or velocity space within the Virgo Cluster. Thus, rotating andnonrotating dE's are remarkably similar in terms of their structure,stellar content, and local environments, presenting a significantchallenge to theoretical models of their formation.Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, whichis operated as a scientific partnership among the California Instituteof Technology, the University of California, and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possibleby the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
|The luminosity function of the Virgo Cluster from MB=-22 to -11|
We measure the galaxy luminosity function (LF) for the Virgo Clusterbetween blue magnitudes MB=-22 and -11 from wide-fieldcharge-coupled device (CCD) imaging data. The LF is only graduallyrising for -22
|Evidence of fast rotation in dwarf elliptical galaxies|
In this letter we investigate the kinematical properties of early-typedwarfs by significantly enlarging the scarce observational sample so faravailable. We present rotation curves and mean velocity dispersions forfour bright dwarf ellipticals and two dwarf lenticular galaxies in theVirgo cluster. Most of these galaxies exhibit conspicuous rotationcurves. In particular, five out of the six new galaxies are found to beclose to the predictions for oblate spheroids flattened by rotation.Therefore, and contrary to the previous observational hints, the presentdata suggest that an important fraction of dwarf early-type galaxies maybe rotationally supported.
|Internal Dynamics, Structure, and Formation of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies. I. A Keck/Hubble Space Telescope Study of Six Virgo Cluster Dwarf Galaxies|
Spectroscopy with the Keck II 10 m telescope and Echelle Spectrographand Imager is presented for six Virgo Cluster dwarf elliptical (dE)galaxies in the absolute magnitude range-15.7<=MV<=-17.2. The mean line-of-sight velocity andvelocity dispersion are resolved as a function of radius along the majoraxis of each galaxy, nearly doubling the total number of dEs withspatially resolved stellar kinematics. None of the observed objectsshows evidence of strong rotation; upper limits onvrot/σ, the ratio of the maximum rotational velocity tothe mean velocity dispersion, are well below those expected forrotationally flattened objects. Such limits place strong constraints ondE galaxy formation models. Although these galaxies continue the trendof low rotation velocities observed in Local Group dEs, they are incontrast to recent observations of large rotation velocities in slightlybrighter cluster dEs. Using surface photometry from Hubble SpaceTelescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images and spherically symmetricdynamical models, we determine global mass-to-light ratios3<=ΥV<=6. These ratios are comparable to thoseexpected for an old to intermediate-age stellar population and arebroadly consistent with the observed V-I colors of the galaxies. ThesedE galaxies therefore do not require a significant dark matter componentinside an effective radius. We are able to rule out central black holesmore massive than ~107 Msolar. For the fivenucleated dEs in our sample, kinematic and photometric properties weredetermined for the central nucleus separately from the underlying hostdE galaxy. These nuclei are as bright or brighter than the most luminousGalactic globular clusters and lie near the region of fundamental planespace occupied by globular clusters. In this space, the Virgo dEgalaxies lie in the same general region as Local Group and other nearbydEs, although nonrotating dEs appear to have a slightly higher mean massand mass-to-light ratio than rotating dEs; the dE galaxies occupy aplane parallel to, but offset from, that occupied by normal ellipticalgalaxies. Data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. KeckObservatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among theCalifornia Institute of Technology, the University of California, andthe National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory wasmade possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. KeckFoundation.
|The UZC-SSRS2 Group Catalog|
We apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers.
|Kinematical data on early-type galaxies. VI.|
We present the result of spectroscopic observations of a sample of 73galaxies, completing the database published in this series of articles.The sample contains mostly low-luminosity early-type objects, includingfour dwarfs of the Local Group (in particular, deep spectra of NGC 205),15 dEs or dS0s in the Virgo cluster, and UGC 05442, a spheroidal dwarfof the M 81 group. We have measured the central velocity dispersion forall but one object, and determined the major-axis rotation andvelocity-dispersion profiles for 59 objects. For the current sample ofdiffuse (or dwarf) elliptical galaxies, we have compared stellarrotation to velocity dispersion; the analysis suggests that theseobjects may be nearly rotationally flattened, and therefore thatanisotropy may be less important than previously thought. Based onobservations collected at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence. Table 1 isalso, and Tables 2 and 4 only, available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/384/371
|Galaxy Populations and Evolution in Clusters. I. Dynamics and the Origin of Low-Mass Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
Early-type dwarfs are the most common galaxy in the local universe, yettheir origin and evolution remain a mystery. Various cosmologicalscenarios predict that dwarf-like galaxies in dense areas are the firstto form and hence should be the oldest stellar systems in clusters. Byusing radial velocities of early-type dwarfs in the Virgo cluster wedemonstrate that these galaxies are not an old cluster population buthave signatures of production from the infall of field galaxies.Evidence of this includes the combined large dispersions andsubstructure in spatial and kinematic distributions for Virgo early-typedwarfs and a velocity dispersion ratio with giant ellipticals expectedfor virialized and accreted populations. We also argue that thesegalaxies cannot originate from accreted field dwarfs, but must havephysically evolved from a precursor population, of different morphology,that fell into Virgo some time in the past.
|Arcsecond Positions of UGC Galaxies|
We present accurate B1950 and J2000 positions for all confirmed galaxiesin the Uppsala General Catalog (UGC). The positions were measuredvisually from Digitized Sky Survey images with rms uncertaintiesσ<=[(1.2")2+(θ/100)2]1/2,where θ is the major-axis diameter. We compared each galaxymeasured with the original UGC description to ensure high reliability.The full position list is available in the electronic version only.
|Detailed Surface Photometry of Dwarf Elliptical and Dwarf S0 Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
We analyze new V-band images of 14 dwarf S0 galaxies and 10 dwarfelliptical galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, in combination with R-bandimages of 70 dwarf elliptical galaxies from an earlier paper. We computethe intensity-weighted mean ellipticity, the mean deviations fromelliptical isophotes, and a newly defined parameter to measure isophotaltwists. We also fit each major-axis profile to a power lawSigma(a)~exp[-(a/a_s)^n], where n is allowed to vary. Consistent withother studies of the Virgo dwarf ellipticals, we find that the profileshapes for the entire sample is strongly peaked near n=1 (exponentialprofiles) and that no galaxies have n=1/4 (de Vaucouleurs profile). Thefaintest galaxies all have nearly exponential profiles, while thebrighter ones on average have n<1. The correlation betweenellipticity and the boxy/disky parameter is similar to that of largeelliptical galaxies, suggesting that dwarfs may also be divided into twogroups with differing internal dynamics. The Virgo dEs also show agreater degree of isophotal twisting than more luminous ellipticalgalaxies. There does not seem to be any combination of parameters fromthe surface photometry that statistically correlates with the dE/dS0designation: in particular, the dS0 galaxies do not, on average, havemore pointed (disky) isophotes than the dEs.
|Stellar populations in dwarf elliptical galaxies.|
|A catalogue of Mg_2 indices of galaxies and globular clusters|
We present a catalogue of published absorption-line Mg_2 indices ofgalaxies and globular clusters. The catalogue is maintained up-to-datein the HYPERCAT database. The measurements are listed together with thereferences to the articles where the data were published. A codeddescription of the observations is provided. The catalogue gathers 3541measurements for 1491 objects (galaxies or globular clusters) from 55datasets. Compiled raw data for 1060 galaxies are zero-point correctedand transformed to a homogeneous system. Tables 1, 3, and 4 areavailable in electronic form only at the CDS, Strasbourg, via anonymousftp 220.127.116.11. Table 2 is available both in text and electronic form.
|Total magnitude, radius, colour indices, colour gradients and photometric type of galaxies|
We present a catalogue of aperture photometry of galaxies, in UBVRI,assembled from three different origins: (i) an update of the catalogueof Buta et al. (1995) (ii) published photometric profiles and (iii)aperture photometry performed on CCD images. We explored different setsof growth curves to fit these data: (i) The Sersic law, (ii) The net ofgrowth curves used for the preparation of the RC3 and (iii) A linearinterpolation between the de Vaucouleurs (r(1/4) ) and exponential laws.Finally we adopted the latter solution. Fitting these growth curves, wederive (1) the total magnitude, (2) the effective radius, (3) the colourindices and (4) gradients and (5) the photometric type of 5169 galaxies.The photometric type is defined to statistically match the revisedmorphologic type and parametrizes the shape of the growth curve. It iscoded from -9, for very concentrated galaxies, to +10, for diffusegalaxies. Based in part on observations collected at the Haute-ProvenceObservatory.
|Is the shape of the luminosity profile of dwarf elliptical galaxies an useful distance indicator?|
The shape of the surface brightness profile of dE galaxies, quantifiedby parameter n of Sersic's generalized profile law, has recently beenput forward as new extragalactic distance indicator (Young & Currie1994). Its application to the Virgo cluster has subsequently led to theclaim that the Virgo dEs are not lying in the cluster core but aredistributed in a prolate structure stretching from 8 to 20 Mpc distance(Young & Currie 1995). This claim is refuted here. We have fitted aSersic law to the surface brightness profiles of 128 Virgo cluster dEsand dS0s from the photometry of Binggeli & Cameron (1991). Thedispersion of the n - M relation is indeed large (sigma_rms ~ 0.9 mag).However, we argue that this scatter is not due to the depth of the Virgocluster, but is essentially intrinsic. Contrary to what one would expectfrom the cluster depth hypothesis, there is no clearvelocity-``distance'' relation for a sample of 43 Virgo dEs and dS0swith known redshifts. The analysis of Young & Currie (1995) ishampered by the use of low-resolution photometry and flawed by theassumption that the n - M and n - R relations can be used independently.By combining different Sersic law parameters, the scatter of the scalingrelations can be reduced somewhat, but never below sigma_rms ~ 0.7 mag,at least for the Virgo cluster. For the purpose of distancemeasurements, this falls short of the well-established Tully-Fisher andD_n - sigma methods, and it is comparable to what one can get alreadyfrom the < mu >_eff - M relation for dEs, which does not requireany profile modelling.
|Line-Strength Indices in Bright Spheroidal Galaxies: Evidence for a Stellar Population Dichotomy between Spheroidal and Elliptical Galaxies|
We present new measurements of central line-strength indices (namely,Mg2, , and H beta ) and gradients for a sample of six brightspheroidal (Sph) galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. Comparison with similarmeasurements for elliptical (E) galaxies, galactic globular clusters(GGCs), and stellar population models yield the following results: (1)in contrast with bright E galaxies, bright Sph galaxies are consistentwith solar abundance [Mg/Fe] ratios; (2) bright Sph galaxies exhibitmetallicities ranging from values typical for metal-rich GGCs to thosefor E galaxies; (3) although absolute mean ages are quite modeldependent, we find evidence that the stellar populations of some (if notall) Sph galaxies look significantly younger than GGCs; and (4) Mg2gradients of bright Sph galaxies are significantly shallower than thoseof E galaxies. We conclude that the dichotomy found in the structuralproperties of Sph and E galaxies is also observed in their stellarpopulations. A tentative interpretation in terms of differences in starformation histories is suggested.
|Surface Photometry of Virgo Dwarf Ellipticals|
Deep surface photometry has been carried out for 13 dE's and dE,N's inthe Virgo cluster using images from the CFHT. A modified exponentialfunction is found to fit most profiles quite well. The known relationbetween galaxy luminosity and the shape parameter n is confirmed,although with considerable scatter. Most of the galaxies are well fit bypurely elliptical isophotes, although 3 galaxies show disky isophotes(at the ~ 1% level) and one is boxy. The luminosities of the(unresolved, with half-mass radii of less than 30-40pc) nuclei in the 8dE,N galaxies have M_V < -10, thus are more luminous than typicalglobular clusters. They are likely giant star clusters that formed froma left-over reservoir of gas in the core regions, although this may notbe only mechanism from which dE nuclei form. The faintest objects in thesample have not been observed before, and evidence is presented thatthey are likely faint dSph's in the Virgo cluster.
|Globular Cluster Systems in Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies. II. The Virgo Cluster|
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1996AJ....112..972D&db_key=AST
|An image database. II. Catalogue between δ=-30deg and δ=70deg.|
A preliminary list of 68.040 galaxies was built from extraction of35.841 digitized images of the Palomar Sky Survey (Paper I). For eachgalaxy, the basic parameters are obtained: coordinates, diameter, axisratio, total magnitude, position angle. On this preliminary list, weapply severe selection rules to get a catalog of 28.000 galaxies, wellidentified and well documented. For each parameter, a comparison is madewith standard measurements. The accuracy of the raw photometricparameters is quite good despite of the simplicity of the method.Without any local correction, the standard error on the total magnitudeis about 0.5 magnitude up to a total magnitude of B_T_=17. Significantsecondary effects are detected concerning the magnitudes: distance toplate center effect and air-mass effect.
|The fundamental plane of early-type galaxies: stellar populations and mass-to-light ratio.|
We analyse the residuals to the fundamental plane (FP) of ellipticalgalaxies as a function of stellar-population indicators; these are basedon the line-strength parameter Mg_2_ and on UBVRI broad-band colors, andare partly derived from new observations. The effect of the stellarpopulations accounts for approximately half the observed variation ofthe mass-to-light ratio responsible for the FP tilt. The residual tiltcan be explained by the contribution of two additional effects: thedependence of the rotational support, and possibly that of the spatialstructure, on the luminosity. We conclude to a constancy of thedynamical-to-stellar mass ratio. This probably extends to globularclusters as well, but the dominant factor would be here the luminositydependence of the structure rather than that of the stellar population.This result also implies a constancy of the fraction of dark matter overall the scalelength covered by stellar systems. Our compilation ofinternal stellar kinematics of galaxies is appended.
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