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 ESO Very Large Telescope Optical Spectroscopy of BL Lacertae Objects. II. New Redshifts, Featureless Objects, and Classification AssessmentsWe report on ESO Very Large Telescope optical spectroscopy of 42 BLLacertae objects of unknown redshift. Nuclear emission lines wereobserved in 12 objects, while for another six we detected absorptionfeatures due to the host galaxy. The new high signal-to-noise ratiospectra therefore allow us to measure the redshift of 18 sources. Fiveof the observed objects were reclassified as either stars or quasars,and one is of uncertain nature. For the remaining 18 the optical spectraappear without intrinsic features in spite of our ability to measurerather faint (equivalent width ~0.1 Å) spectral lines. For thelatter sources a lower limit to the redshift was set, exploiting thevery fact that the absorption lines of the host galaxy are undetected inthe observed spectra. A Comparison of Hα and Stellar Scale Lengths in Virgo and Field SpiralsThe scale lengths of the old stars and ionized gas distributions arecompared for similar samples of Virgo Cluster members and field spiralgalaxies via Hα and broad R-band surface photometry. While theR-band and Hα scale lengths are, on average, comparable for thecombined sample, we find significant differences between the field andcluster samples. While the Hα scale lengths of the field galaxiesare a factor of 1.14+/-0.07 longer, on average, than their R-band scalelengths, the Hα scale lengths of Virgo Cluster members are, onaverage, 20% smaller than their R-band scale lengths. Furthermore, inVirgo, the scale length ratios are correlated with the size of thestar-forming disk: galaxies with smaller overall Hα extents alsoshow steeper radial falloff of star formation activity. At the sametime, we find no strong trends in scale length ratio as a function ofother galaxy properties, including galaxy luminosity, inclination,morphological type, central R-band light concentration, or bar type. Ourresults for Hα emission are similar to other results for dustemission, suggesting that Hα and dust have similar distributions.The environmental dependence of the Hα scale length placesadditional constraints on the evolutionary process(es) that cause gasdepletion and a suppression of the star formation rate in clusters ofgalaxies. The Stellar Populations in the Central Parsecs of Galactic BulgesWe present Hubble Space Telescope blue spectra at intermediate spectralresolution for the nuclei of 23 nearby disk galaxies. These objects wereselected to have nebular emission in their nuclei and span a range ofemission-line classifications, as well as Hubble types. In this paper wefocus on the stellar population as revealed by the continuum spectralenergy distribution measured within the central 0.13" (~8 pc) of thesegalaxies. The data were modeled with linear combinations of single-agestellar population synthesis models. The large majority (~80%) of thesurveyed nuclei have spectra whose features are consistent with apredominantly old (>~5×109 yr) stellar population.Approximately 25% of these nuclei show evidence of a component with ageyounger than 1 Gyr, with the incidence of these stars related to thenebular classification. Successful model fits imply an average reddeningcorresponding to AV~0.4 mag and a stellar metallicity of1-2.5 Zsolar. We discuss the implications of these resultsfor understanding the star formation history in the environment ofquiescent and active supermassive black holes. Our findings reinforcethe picture wherein Seyfert nuclei and the majority of low-ionizationnuclear emission-line regions are predominantly accretion-powered andsuggest that much of the central star formation in H II nuclei isactually circumnuclear.Based on observations obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, which isoperated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. 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 Hα Morphologies and Environmental Effects in Virgo Cluster Spiral GalaxiesWe describe the various Hα morphologies of Virgo Cluster andisolated spiral galaxies and associate the Hα morphologies withthe types of environmental interactions that have altered the clustergalaxies. The spatial distributions of Hα and R-band emission areused to divide the star formation morphologies of the 52 Virgo Clusterspiral galaxies into several categories: normal (37%), anemic (6%),enhanced (6%), and (spatially) truncated (52%). Truncated galaxies arefurther subdivided on the basis of their inner star formation rates intotruncated/normal (37%), truncated/compact (6%), truncated/anemic (8%),and truncated/enhanced (2%). The fraction of anemic galaxies isrelatively small (6%-13%) in both environments, suggesting thatstarvation is not a major factor in the reduced star formation rates ofVirgo spiral galaxies. The majority of Virgo spiral galaxies have theirHα disks truncated (52%), whereas truncated Hα disks arerarer in isolated galaxies (12%). Most of the Hα-truncatedgalaxies have relatively undisturbed stellar disks and normal toslightly enhanced inner disk star formation rates, suggesting thatintracluster medium-interstellar medium (ICM-ISM) stripping is the mainmechanism causing the reduced star formation rates of Virgo spiralgalaxies. Several of the truncated galaxies are peculiar, with enhancedcentral star formation rates, disturbed stellar disks, and barlikedistributions of luminous H II complexes inside the central 1 kpc but nostar formation beyond, suggesting that recent tidal interactions orminor mergers have also influenced their morphology. Two highly inclinedHα-truncated spiral galaxies have numerous extraplanar H IIregions and are likely in an active phase of ICM-ISM stripping. Severalspiral galaxies have one-sided Hα enhancements at the outer edgeof their truncated Hα disks, suggesting modest local enhancementsin their star formation rates due to ICM-ISM interactions. Low-velocitytidal interactions and perhaps outer cluster H I accretion seem to bethe triggers for enhanced global star formation in four Virgo galaxies.These results indicate that most Virgo spiral galaxies experienceICM-ISM stripping, many experience significant tidal effects, and manyexperience both. Spectrophotometry of galaxies in the Virgo cluster. II. The dataDrift-scan mode (3600-6800 Å) spectra with 500 Circumnuclear Dust in Nearby Active and Inactive Galaxies. II. Bars, Nuclear Spirals, and the Fueling of Active Galactic NucleiWe present a detailed study of the relation between circumnuclear dustmorphology, host-galaxy properties, and nuclear activity in nearbygalaxies. We use our sample of 123 nearby galaxies withvisible-near-infrared color maps from the Hubble Space Telescope tocreate well-matched, paired'' samples of 28 active and 28 inactivegalaxies, as well as 19 barred and 19 unbarred galaxies, that have thesame host-galaxy properties. Comparison of the barred and unbarredgalaxies shows that grand-design nuclear dust spirals are found only ingalaxies with a large-scale bar. These nuclear dust spirals, which arepresent in approximately one-third of all barred galaxies, also appearto be connected to the dust lanes along the leading edges of thelarge-scale bars. Grand-design nuclear spirals are more common thaninner rings, which are present in only a small minority of the barredgalaxies. Tightly wound nuclear dust spirals, in contrast, show a strongtendency to avoid galaxies with large-scale bars. Comparison of theactive galactic nuclei (AGNs)and inactive samples shows that nucleardust spirals, which may trace shocks and angular momentum dissipation inthe interstellar medium, occur with comparable frequency in both activeand inactive galaxies. The only difference between the active andinactive galaxies is that several inactive galaxies appear to completelylack dust structure in their circumnuclear region, while none of theAGNs lack this structure. The comparable frequency of nuclear spirals inactive and inactive galaxies, combined with previous work that finds nosignificant difference in the frequency of bars or interactions betweenwell-matched active and inactive galaxies, suggests that no universalfueling mechanism for low-luminosity AGNs operates at spatial scalesgreater than a ~100 pc radius from the galactic nuclei. The similaritiesof the circumnuclear environments of active and inactive galaxiessuggest that the lifetime of nuclear activity is less than thecharacteristic inflow time from these spatial scales. Anorder-of-magnitude estimate of this inflow time is the dynamicaltimescale. This sets an upper limit of several million years to thelifetime of an individual episode of nuclear activity.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. 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 An Efficient Strategy to Select Targets for Gasdynamical Measurements of Black Hole Masses Using the Hubble Space TelescopeGasdynamical studies using the Hubble Space Telescope are an integralcomponent for future progress in the search for massive black holes ingalactic nuclei. Here we present an extensive set of gas rotation curvesobtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph for the centralregions of 23 disk galaxies. We find that the bulges of randomlyselected, nearby spiral and S0 galaxies generally do not containwell-defined gaseous disks. Only 15%-20% of disk galaxies have regular,symmetric velocity fields useful for dynamical analysis. Throughcomparison of the kinematics with Hubble Space Telescope images of thenuclear regions, we show that the probability of success can besignificantly boosted by preselecting objects whose central dust lanesfollow a well-ordered, circularly symmetric pattern. The dust morphologycan be ascertained efficiently by visual inspection of unsharp-maskedimages. Based on observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope,which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. 1.65-μm (H -band) surface photometry of galaxies - VIII. The near-IR κ space at z =0We present the distribution of a statistical sample of nearby galaxiesin the κ -space (κ 1 ~logM , κ 2~logI e 3 M /L , κ 3 ~logM /L ).Our study is based on near-IR (H -band: λ =1.65μm)observations, for the first time comprising early- and late-typesystems. Our data confirm that the mean effective dynamicalmass-to-light ratio M /L of the E+S0+S0a galaxies increases withincreasing effective dynamical mass M , as expected from the existenceof the Fundamental Plane relation. Conversely, spiral and Im/BCDgalaxies show a broad distribution in M /L with no detected trend of M/L with M , the former galaxies having M /L values about twice largerthan the latter, on average. For all the late-type galaxies, the M /Lincreases with decreasing effective surface intensity I e ,consistent with the existence of the Tully-Fisher relation. Theseresults are discussed on the basis of the assumptions behind theconstruction of the κ -space and their limitations. Our study iscomplementary to a previous investigation in the optical (B -band:λ =0.44μm) and allows us to study wavelength dependences ofthe galaxy distribution in the κ -space. As a first result, wefind that the galaxy distribution in the κ 1 -κ2 plane reproduces the transition from bulgeless tobulge-dominated systems in galaxies of increasing dynamical mass.Conversely, it appears that the M /L of late-types is higher (lower)than that of early-types with the same M in the near-IR (optical). Theorigins of this behaviour are discussed in terms of dust attenuation andstar formation history. Catalog of Multicolor Profiles of GalaxiesA catalog of multicolor photometric profiles derived from aperturephotometry for a selected sample of galaxies is given. The data sources,homogenization procedures and selection criteria used are described. The Three-dimensional Structure of the Virgo Cluster Region from Tully-Fisher and H I DataThe distances and H I contents of 161 spiral galaxies in the region ofthe Virgo cluster are used to gain insight into the complicatedstructure of this galaxy system. Special attention has been paid to theinvestigation of the suggestion presented in an earlier work that someperipheral Virgo groups may contain strongly gas-deficient spiralgalaxies. The three-dimensional galaxy distribution has been inferredfrom quality distance estimates obtained by averaging distance modulibased on the Tully-Fisher relationship taken from eight published datasets previously homogenized, resulting in a relation with a dispersionof 0.41 mag. Previous findings that the spiral distribution issubstantially more elongated along the line of sight than in the planeof the sky are confirmed by the current data. In addition, an importanteast-west disparity in this effect has been detected. The overallwidth-to-depth ratio of the Virgo cluster region is about 1:4, with themost distant objects concentrated in the western half. The filamentarystructure of the spiral population and its orientation are alsoreflected by the H I-deficient objects alone. The H I deficiency patternshows a central enhancement extending from ~16 to 22 Mpc inline-of-sight distance; most of this enhancement arises from galaxiesthat belong to the Virgo cluster proper. However, significant gasdeficiencies are also detected outside the main body of the cluster in aprobable group of galaxies at line-of-sight distances ~25-30 Mpc, lyingin the region dominated by the southern edge of the M49 subcluster andclouds W' and W, as well as in various foreground galaxies. In the Virgoregion, the H I content of the galaxies then is not a straightforwardindicator of cluster membership. 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 A morphological comparison between the central region in AGN and normal galaxies using HST dataWe study the morphology of the central region of a sample of ActiveGalactic Nuclei (AGN) and a control'' sample of normal galaxies usingarchival observations of the WFPC2 instrument onboard the Hubble SpaceTelescope (HST). We use the ellipse fitting technique in order to get agood description of the inner smooth'' light distribution of thegalaxy. We then divide the observed galaxy image by the artificial imagefrom the fitted ellipses in order to detect morphological signatures inthe central region around the nucleus of the galaxy. We performquantitative comparisons of different subgroups of our sample ofgalaxies (according to the Hubble type and the nuclear activity of thegalaxies) by calculating the average amplitude of the structures thatare revealed with the ellipse fitting technique. Our main conclusionsare as follows: 1) All AGNs show significant structure in their inner100 pc and 1 kpc regions whose amplitude is similar in all of them,independent of the Hubble type of the host galaxy. 2) When consideringearly-type galaxies, non-AGN galaxies show no structure at all, contraryto what we find for AGN. 3) When considering late-type galaxies, bothAGN and non-AGN galaxies show significant structure in their centralregion. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that allearly-type galaxies host a supermassive black hole, but only those thathave enough material in the central regions to fuel it show an activenucleus. The situation is more complicated in late-type galaxies. Eithernot all of them host a central black hole, or, in some of them, thematerial inside the innermost 100 pc region is not transported to thescales of the central engine for some reason, or the large amount of gasand dust hides the active nucleus from our sight. Based on observationsmade with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the dataarchive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., underthe NASA contract NAS5-26555. 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 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. An Atlas of Hα and R Images and Radial Profiles of 63 Bright Virgo Cluster Spiral GalaxiesNarrowband Hα and broadband R images and radial profiles arepresented for 63 bright spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. The sampleis complete for Sb-Scd galaxies with B0T<=12and inclination <=75°. Isophotal radii, disk scale lengths,concentration parameters, and integrated fluxes are derived for thesample galaxies. The Multitude of Unresolved Continuum Sources at 1.6 Microns in Hubble Space Telescope Images of Seyfert GalaxiesWe examine 112 Seyfert galaxies observed by the Hubble Space Telescopeat 1.6 μm. We find that ~50% of the Seyfert 2.0 galaxies which arepart of the Revised Shapely-Ames (RSA) Catalog or the CfA redshiftsample contain unresolved continuum sources at 1.6 μm. All but acouple of the Seyfert 1.0-1.9 galaxies display unresolved continuumsources. The unresolved sources have fluxes of order 1 mJy,near-infrared luminosities of order 1041 ergs s-1,and absolute magnitudes MH~-16. Comparison non-Seyfertgalaxies from the RSA Catalog display significantly fewer (~20%),somewhat lower luminosity nuclear sources, which could be due to compactstar clusters. We find that the luminosities of the unresolved Seyfert1.0-1.9 sources at 1.6 μm are correlated with [O III] λ5007and hard X-ray luminosities, implying that these sources are nonstellar.Assuming a spectral energy distribution similar to that of a Seyfert 2galaxy, we estimate that a few percent of local spiral galaxies containblack holes emitting as Seyferts at a moderate fraction,~10-1-10-4, of their Eddington luminosities. Wefind no strong correlation between 1.6 μm fluxes and hard X-ray or [OIII] λ5007 fluxes for the pure Seyfert 2.0 galaxies. Thesegalaxies also tend to have lower 1.6 μm luminosities compared to theSeyfert 1.0-1.9 galaxies of similar [O III] luminosity. Either largeextinctions (AV~20-40) are present toward theircontinuum-emitting regions or some fraction of the unresolved sources at1.6 μm are compact star clusters. With increasing Seyfert type thefraction of unresolved sources detected at 1.6 μm and the ratio of1.6 μm to [O III] fluxes tend to decrease. These trends areconsistent with the unification model for Seyfert 1 and 2 galaxies. The Frequency of Active and Quiescent Galaxies with Companions: Implications for the Feeding of the NucleusWe analyze the idea that nuclear activity, either active galactic nuclei(AGNs) or star formation, can be triggered by interactions by studyingthe percentage of active, H II, and quiescent galaxies with companions.Our sample was selected from the Palomar survey and avoids selectionbiases faced by previous studies. This sample was split into fivedifferent groups, Seyfert galaxies, LINERs, transition galaxies, H IIgalaxies, and absorption-line galaxies. The comparison between the localgalaxy density distributions of the different groups showed that in mostcases there is no statistically significant difference among galaxies ofdifferent activity types, with the exception that absorption-linegalaxies are seen in higher density environments, since most of them arein the Virgo Cluster. The comparison of the percentage of galaxies withnearby companions showed that there is a higher percentage of LINERs,transition galaxies, and absorption-line galaxies with companions thanSeyfert and H II galaxies. However, we find that when we consider onlygalaxies of similar morphological types (elliptical or spiral), there isno difference in the percentage of galaxies with companions amongdifferent activity types, indicating that the former result was due tothe morphology-density effect. In addition, only small differences arefound when we consider galaxies with similar Hα luminosities. Thecomparison between H II galaxies of different Hα luminositiesshows that there is a significantly higher percentage of galaxies withcompanions among H II galaxies with L(Hα)>1039 ergss-1 than among those with L(Hα)<=1039ergs s-1, indicating that interactions increase the amount ofcircumnuclear star formation, in agreement with previous results. Thefact that we find that galaxies of different activity types have thesame percentage of companions suggests that interactions betweengalaxies is not a necessary condition to trigger the nuclear activity inAGNs. We compare our results with previous ones and discuss theirimplications. The formation of galaxy bulges: Spectrophotometric constraintsWe have measured Mg2, Fe 5270 and Fe 5335 spectrophotometricindices (LICK system) in the bulge of 89 galaxies, mostly spirals fromthe Héraudeau (\cite{her96}) sample. The indices are reduced to anull velocity dispersion and normalized to an aperture of 0.2h-1 kpc. The mean errors are 0.009 mag on Mg2, and0.3 Å on the iron indices. These measurements almost double theamount of similar data already available on spiral galaxies. Our dataconfirm the existence of the relation between Mg2, andsigma0, the central stellar velocity dispersion; we find aneven tighter relation between Mg2, andVmrot, the maximum rotational velocity of thegalaxy, deduced from HI observations. For the most massive bulges, thesecorrelations may be interpreted as a mass-metallicity relation. However,the presence of young stellar populations, traced by the detection of[OIII] lambda 5007 Å, emission, provides clear evidence that ageeffects do play a role. Since the contribution of the young populationis anti-correlated to the mass of the galaxy, it continues theMg2, vs. sigma0 , relation toward thelow-sigma0, region and globally increases its slope. We alsopresent evidence for a new positive correlation between Fe indices andsigma0, and for a significant correlation between theline-strength indices and the total or disk luminosity. We propose tomodel the whole sequence of bulges within the folowing framework: bulgesare composed of a primary population formed prior to the disk, duringthe initial collapse, and of a secondary population formed during itsevolution. The whole family of bulges can be classified into threeclasses: (A) the bulges dominated by young populations are generallysmall, have ionized gas, low velocity dispersion and low line strengths;(B) the bulges dominated by the primary population lie along themass-metallicity sequence defined for elliptical galaxies; and (C) thebulges where the secondary population is significant are lessMg-over-abundant than (B)-type bulges and deviate from theMg2, vs. sigma0, relation of elliptical galaxies.Based on observations collected at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence.Table 3 is presented in electronic form only at the CDS. Tables 1 and 2are also available form at the CDS, Strasbourg, via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/366/68 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. Luminosity versus Phase-Space-Density Relation of Galaxies RevisitedWe reexamined the correlation between the BTmagnitude and the phase-space-density parameterw=(D225vc)-1 of galaxies forthe Virgo, the Coma, the Fornax, and the Perseus clusters in an effortto better understand the physical underpinning of the fundamental plane.A tight correlation (BT=alog w+b) common to differentmorphological types of galaxies (E, S0, S) was found for the Virgo andthe Coma clusters, with a=1.87+/-0.10 and 1.33+/-0.11, respectively. Aninvestigation using only E galaxies was made for the four clusters. Theresults indicated that the empirical linear relation might be commonamong the Coma, the Fornax, and the Perseus clusters, with the VirgoCluster showing deviation. This relation, which is another way toproject the fundamental plane, has an expression insensitive to themorphology and may be suitable for treating galaxies of differentmorphological types collectively. 1.65 ^mum (H-band) surface photometry of galaxies. IV. observations of 170 galaxies with the Calar Alto 2.2 m telescopeWe present near-infrared (H band) surface photometry of 170 galaxies,obtained in 1997 using the Calar Alto 2.2 m telescope equipped with theNICMOS3 camera MAGIC. The majority of our targets are selected amongbright members of the Virgo cluster, however galaxies in the A262 andCancer clusters and in the Coma/A1367 supercluster are also included.This data set is aimed at complementing the NIR survey in the Virgocluster discussed in \cite[Boselli et al. (1997)]{B97} and in the ComaSupercluster, presented in Papers I, II and III of this series.Magnitudes at the optical radius, total magnitudes, isophotal radii andlight concentration indices are derivedTables 1 and 2 (full version) are only available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html.Based on observations taken at the Calar Alto Observatory, operated bythe Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Heidelberg) jointly withthe Spanish National Commission for Astronomy. 1.65 μm (H-band) surface photometry of galaxies. V. Profile decomposition of 1157 galaxiesWe present near-infrared H-band (1.65 μm) surface brightness profiledecomposition for 1157 galaxies in five nearby clusters of galaxies:Coma, A1367, Virgo, A262 and Cancer, and in the bridge between Coma andA1367 in the Great Wall". The optically selected (mpg≤16.0) sample is representative of all Hubble types, from E to Irr+BCD,except dE and of significantly different environments, spanning fromisolated regions to rich clusters of galaxies. We model the surfacebrightness profiles with a de Vaucouleurs r1/4 law (dV), withan exponential disk law (E), or with a combination of the two (B+D).From the fitted quantities we derive the H band effective surfacebrightness (μe) and radius (re) of each component, theasymptotic magnitude HT and the light concentration indexC31. We find that: i) Less than 50% of the Ellipticalgalaxies have pure dV profiles. The majority of E to Sb galaxies is bestrepresented by a B+D profile. All Scd to BCD galaxies have pureexponential profiles. ii) The type of decomposition is a strong functionof the total H band luminosity (mass), independent of the Hubbleclassification: the fraction of pure exponential decompositionsdecreases with increasing luminosity, that of B+D increases withluminosity. Pure dV profiles are absent in the low luminosity rangeLH<1010 L\odot and become dominantabove 1011 L\odot . Based on observations taken atTIRGO, Gornergrat, Switzerland (operated by CAISMI-CNR, Arcetri,Firenze, Italy) and at the Calar Alto Observatory (operated by theMax-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Heidelberg) jointly with theSpanish National Commission for Astronomy). Table 2 and Figs. 2, 3, 4are available in their entirety only in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html IC3328: A dwarf elliptical galaxy'' with spiral structureWe present the 2-D photometric decomposition of the Virgo galaxyIC3328. The analysis of the global light distributionof this morphologically classified nucleated dwarf elliptical galaxy(dE1,N) reveals a tightly wound, bi-symmetric spiral structure with adiameter of 4.5 kpc, precisely centered on the nucleus of the dwarf. Theamplitude of the spiral is only three percent of the dwarf's surfacebrightness making it the faintest and smallest spiral ever found in agalaxy. In terms of pitch angle and arm winding the spiral is similar tothe intermediate-type galaxy M51, but it lacks the dust and prominent HIi regions which signal the presence of gas. The visual evidence of aspiral pattern in an early-type dwarf galaxy reopens the question onwhether these dwarfs are genuine rotationally supported or anisotropicstellar systems. In the case of IC3328, we argue for a nearly face-ondisk (dS0) galaxy with an estimated maximum rotation velocity ofvc,max~ 55 km s-1 . The faintness of the spiraland the small motions within it, suggests that we could be seeingswing-amplified noise. The other possibility is a tidal origin, causedby the near passage of a small companion. Based on observationscollected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO 63.O-0055) Investigations of the Local Supercluster velocity field. III. Tracing the backside infall with distance moduli from the direct Tully-Fisher relationWe have extended the discussion of Paper II (Ekholm et al.\cite{Ekholm99a}) to cover also the backside of the Local Supercluster(LSC) by using 96 galaxies within Theta <30degr from the adoptedcentre of LSC and with distance moduli from the direct B-bandTully-Fisher relation. In order to minimize the influence of theMalmquist bias we required log Vmax>2.1 and sigmaB_T<0.2mag. We found out that ifRVirgo<20 Mpc this sample fails to follow the expecteddynamical pattern from the Tolman-Bondi (TB) model. When we compared ourresults with the Virgo core galaxies given by Federspiel et al.(\cite{Federspiel98}) we were able to constrain the distance to Virgo:RVirgo=20-24 Mpc. When analyzing the TB-behaviour of thesample as seen from the origin of the metric as well as that withdistances from the extragalactic Cepheid PL-relation we found additionalsupport to the estimate RVirgo= 21 Mpc given in Paper II.Using a two-component mass-model we found a Virgo mass estimateMVirgo=(1.5 - 2)x Mvirial, whereMvirial=9.375*E14Msun forRVirgo= 21 Mpc. This estimate agrees with the conclusion inPaper I (Teerikorpi et al. \cite{Teerikorpi92}). Our results indicatethat the density distribution of luminous matter is shallower than thatof the total gravitating matter when q0<= 0.5. Thepreferred exponent in the density power law, alpha ~2.5, agrees withrecent theoretical work on the universal density profile of dark matterclustering in an Einstein-deSitter universe (Tittley & Couchman\cite{Tittley99}). The 3D structure of the Virgo cluster from H-band Fundamental Plane and Tully-Fisher distance determinationsWe undertook a surface photometry survey of 200 galaxies in the Virgocluster (complete to B<14.0 mag) carried out in the near-infrared(NIR) H band. Combining velocity dispersion measurements from theliterature with new spectroscopic data for 11 galaxies, we derivedistances of 59 early-type galaxies using the Fundamental Plane (FP)method. The distances of another 75 late-type galaxies are determinedusing the Tully-Fisher (TF) method. For this purpose we use the maximumrotational velocity, as derived from HI spectra from the literature,complemented with new Hα rotation curves of eight highlyHI-deficient galaxies. The zero-points of the FP and TF templaterelations are calibrated assuming the distance modulus of Virgomu_0=31.0, as determined with the Cepheids method. Using these 134distance determinations (with individual uncertainties of 0.35 mag (TF)and 0.45 mag (FP)) we find that the distance of cluster A, associatedwith M87, is mu_0=30.84 +/- 0.06. Cluster B, offset to the south, isfound at mu_0=31.84 +/- 0.10. This subcluster is falling on to A atabout 750 km s^-1. Clouds W and M are at twice the distance of A.Galaxies on the north-west and south-east of the main cluster A belongto two clouds composed almost exclusively of spiral galaxies withdistances consistent with A, but with significantly different velocitydistributions, suggesting that they are falling on to cluster A atapproximately 770 km s^-1 from the far side and at 200 km s^-1 from thenear side respectively. The mass of Virgo inferred from the peculiarmotions induced on its vicinity is consistent with the virialexpectation. Arcsecond Positions of UGC GalaxiesWe present accurate B1950 and J2000 positions for all confirmed galaxiesin the Uppsala General Catalog (UGC). The positions were measuredvisually from Digitized Sky Survey images with rms uncertaintiesσ<=[(1.2")2+(θ/100)2]1/2,where θ is the major-axis diameter. We compared each galaxymeasured with the original UGC description to ensure high reliability.The full position list is available in the electronic version only.
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