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 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. Radio sources in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. IV. Radio luminosity function, importance of jet power, and radio properties of the complete Palomar sampleWe present the completed results of a high resolution radio imagingsurvey of all ( 200) low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) andAGNs in the Palomar Spectroscopic Sample of all ( 488) bright northerngalaxies. The high incidences of pc-scale radio nuclei, with impliedbrightness temperatures ≳107 K, and sub-parsec jetsargue for accreting black holes in ≳50% of all LINERs andlow-luminosity Seyferts; there is no evidence against all LLAGNs beingmini-AGNs. The detected parsec-scale radio nuclei are preferentiallyfound in massive ellipticals and in type 1 nuclei (i.e. nuclei withbroad Hα emission). The radio luminosity function (RLF) of PalomarSample LLAGNs and AGNs extends three orders of magnitude below, and iscontinuous with, that of “classical” AGNs. We find marginalevidence for a low-luminosity turnover in the RLF; nevertheless LLAGNsare responsible for a significant fraction of present day massaccretion. Adopting a model of a relativistic jet from Falcke &Biermann, we show that the accretion power output in LLAGNs is dominatedby the kinetic power in the observed jets rather than the radiatedbolometric luminosity. The Palomar LLAGNs and AGNs follow the samescaling between jet kinetic power and narrow line region (NLR)luminosity as the parsec to kilo-parsec jets in powerful radio galaxies.Eddington ratios {l_Edd} (=L_Emitted/L_Eddington) of≤10-1{-}10-5 are implied in jet models of theradio emission. We find evidence that, in analogy to Galactic black holecandidates, LINERs are in a “low/hard” state (gas poornuclei, low Eddington ratio, ability to launch collimated jets) whilelow-luminosity Seyferts are in a “high” state (gas richnuclei, higher Eddington ratio, less likely to launch collimated jets).In addition to dominating the radiated bolometric luminosity of thenucleus, the radio jets are energetically more significant thansupernovae in the host galaxies, and are potentially able to depositsufficient energy into the innermost parsecs to significantly slow thegas supply to the accretion disk. Completing H I observations of galaxies in the Virgo clusterHigh sensitivity (rms noise  0.5 mJy) 21-cm H I line observationswere made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbishedArecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. Thesedata, combined with the measurements available from the literature,provide the first set of H I data that is complete for all 355 late-type(Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with mp ≤ 18.0mag. The Virgo cluster H I mass function (HIMF) that was derived forthis optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMFderived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS H I survey and isinconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this richcluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarilyassociated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions fromearly-type galaxies and isolated H I clouds. The inconsistency betweenthe cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference inthe optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the twoenvironments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur ingalaxies in rich clusters.Tables \ref{t1, \ref{sample_dat} and Appendix A are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org The origin of H I-deficiency in galaxies on the outskirts of the Virgo cluster. II. Companions and uncertainties in distances and deficienciesThe origin of the deficiency in neutral hydrogen of 13 spiral galaxieslying in the outskirts of the Virgo cluster is reassessed. If thesegalaxies have passed through the core of the cluster, their interstellargas should have been lost through ram pressure stripping by the hotX-ray emitting gas of the cluster. We analyze the positions of these HI-deficient and other spiral galaxies in velocity-distance plots, inwhich we include our compilation of velocity-distance data on 61elliptical galaxies, and compare with simulated velocity-distancediagrams obtained from cosmological N-body simulations. We find that20% relative Tully-Fisher distance errors are consistent with thegreat majority of the spirals, except for a small number of objectswhose positions in the velocity-distance diagram suggest grosslyincorrect distances, implying that the Tully-Fisher error distributionfunction has non-Gaussian wings. Moreover, we find that the distanceerrors may lead to an incorrect fitting of the Tolman-Bondi solutionthat can generate significant errors in the distance and especially themass estimates of the cluster. We suggest 4 possibilities for theoutlying H I-deficient spirals (in decreasing frequency): 1) they havelarge relative distance errors and are in fact close enough (atdistances between 12.7 and 20.9 Mpc from us) to the cluster to havepassed through its core and seen their gas removed by ram pressurestripping; 2) their gas is converted to stars by tidal interactions withother galaxies; 3) their gas is heated during recent mergers withsmaller galaxies; and 4) they are not truly H I-deficient (e.g. S0/amisclassified as Sa).Appendix A is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Spectrophotometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster. II. The dataDrift-scan mode (3600-6800 Å) spectra with 500 Double-barred galaxies. I. A catalog of barred galaxies with stellar secondary bars and inner disksI present a catalog of 67 barred galaxies which contain distinct,elliptical stellar structures inside their bars. Fifty of these aredouble-barred galaxies: a small-scale, inner or secondary bar isembedded within a large-scale, outer or primary bar. I providehomogenized measurements of the sizes, ellipticities, and orientationsof both inner and outer bars, along with global parameters for thegalaxies. The other 17 are classified as inner-disk galaxies, where alarge-scale bar harbors an inner elliptical structure which is alignedwith the galaxy's outer disk. Four of the double-barred galaxies alsopossess inner disks, located in between the inner and outer bars. Whilethe inner-disk classification is ad-hoc - and undoubtedly includes someinner bars with chance alignments (five such probable cases areidentified) - there is good evidence that inner disks form astatistically distinct population, and that at least some are indeeddisks rather than bars. In addition, I list 36 galaxies which may bedouble-barred, but for which current observations are ambiguous orincomplete, and another 23 galaxies which have been previously suggestedas potentially being double-barred, but which are probably not. Falsedouble-bar identifications are usually due to features such as nuclearrings and spirals being misclassified as bars; I provide someillustrated examples of how this can happen.A detailed statistical analysis of the general population of double-barand inner-disk galaxies, as represented by this catalog, will bepresented in a companion paper.Tables \ref{tab:measured} and \ref{tab:deproj} are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org A Search for Dwarf'' Seyfert Nuclei. VI. Properties of Emission-Line Nuclei in Nearby GalaxiesWe use the database from Paper III to quantify the global and nuclearproperties of emission-line nuclei in the Palomar spectroscopic surveyof nearby galaxies. We show that the host galaxies of Seyferts, LINERs,and transition objects share remarkably similar large-scale propertiesand local environments. The distinguishing traits emerge on nuclearscales. Compared with LINERs, Seyfert nuclei are an order of magnitudemore luminous and exhibit higher electron densities and internalextinction. We suggest that Seyfert galaxies possess characteristicallymore gas-rich circumnuclear regions and hence a more abundant fuelreservoir and plausibly higher accretion rates. The differences betweenthe ionization states of the narrow emission-line regions of Seyfertsand LINERs can be partly explained by the differences in their nebularproperties. Transition-type objects are consistent with being composite(LINER/H II) systems. With very few exceptions, the stellar populationwithin the central few hundred parsecs of the host galaxies is uniformlyold, a finding that presents a serious challenge to starburst orpost-starburst models for these objects. Seyferts and LINERs havevirtually indistinguishable velocity fields as inferred from their linewidths and line asymmetries. Transition nuclei tend to have narrowerlines and more ambiguous evidence for line asymmetries. All threeclasses of objects obey a strong correlation between line width and lineluminosity. We argue that the angular momentum content of circumnucleargas may be an important factor in determining whether a nucleus becomesactive. Finally, we discuss some possible complications for theunification model of Seyfert galaxies posed by our observations. 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 UV to radio centimetric spectral energy distributions of optically-selected late-type galaxies in the Virgo clusterWe present a multifrequency dataset for an optically-selected,volume-limited, complete sample of 118 late-type galaxies (>=S0a) inthe Virgo cluster. The database includes UV, visible, near-IR, mid-IR,far-IR, radio continuum photometric data as well as spectroscopic dataof Hα , CO and HI lines, homogeneously reduced, obtained from ourown observations or compiled from the literature. Assuming the energybalance between the absorbed stellar light and that radiated in the IRby dust, we calibarte an empirical attenuation law suitable forcorrecting photometric and spectroscopic data of normal galaxies. Thedata, corrected for internal extinction, are used to construct thespectral energy distribution (SED) of each individual galaxy, andcombined to trace the median SED of galaxies in various classes ofmorphological type and luminosity. Low-luminosity, dwarf galaxies haveon average bluer stellar continua and higher far-IR luminosities perunit galaxy mass than giant, early-type spirals. If compared to nearbystarburst galaxies such as M 82 and Arp 220, normal spirals haverelatively similar observed stellar spectra but 10-100 times lower IRluminosities. The temperature of the cold dust component increases withthe far-IR luminosity, from giant spirals to dwarf irregulars. The SEDare used to separate the stellar emission from the dust emission in themid-IR regime. We show that the contribution of the stellar emission at6.75 mu m to the total emission of galaxies is generally important, from~ 80% in Sa to ~ 20% in Sc.Tables 2-5, 7, 8, and Fig. 2 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.orgTables 10-12 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/402/37 [C II] emission and star formation in late-type galaxies. II. A modelWe study the relationship between gas cooling via the [C II] (lambda =158 μm) line emission and dust cooling via the far-IR continuumemission on the global scale of a galaxy in normal (i.e. non-AGNdominated and non-starburst) late-type systems. It is known that theluminosity ratio of total gas and dust cooling, LC II/LFIR, shows a non-linear behaviour with the equivalent widthof the H alpha (lambda = 6563 Å) line emission, the ratiodecreasing in galaxies of lower massive star-formation activity. Thisresult holds despite the fact that known individual Galactic andextragalactic sources of the [C II] line emission show different [C II]line-to-far-IR continuum emission ratios. This non-linear behaviour isreproduced by a simple quantitative theoretical model of gas and dustheating from different stellar populations, assuming that thephotoelectric effect on dust, induced by far-UV photons, is the dominantmechanism of gas heating in the general diffuse interstellar medium ofthe galaxies under investigation. According to the model, the globalLC II/LFIR provides a direct measure of thefractional amount of non-ionizing UV light in the interstellar radiationfield and not of the efficiency of the photoelectric heating. The theoryalso defines a method to constrain the stellar initial mass functionfrom measurements of LC II and LFIR. A sample of20 Virgo cluster galaxies observed in the [C II] line with the LongWavelength Spectrometer on board the Infrared Space Observatory is usedto illustrate the model. The limited statistics and the necessaryassumptions behind the determination of the global [C II] luminositiesfrom the spatially limited data do not allow us to establish definitiveconclusions but data-sets available in the future will allow tests ofboth the reliability of the assumptions behind our model and thestatistical significance of our results.Based on observations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), an ESAproject with instruments funded by ESA member states (especially the PIcountries: France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK) and with theparticipation of ISAS and NASA. The luminosity function of the Virgo Cluster from MB=-22 to -11We 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 Galaxy cores as relics of black hole mergersWe investigate the hypothesis that the cores of elliptical galaxies andbulges are created from the binding energy liberated by the coalescenceof supermassive binary black holes during galaxy mergers. Assuming thatthe central density profiles of galaxies were initially steep powerlaws, ρ ~r -2 , we define the mass deficit' as the massin stars that had to be removed from the nucleus in order to produce theobserved core. We use non-parametric deprojection to compute the massdeficit in a sample of 35 early-type galaxies with high-resolutionimaging data. We find that the mass deficit correlates well with themass of the nuclear black hole, consistent with the predictions ofmerger models. We argue that cores in haloes of non-interacting darkmatter particles should be comparable in size to those observed in thestars. Far-Infrared Photometry of a Statistical Sample of Late-Type Virgo Cluster GalaxiesWe present deep diffraction-limited far-infrared (FIR) strip maps of asample of 63 galaxies later than S0 and brighter thanBT=16.8, selected from the Virgo Cluster Catalogue ofBinggeli, Sandage, & Tammann. The ISOPHOT instrument on board theInfrared Space Observatory was used to achieve sensitivities typicallyan order of magnitude deeper than IRAS in the 60 and 100 μm bands andto reach the confusion limit at 170 μm. The averaged 3 σ upperlimits for integrated flux densities of point sources at 60, 100, and170 μm are 43, 33, and 58 mJy, respectively. A total of 63.5% aredetected at all three wavelengths. The highest detection rate (85.7%) isin the 170 μm band. In many cases the galaxies are resolved, allowingthe scale length of the infrared disks to be derived from theoversampled brightness profiles in addition to the spatially integratedemission. The data presented should provide the basis for a variety ofstatistical investigations of the FIR spectral energy distributions ofgas-rich galaxies in the local universe spanning a broad range in starformation activity and morphological types, including dwarf systems andgalaxies with rather quiescent star formation activity. Based onobservations with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), an ESA projectwith instruments funded by ESA member states (especially the PIcountries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) andwith the participation of ISAS and NASA. Spectrophotometry of Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. I. The Star Formation HistoryAs a result of an extensive observational campaign targeting the VirgoCluster, we obtained integrated (drift-scan mode) optical spectra andmultiwavelength (UV, U, B, V, H) photometry for 124 and 330 galaxies,respectively, spanning the whole Hubble sequence, and withmp<=16(Mp<=-15). These data were combined toobtain galaxy Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) extending from 2000to 22000 Å. By fitting these SEDs with synthetic ones derivedusing Bruzual & Charlot population synthesis models we try toconstrain observationally the star formation history (SFH) of galaxiesin the rich cluster of galaxies nearest to us. Assuming a Salpeter IMFand an analytical form for the SFH, the fit free parameters are the age(T) of the star formation event, its characteristic timescale (τ),and the initial metallicity (Z). In this work we test the (simplistic)case in which all galaxies have a common age T=13 Gyr, exploring a SFHwith delayed'' exponential form (which we call a la Sandage''), thusallowing for an increasing SFR with time. This SFH is consistent withthe full range of observed SEDs, provided that the characteristictimescale τ is let free to vary between 0.1 (quasi-instantaneousburst) and 25 Gyr (increasing SFR) and Z between 1/50 and 2.5 Zsolar.Elliptical galaxies (including dEs) are best fitted with shorttimescales (τ~3 Gyr) and metallicity varying between 1/5 and Zsolar.The model metallicity is found to increase as a function of H-bandluminosity. Spiral galaxies require that both τ and metallicitycorrelate with H-band luminosity: low-mass Im+BCD have subsolar Z andτ>=10 Gyr, whereas giant spirals have solar metallicities andτ~3 Gyr, consistent with elliptical galaxies. Moreover, we find thatthe SFH of spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster depends upon thepresence at their interior of fresh gas capable of sustaining the starformation. In fact, the residuals of the τ vs. LHrelation depend significantly on the H I content. H I deficient galaxieshave shorter (up to a factor of 4) τ (truncated SFH) than spiralswith normal H I content. Based on observations collected at theObservatoire de Haute Provence (OHP) (France), operated by the CNRS,France, and at the European Southern Observatory (Chile) (programme66.B-0026). 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. Identification and classification of galaxies using a biologically-inspired neutral networkRecognition/Classification of galaxies is an important issue in thelarge-scale study of the Universe; it is not a simple task. According toestimates computed from the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), astronomers predictthat the universe may potentially contain over 100 billion galaxies.Several techniques have been reported for the classification ofgalaxies. Parallel developments in the field of neural networks havecome to a stage that they can participate well in the recognition ofobjects. Recently, the Pulse-Coupled Neural Network (PCNN) has beenshown to be useful for image pre-processing. In this paper, we present anovel way to identify optical galaxies by presenting the images of thegalaxies to a hierarchical neural network involving two PCNNs. The imageis presented to the network to generate binary barcodes (one periteration) of the galaxies; the barcodes are unique to the inputgalactic image. In the current study, we exploit this property toidentify optical galaxies by comparing the signatures (binary barcode)from a corresponding database. 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. The UZC-SSRS2 Group CatalogWe apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers. Hα surface photometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster. IV. The current star formation in nearby clusters of galaxiesHα +[NII] imaging observations of 369 late-type (spiral) galaxiesin the Virgo cluster and in the Coma/A1367 supercluster are analyzed,covering 3 rich nearby clusters (A1367, Coma and Virgo) and nearlyisolated galaxies in the Great-Wall. They constitute an opticallyselected sample (mp<16.0) observed with ~ 60 %completeness. These observations provide us with the current(T<107 yrs) star formation properties of galaxies that westudy as a function of the clustercentric projected distances (Theta ).The expected decrease of the star formation rate (SFR), as traced by theHα EW, with decreasing Theta is found only when galaxies brighterthan Mp ~ -19.5 are considered. Fainter objects show no orreverse trends. We also include in our analysis Near Infrared data,providing information on the old (T>109 yrs) stars. Puttogether, the young and the old stellar indicators give the ratio ofcurrently formed stars over the stars formed in the past, orbirthrate'' parameter b. For the considered galaxies we also determinethe global gas content'' combining HI with CO observations. We definethe gas deficiency'' parameter as the logarithmic difference betweenthe gas content of isolated galaxies of a given Hubble type and themeasured gas content. For the isolated objects we find that b decreaseswith increasing NIR luminosity. In other words less massive galaxies arecurrently forming stars at a higher rate than their giant counterpartswhich experienced most of their star formation activity at earliercosmological epochs. The gas-deficient objects, primarily members of theVirgo cluster, have a birthrate significantly lower than the isolatedobjects with normal gas content and of similar NIR luminosity. Thisindicates that the current star formation is regulated by the gaseouscontent of spirals. Whatever mechanism (most plausibly ram-pressurestripping) is responsible for the pattern of gas deficiency observed inspiral galaxies members of rich clusters, it also produces the observedquenching of the current star formation. A significant fraction of gashealthy'' (i.e. with a gas deficiency parameter less than 0.4) andcurrently star forming galaxies is unexpectedly found projected near thecenter of the Virgo cluster. Their average Tully-Fisher distance isfound approximately one magnitude further away (muo = 31.77)than the distance of their gas-deficient counterparts (muo =30.85), suggesting that the gas healthy objects belong to a cloudprojected onto the cluster center, but in fact lying a few Mpc behindVirgo, thus unaffected by the dense IGM of the cluster. Based onobservations taken at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional(Mexico), the OHP (France), Calar Alto and NOT (Spain) observatories.Table \ref{tab4} is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Hα surface photometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster. II. Observations with the OHP and Calar Alto 1.2 m telescopesWe present Hα line imaging observations of 122 galaxies obtainedwith the 1.20 m telescopes of the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP)and of Calar Alto. The observed galaxies are mostly Virgo clustermembers (95), along with 10 objects in the Coma/A1367 supercluster, 6 inthe clusters A2197 and A2199, and 11 nearby galaxies taken as fillers.Hα +[NII] fluxes and equivalent widths, as well as images of allthe detected targets, are presented. Based on observations taken at theObservatoire de Haute Provence (OHP) (France), operated by the FrenchCNRS, and Calar Alto Observatory (Spain), operated by theMax-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Heidelberg) jointly with theSpanish National Commission for Astronomy. Figure 1 is only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org [CII] at 158 mu m as a star formation tracer in late-type galaxiesWe present a calibration of the massive star formation rate vs. [CII]luminosity relation based on a sample of nearby, late-type galaxiesobserved with ISO-LWS and imaged in the Hα +[NII] line. Therelation holds for far-IR luminosities 108 <=LFIR <=1010.5 Lsun. The derived starformation rates have an uncertainty of about a factor of 10. Part ofthis uncertainty is due to the different mix of contributions to the[CII] emission from the different components of the interstellar mediumin individual galaxies, as discussed in an appendix. Molecular gas in normal late-type galaxiesWe present 12CO(J=1-0) line observations of 22 low-luminosityspiral galaxies in the Virgo cluster. These data, together with 244others available in the literature, allow us to build a large samplethat we use to study the molecular gas properties of galaxies spanning alarge range of morphological types and luminosities and belonging todifferent environments (clusters - field). The molecular gas content ofthe target galaxies is estimated using a luminosity-dependent X =N(H_2)/I(CO) conversion factor that has been calibrated on a sample ofnearby galaxies. X spans from ~ 1020 mol cm-2 (Kkm s-1)-1 in giant spirals to ~ 1021mol cm-2 (K km s-1)-1 in dwarfirregulars. The value of the X conversion factor is found consistentwith a value derived independently from dust masses estimated from FIRfluxes, with a metallicity-dependent dust to gas ratio. Therelationships between X and the UV radiation field (as traced by theHα +[NII]EW), the metallicity and the H band luminosity areanalysed. We show that the molecular gas contained in molecular cloudsor complexes is of the order of 15% of the total gas on average whateverthe luminosity or the Hubble type of the galaxies. We discuss therelation between the star formation rate and the molecular gas contentand estimate the average star formation efficiency of late-typegalaxies. Based on observations made with the 12-m National RadioAstronomical Observatory, Kitt Peak, Arizona. Total Magnitudes of Virgo Galaxies. I. Construction of a Self-Consistent Reference Dataset Spanning 8th to 18th MagnitudeThe main objectives of this series of papers are: (1) to demonstrate theexistence of serious mutual disagreements between established total (andother integrated) magnitude scales for Virgo galaxies; (2) to attempt toquantify both the systematic and random errors present within thesemagnitude scales; (3) to investigate the origins of any large erroruncovered; and thereby (4) to encourage the general adoption of rigoroustotal-magnitude measurement procedures by the astronomical community.The ramifications of the findings presented in this series of paperswill be discussed in detail at a later date. In this paper, the first inthe series, a self-consistent dataset of trustworthy total-magnitudemeasurements is compiled for a sample of Virgo galaxies spanning a rangeof 10 000 in apparent brightness, based on only the most reliablemeasurements and photometry currently available. This reference dataset,which includes luminosity profile shape information, will be used insubsequent papers as one of the bases for assessing existing magnitudescales for Virgo galaxies. As most published magnitudes are based onB-band observations, this series of papers will also focus primarily onB-band measurements. 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. The Frequency of Active and Quiescent Galaxies with Companions: Implications for the Feeding of the NucleusWe analyze the idea that nuclear activity, either active galactic nuclei(AGNs) or star formation, can be triggered by interactions by studyingthe percentage of active, H II, and quiescent galaxies with companions.Our sample was selected from the Palomar survey and avoids selectionbiases faced by previous studies. This sample was split into fivedifferent groups, Seyfert galaxies, LINERs, transition galaxies, H IIgalaxies, and absorption-line galaxies. The comparison between the localgalaxy density distributions of the different groups showed that in mostcases there is no statistically significant difference among galaxies ofdifferent activity types, with the exception that absorption-linegalaxies are seen in higher density environments, since most of them arein the Virgo Cluster. The comparison of the percentage of galaxies withnearby companions showed that there is a higher percentage of LINERs,transition galaxies, and absorption-line galaxies with companions thanSeyfert and H II galaxies. However, we find that when we consider onlygalaxies of similar morphological types (elliptical or spiral), there isno difference in the percentage of galaxies with companions amongdifferent activity types, indicating that the former result was due tothe morphology-density effect. In addition, only small differences arefound when we consider galaxies with similar Hα luminosities. Thecomparison between H II galaxies of different Hα luminositiesshows that there is a significantly higher percentage of galaxies withcompanions among H II galaxies with L(Hα)>1039 ergss-1 than among those with L(Hα)<=1039ergs s-1, indicating that interactions increase the amount ofcircumnuclear star formation, in agreement with previous results. Thefact that we find that galaxies of different activity types have thesame percentage of companions suggests that interactions betweengalaxies is not a necessary condition to trigger the nuclear activity inAGNs. We compare our results with previous ones and discuss theirimplications. Dusty Nuclear Disks and Filaments in Early-Type GalaxiesWe examine the dust properties of a nearby distance-limited sample ofearly-type galaxies using WFPC2 of the Hubble Space Telescope. Dust isdetected in 29 out of 67 galaxies (43%), including 12 with small nucleardusty disks. In a separate sample of 40 galaxies biased for thedetection of dust by virtue of their detection in IRAS 100 μm band,dust is found in ~78% of the galaxies, 15 of which contain dusty disks.In those galaxies with detectable dust, the apparent mass of the dustcorrelates with radio and far-infrared luminosity, becoming moresignificant for systems with filamentary dust. A majority of IRAS andradio detections are also associated with dusty galaxies rather thandustless galaxies. This indicates that thermal emission from clumpy,filamentary dust is the main source of the far-IR radiation inearly-type galaxies. Dust in small disklike morphology tends to be wellaligned with the major axis of the host galaxies, while filamentary dustappears to be more randomly distributed with no preference for alignmentwith any major galactic structure. This suggests that, if the dustydisks and filaments have a common origin, the dust originates externallyand requires time to dynamically relax and settle in the galaxypotential in the form of compact disks. More galaxies with visible dustthan without dust display emission lines, indicative of ionized gas,although such nuclear activity does not show a preference for dusty diskover filamentary dust. There appears to be a weak relationship betweenthe mass of the dusty disks and central velocity dispersion of thegalaxy, suggesting a connection with a similar recently recognizedrelationship between the latter and the black hole mass. Based onobservations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at theSpace Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Associationof Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contractNAS5-26555. WFPC2 Images of the Central Regions of Early-Type Galaxies. I. The DataWe present high-resolution R-band images of the central regions of 67early-type galaxies obtained with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2(WFPC2) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This homogeneouslyselected sample roughly doubles the number of early-type galaxies thathave now been imaged at HST resolution and complements similar data onthe central regions of radio galaxies and the bulges of spiral galaxies.Our sample strikingly confirms the complex morphologies of the centralregions of early-type galaxies which have become apparent from previousstudies with HST. In particular, we detect dust, either in the form ofnuclear disks or with a filamentary distribution, in 43% of allgalaxies, in good agreement with previous estimates. In addition, wefind evidence for embedded stellar disks in a remarkably large fractionof 51%. In 14 of those galaxies the disklike structures are misalignedwith the main galaxy, suggesting that they correspond to stellar bars inS0 galaxies. We analyze the luminosity profiles of the galaxies in oursample and classify galaxies according to their central cusp slope. To alarge extent we confirm the results from previous HST surveys in thatearly-type galaxies reveal a clear dichotomy: the bright ellipticals(MB<~-20.5) are generally boxy and have luminosityprofiles that break from steep outer power laws to shallow inner cusps(referred to as core'' galaxies). The fainter ellipticals, on theother hand, typically have disky isophotes and luminosity profiles thatlack a clear break and have a steep central cusp (referred to aspower-law'' galaxies). The advantages and shortcomings ofclassification schemes utilizing the extrapolated central cusp slopeγ are discussed, and it is shown that γ might be aninadequate representation for galaxies whose luminosity profile slopechanges smoothly with radius rather than resembling a broken power law.Thus, we introduce a new, alternative parameter and show how thisaffects the classification. In fact, we find evidence for anintermediate'' class of galaxies that cannot unambiguously beclassified as either core or power-law galaxies and that have centralcusp slopes and absolute magnitudes intermediate between those of coreand power-law galaxies. It is unclear at present, however, whether thesegalaxies make up a physically distinct class or whether distance and/orresolution effects cause them to lose their distinct core or power-lawcharacteristics. Gas cooling within the diffuse ISM of late-type galaxiesWe combine observations of spiral galaxies in the [CII] line at 158 mum, made with the Long Wavelength Spectrometer aboard ISO, with previousdata from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory to study the origin of thisline, which is the main coolant of the interstellar medium at relativelylow temperatures. We also use HI and CO(1-0) observations of thesegalaxies and estimate the respective line fluxes in the same beam as the[CII] observations. We confirm the existence of a linear relationbetween the [CII] line intensity and the CO(1-0) line intensity, that weextend to intrinsically fainter galaxies. The dispersion around thisrelation is significant and due to variations in the far-UV flux, thusin the star formation rate. We find that for the least active galaxiesof our sample, in terms of star formation, the rate of [CII] lineemission per interstellar hydrogen atom is similar to that in the Solarneighbourhood. For those galaxies, most of the [CII] line emission comesprobably from the diffuse cold atomic medium. In more active galaxies,considered globally, the average [CII] line emission is dominated bydense photodissociation regions and to some extent by the warm ionizeddiffuse medium. This is true in the central regions of many spiralgalaxies, and probably even in the interarm regions of the most activelystar-forming ones. Based on observations with the Infrared SpaceObservatory (ISO), an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA memberstates (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, The Netherlandsand the UK) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA. Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of GroupsIn this paper we describe the Nearby Optical Galaxy (NOG) sample, whichis a complete, distance-limited (cz<=6000 km s-1) andmagnitude-limited (B<=14) sample of ~7000 optical galaxies. Thesample covers 2/3 (8.27 sr) of the sky (|b|>20deg) andappears to have a good completeness in redshift (97%). We select thesample on the basis of homogenized corrected total blue magnitudes inorder to minimize systematic effects in galaxy sampling. We identify thegroups in this sample by means of both the hierarchical and thepercolation friends-of-friends'' methods. The resulting catalogs ofloose groups appear to be similar and are among the largest catalogs ofgroups currently available. Most of the NOG galaxies (~60%) are found tobe members of galaxy pairs (~580 pairs for a total of ~15% of objects)or groups with at least three members (~500 groups for a total of ~45%of objects). About 40% of galaxies are left ungrouped (field galaxies).We illustrate the main features of the NOG galaxy distribution. Comparedto previous optical and IRAS galaxy samples, the NOG provides a densersampling of the galaxy distribution in the nearby universe. Given itslarge sky coverage, the identification of groups, and its high-densitysampling, the NOG is suited to the analysis of the galaxy density fieldof the nearby universe, especially on small scales. Box- and peanut-shaped bulges. I. StatisticsWe present a classification for bulges of a complete sample of ~ 1350edge-on disk galaxies derived from the RC3 (Third Reference Catalogue ofBright Galaxies, de Vaucouleurs et al. \cite{rc3}). A visualclassification of the bulges using the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS) inthree types of b/p bulges or as an elliptical type is presented andsupported by CCD images. NIR observations reveal that dust extinctiondoes almost not influence the shape of bulges. There is no substantialdifference between the shape of bulges in the optical and in the NIR.Our analysis reveals that 45% of all bulges are box- and peanut-shaped(b/p). The frequency of b/p bulges for all morphological types from S0to Sd is > 40%. In particular, this is for the first time that such alarge frequency of b/p bulges is reported for galaxies as late as Sd.The fraction of the observed b/p bulges is large enough to explain theb/p bulges by bars. Partly based on observations collected at ESO/LaSilla (Chile), DSAZ/Calar Alto (Spain), and Lowell Observatory/Flagstaff(AZ/U.S.A.). Tables 6 and 7 are only available in electronic form at CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html
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