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|RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function|
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.
|Planetary nebulae as tracers of galaxy stellar populations|
We address the general problem of the luminosity-specific planetarynebula (PN) number, better known as the `α' ratio, given byα=NPN/Lgal, and its relationship with theage and metallicity of the parent stellar population. Our analysisrelies on population synthesis models that account for simple stellarpopulations (SSPs), and more elaborate galaxy models covering the fullstar formation range of the different Hubble morphological types. Thistheoretical framework is compared with the updated census of the PNpopulation in Local Group (LG) galaxies and external ellipticals in theLeo group, and the Virgo and Fornax clusters.The main conclusions of our study can be summarized as follows. (i)According to the post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stellar core mass,PN lifetime in a SSP is constrained by three relevant regimes, driven bythe nuclear (Mcore>~ 0.57Msolar), dynamical(0.57Msolar>~Mcore>~ 0.55Msolar)and transition (0.55Msolar>~Mcore>~0.52Msolar) time-scales. The lower limit for Mcorealso sets the minimum mass for stars to reach the AGB thermal-pulsingphase and experience the PN event. (ii) Mass loss is the crucialmechanism to constrain the value of α, through the definition ofthe initial-to-final mass relation (IFMR). The Reimers mass-lossparametrization, calibrated on Pop II stars of Galactic globularclusters, poorly reproduces the observed value of α in late-typegalaxies, while a better fit is obtained using the empirical IFMRderived from white dwarf observations in the Galaxy open clusters. (iii) The inferred PN lifetime for LG spirals and irregulars exceeds10000yr, which suggests that Mcore<~ 0.65Msolarcores dominate, throughout. (iv) The relative PN deficiency inelliptical galaxies, and the observed trend of α with galaxyoptical colours, support the presence of a prevailing fraction oflow-mass cores (Mcore<~ 0.55Msolar) in the PNdistribution and a reduced visibility time-scale for the nebulae as aconsequence of the increased AGB transition time. The stellar componentwith Mcore<~ 0.52Msolar, which overrides the PNphase, could provide an enhanced contribution to hotter HB and post-HBevolution, as directly observed in M 32 and the bulge of M 31. Thisimplies that the most UV-enhanced ellipticals should also display thelowest values of α, as confirmed by the Virgo cluster early-typegalaxy population. (v) Any blue-straggler population, invoked asprogenitor of the Mcore>~ 0.7Msolar PNe inorder to preserve the constancy of the bright luminosity-functioncut-off magnitude in ellipticals, must be confined to a small fraction(a few per cent at most) of the whole galaxy PN population.
|GMOS spectroscopy of the S0 galaxy NGC 3115|
We present Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph longslit spectroscopy of theisolated S0 galaxy NGC 3115. We have determined kinematical data andLick/IDS absorption line-strength indices for the major axis out toaround 9 kpc and for the minor axis out to around 5 kpc (around2Re). Using stellar population models which include theeffects of variable [α/Fe] ratios, we derive metallicities,abundance ratios and ages for the stellar population of NGC 3115. Wefind that [α/Fe] remains fairly constant with increasing radius ataround [α/Fe]= 0.17 for the major axis but increases rapidly forthe minor axis to around [α/Fe]= 0.3. We also find that to firstorder, this behaviour can be explained by a simple spheroid + discmodel, where the spheroid has [α/Fe]= 0.3 and the disc shows closeto solar abundance ratios. The disc also appears considerably youngerthan the spheroid, having an age of around 6 Gyr compared to 12 Gyr forthe spheroid. We compare these results to those previously presented forthe globular cluster system of NGC 3115.
|A data-driven Bayesian approach for finding young stellar populations in early-type galaxies from their ultraviolet-optical spectra|
Efficient predictive models and data analysis techniques for theanalysis of photometric and spectroscopic observations of galaxies arenot only desirable, but also required, in view of the overwhelmingquantities of data becoming available. We present the results of a novelapplication of Bayesian latent variable modelling techniques, where wehave formulated a data-driven algorithm that allows one to explore thestellar populations of a large sample of galaxies from their spectra,without the application of detailed physical models. Our only assumptionis that the galaxy spectrum can be expressed as a linear superpositionof a small number of independent factors, each a spectrum of a stellarsubpopulation that cannot be individually observed. A probabilisticlatent variable architecture that explicitly encodes this assumption isthen formulated, and a rigorous Bayesian methodology is employed forsolving the inverse modelling problem from the available data. Apowerful aspect of this method is that it formulates a density model ofthe spectra, based on which we can handle observational errors. Further,we can recover missing data both from the original set of spectra whichmight have incomplete spectral coverage of each galaxy, or frompreviously unseen spectra of the same kind.We apply this method to a sample of 21 ultraviolet-optical spectra ofwell-studied early-type galaxies, for which we also derive detailedphysical models of star formation history (i.e. age, metallicity andrelative mass fraction of the component stellar populations). We alsoapply it to synthetic spectra made up of two stellar populations,spanning a large range of parameters. We apply four different datamodels, starting from a formulation of principal component analysis(PCA), which has been widely used. We explore alternative factor models,relaxing the physically unrealistic assumption of Gaussian factors, aswell as constraining the possibility of negative flux values that areallowed in PCA, and show that other models perform equally well orbetter, while yielding more physically acceptable results. Inparticular, the more physically motivated assumptions of our rectifiedfactor analysis enable it to perform better than PCA, and to recoverphysically meaningful results.We find that our data-driven Bayesian modelling allows us to identifythose early-type galaxies that contain a significant stellar populationthat is <~1-Gyr old. This experiment also concludes that our sampleof early-type spectra showed no evidence of more than two major stellarpopulations differing significantly in age and metallicity. This methodwill help us to search for such young populations in a large ensemble ofspectra of early-type galaxies, without fitting detailed models, andthereby to study the underlying physical processes governing theformation and evolution of early-type galaxies, particularly thoseleading to the suppression of star formation in dense environments. Inparticular, this method would be a very useful tool for automaticallydiscovering various interesting subclasses of galaxies, for example,post-starburst or E+A galaxies.
|Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries in Six Elliptical Galaxies: Connection to Globular Clusters|
We present a systematic study of the low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB)populations of six elliptical galaxies, aimed at investigating thedetected LMXB-globular cluster (GC) connection. We utilize Chandraarchival data to identify X-ray point sources and HST archival datasupplemented by ground observations to identify 6173 GCs. Afterscreening and cross-matching, we associate 209 LMXBs with red GC (RGCs)and 76 LMXBs with blue GCs (BGCs), while we find no optical GCcounterpart for 258 LMXBs. This is the largest GC-LMXB sample studied sofar. We confirm previous reports suggesting that the fraction of GCsassociated with LMXBs is ~3 times larger in RGCs than in BGCs,indicating that metallicity is a primary factor in the GC LMXBformation. We find that GCs located near the galaxy center have a higherprobability of harboring LMXBs than those in the outskirts, suggestingthat there must be another parameter (in addition to metallicity)governing LMXB formation in GCs. This second parameter, dependent on thegalactocentric distance, may be a distance dependent encounter rate. Wefind no significant differences in the shape of X-ray luminosityfunction, LX/LV distribution, X-ray spectra amongRGC, BGC, and field LMXBs. The similarity of the X-ray spectra isinconsistent with the irradiation-induced stellar wind model prediction.The similarity of the X-ray luminosity functions (XLFs) of GC LMXBs andfield LMXBs indicates that there is no significant difference in thefraction of black hole binaries present. We cannot either prove orreject the hypothesis that all LMXBs were formed in GCs.
|The Cool ISM in S0 Galaxies. II. A Survey of Atomic Gas|
The place of lenticular galaxies within the range of types of galaxiesremains unclear. We previously reported the mass of molecular hydrogenfor a volume-limited sample of lenticular galaxies, where we saw thatthe amount of gas was less than that predicted by the return of stellarmass to the interstellar medium. Here we report observations of atomichydrogen (H I) for the same sample. Detections in several galaxies makemore compelling the case presented in our earlier paper that the mass ofcool gas in S0 galaxies cuts off at ~10% of what is expected fromcurrent models of gas return from stellar evolution. The molecular andatomic phases of the gas in our sample galaxies appear to be separateand distinct, both spatially and in velocity space. We propose that themolecular gas arises mostly from the stellar mass returned to thegalaxy, while the atomic hydrogen is mainly accumulated from externalsources (infall, captured dwarfs, etc.). While this proposal fits mostof the observations, it makes the presence of the upper mass cutoff evenmore mysterious.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. XI. The Nature of Diffuse Star Clusters in Early-Type Galaxies|
We use HST ACS imaging of 100 early-type galaxies in the ACS VirgoCluster Survey to investigate the nature of diffuse star clusters(DSCs). Compared to globular clusters (GCs), these star clusters havelow luminosities (MV>-8) and a broad distribution of sizes(320 magarcsec-2). The median colors of diffuse star cluster systems(1.1
|A Chandra Survey of Early-Type Galaxies. I. Metal Enrichment in the Interstellar Medium|
We present a Chandra study of the emission-weighted metal abundances in28 early-type galaxies, spanning ~3 orders of magnitude in X-rayluminosity (LX). We report constraints for Fe, O, Ne, Mg, Si,S, and Ni. We find no evidence of the very subsolar Fe abundance(ZFe) historically reported, confirming a trend in recentobservations of bright galaxies and groups, nor do we find anycorrelation between ZFe and luminosity. Excepting one case,the ISM is single-phase, indicating that multitemperature fits foundwith ASCA reflected temperature gradients that we resolve with Chandra.We find no evidence that ZFe (ISM) is substantially lowerthan the stellar metallicity estimated from simple stellar populationmodels. In general, these quantities are similar, which is inconsistentwith galactic wind models and recent hierarchical chemical enrichmentsimulations. Our abundance ratio constraints imply that 66%+/-11% of theISM Fe was produced in SNe Ia, similar to the solar neighborhood,indicating similar enrichment histories for elliptical galaxies and theMilky Way. Although these values are sensitive to the considerablesystematic uncertainty in the supernova yields, they are in agreementwith observations of more massive systems. This indicates considerablehomology in the enrichment process operating from cluster scales tolow-to-intermediate-LX galaxies. The data uniformly exhibitlow ZO/ZMg ratios, which have been reported insome clusters, groups, and galaxies. This is inconsistent with standardSN II metal yield calculations and may indicate an additional source ofenrichment, such as Population III hypernovae.
|The Spatial Distribution of Faint Fuzzy Star Clusters in NGC 5195|
We present a study of a faint fuzzy star cluster system in the nearbySB0 galaxy NGC 5195 interacting with the famous spiral galaxy NGC 5194(M51), based on HST ACS BVI mosaic images taken by the Hubble HeritageTeam. We have found about 50 faint fuzzy star clusters around NGC 5195that are larger than typical globular clusters with effective radiireff>7 pc and that are red with (V-I)>1.0. They aremostly fainter than MV~-8.3 mag. From the comparison of BVIphotometry of these clusters with the simple stellar population models,we find that they are as massive as ~105 Msolarand older than 1 Gyr. Strikingly, most of these clusters are found to bescattered in an elongated region almost perpendicular to the northernspiral arm of NGC 5194, and the center of the region is slightly northof the NGC 5195 center, while normal compact red clusters of NGC 5195are located around the bright optical body of the host galaxy. This isin contrast to the cases of NGC 1023 and NGC 3384 where the spatialdistribution of faint fuzzy clusters shows a ring structure around thehost galaxy. We suggest that at least some faint fuzzy clusters areexperiencing tidal interactions with the companion galaxy NGC 5194 andmust be associated with the tidal debris in the western halo of NGC5195.
|Scaling Mass Profiles around Elliptical Galaxies Observed with Chandra and XMM-Newton|
We investigated the dynamical structure of 53 elliptical galaxies usingthe Chandra archival X-ray data. In X-ray-luminous galaxies, temperatureincreases with radius and gas density is systematically higher at theoptical outskirts, indicating the presence of a significant amount ofthe group-scale hot gas. In contrast, X-ray-dim galaxies show a flat ordeclining temperature profile against radius and the gas density isrelatively lower at the optical outskirts. Thus, it is found thatX-ray-bright and faint elliptical galaxies are clearly distinguished bythe temperature and gas density profile. The mass profile is well scaledby a virial radius r200 rather than an optical half-radiusre, is quite similar at (0.001-0.03)r200 betweenX-ray-luminous and dim galaxies, and smoothly connects to those profilesof clusters of galaxies. At the inner region of(0.001-0.01)r200 or (0.1-1)re, the mass profilewell traces a stellar mass with a constant mass-to-light ratio ofM/LB=3-10 Msolar/Lsolar. TheM/LB ratio of X-ray-bright galaxies rises up steeply beyond0.01r200 and thus requires a presence of massive dark matterhalo. From the deprojection analysis combined with the XMM-Newton data,we found that X-ray-dim galaxies NGC 3923, NGC 720, and IC 1459 alsohave a high M/LB ratio of 20-30 at 20 kpc, comparable to thatof X-ray-luminous galaxies. Therefore, dark matter is indicated to becommon in elliptical galaxies; their dark matter distribution, as wellas that of galaxy clusters, almost follows the NFW profile.
|The Globular Cluster System of the Virgo Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy VCC 1087|
We present an analysis of the globular cluster (GC) system of thenucleated dwarf elliptical galaxy VCC 1087 in the Virgo Cluster based onKeck LRIS spectroscopy and archival Hubble Space Telescope AdvancedCamera for Surveys imaging. We estimate that VCC 1087 hosts a totalpopulation of 77+/-19 GCs, which corresponds to a relatively high V-bandspecific frequency of 5.8+/-1.4. The g475-z850color distribution of the GCs shows a blue (metal-poor) peak with a tailof redder (metal-rich) clusters similar in color to those seen inluminous elliptical galaxies. The luminosity function of the GCs islognormal and peaks atMTOg475=-7.2+/-0.3,MTOz850=-8.1+/-0.2. These peakpositions are consistent with those found for luminous Virgo ellipticalgalaxies, suggesting either the lack of or, surprisingly similarly, thedynamical destruction processes of GCs among dwarf and giant galaxies.Spectroscopy of a subsample of 12 GCs suggests that the GC system is oldand coeval (>~10 Gyr), with a fairly broad metallicity distribution(-1.8<~[M/H]<~-0.8). In contrast, an integrated spectrum of theunderlying galaxy starlight reveals that its optical luminosity isdominated by metal-rich, intermediate-age stars. The radial velocitiesof the GCs suggest rotation close to the major axis of the galaxy, andthis rotation is dynamically significant with(vrot/σlos)*>1. A compilationof the kinematics of the GC systems of nine early-type galaxies showssurprising diversity in the (vrot/σlos)parameter for GC systems. In this context, the GC system of VCC 1087exhibits the most significant rotation-to-velocity dispersion signature.Dynamical mass modeling of the velocity dispersion profile of the GCsand galaxy stars suggests fairly constant mass-to-light ratios of ~3 outto 6.5 kpc. The present observations can entertain both baryonic andnonbaryonic solutions, and GC velocities at larger radii would be mostvaluable with regard to this issue. Finally, we discuss the evolution ofVCC 1087 in terms of the galaxy ``harassment'' scenario and concludethat this galaxy may well be the remains of a faded, tidally perturbedSc spiral.Some of the 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.
|Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei: Past, Present and Future Research|
This review discusses the current status of supermassive black holeresearch, as seen from a purely observational standpoint. Since theearly ‘90s, rapid technological advances, most notably the launchof the Hubble Space Telescope, the commissioning of the VLBA andimprovements in near-infrared speckle imaging techniques, have not onlygiven us incontrovertible proof of the existence of supermassive blackholes, but have unveiled fundamental connections between the mass of thecentral singularity and the global properties of the host galaxy. It isthanks to these observations that we are now, for the first time, in aposition to understand the origin, evolution and cosmic relevance ofthese fascinating objects.
|Secular Evolution in Disk Galaxies: The Growth of Pseudobulges and Problems for Cold Dark Matter Galaxy Formation|
We review internal secular evolution in galaxy disks - the fundamentalprocess by which isolated disks evolve. We concentrate on the buildup ofdense central features that look like classical, merger-built bulges butthat were made slowly out of disk gas. We call these pseudobulges. As anexistence proof, we review how bars rearrange disk gas into outer rings,inner rings, and gas dumped into the center. In simulations, this gasreaches high densities, and in the observations, many SB and ovalgalaxies show central concentrations of gas. Associated star formationrates imply plausible pseudobulge growth times of a few billion years.If secular processes built dense centers that masquerade as bulges, canwe distinguish them from merger-built bulges? Observations show thatpseudobulges retain a memory of their disky origin. They have one ormore characteristics of disks: (1) flatter shapes than those ofclassical bulges, (2) larger ratios of ordered to random velocities, (3)smaller velocity dispersions, (4) nuclear bars or spiral structure, (5)boxy structure when seen edge-on, (6) nearly exponential brightnessprofiles, and (7) starbursts. These features occur preferentially inbarred and oval galaxies in which secular evolution should be rapid. Sothe cleanest examples of pseudobulges are recognizable. Thusobservations and theory contribute to a new picture of galaxy evolutionthat complements hierarchical clustering and merging.However, an important problem with cold dark matter galaxy formationgets more acute. How can hierarchical clustering produce so many puredisk galaxies with no evidence for merger-built bulges?
|Secular Evolution of Barred Galaxies with Massive Central Black Holes|
The influence of central black holes on the dynamical evolution of barsin disk galaxies was examined. Once a bar formed by a dynamicalinstability in an infinitesimally thin stellar disk was fully developed,a black hole (BH) was adiabatically added at the center of the disk. Ourresults indicate that a bar can be completely destroyed, in a practicalsense, in a time much smaller than the Hubble time if the central BHmass exceeds about 0.5% of the disk mass. Since this implied minimum BHmass for bar destruction is on the order of 108.5Modot for a typical disk galaxy, this process could occur inthe real Universe. The bar amplitude decreases gradually with time afterthe BH has grown up to its full mass. Surface-of-section plots indicatethat the bar dissolution originates from the chaotic behavior ofbar-supporting orbits. In addition, the scale length and the radialvelocity dispersion of the disk after bar dissolution become much largerthan those of the initial axisymmetric disk. This finding suggests thatit is possible to discriminate between genuine non-barred galaxies andbar-dissolved galaxies induced by massive central BHs from the viewpointof structural properties.
|The X-ray emission properties and the dichotomy in the central stellar cusp shapes of early-type galaxies|
The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a dichotomy in the centralsurface brightness profiles of early-type galaxies, which havesubsequently been grouped into two families: core, boxy, anisotropicsystems; and cuspy (`power-law'), discy, rotating ones. Here weinvestigate whether a dichotomy is also present in the X-ray propertiesof the two families. We consider both their total soft emission(LSX,tot), which is a measure of the galactic hot gascontent, and their nuclear hard emission (LHX,nuc), mostlycoming from Chandra observations, which is a measure of the nuclearactivity. At any optical luminosity, the highest LSX,totvalues are reached by core galaxies; this is explained by their beingthe central dominant galaxies of groups, subclusters or clusters, inmany of the logLSX,tot (ergs-1) >~ 41.5 cases.The highest LHX,nuc values, similar to those of classicalactive galactic nuclei (AGNs), in this sample are hosted only by core orintermediate galaxies; at low luminosity AGN levels, LHX,nucis independent of the central stellar profile shape. The presence ofoptical nuclei (also found by HST) is unrelated to the level ofLHX,nuc, even though the highest LHX,nuc are allassociated with optical nuclei. The implications of these findings forgalaxy evolution and accretion modalities at the present epoch arediscussed.
|The stellar halo metallicity-luminosity relationship for spiral galaxies|
The stellar haloes of spiral galaxies bear important chemodynamicalsignatures of galaxy formation. We present here the analysis of 89semi-cosmological spiral galaxy simulations, spanning ~4 mag in totalgalactic luminosity. These simulations sample a wide variety of merginghistories and show significant dispersion in halo metallicity at a giventotal luminosity - more than a factor of 10 in metallicity. Ourpreliminary analysis suggests that galaxies with a more extended merginghistory possess haloes which have younger and more metal-rich stellarpopulations than the stellar haloes associated with galaxies with a moreabbreviated assembly. A correlation between a halo's metallicity and itssurface brightness has also been found, reflecting the correlationbetween halo metallicity and its stellar mass. Our simulations arecompared with recent Hubble Space Telescope observations of resolvedstellar haloes in nearby spirals.
|An atlas of calcium triplet spectra of active galaxies|
We present a spectroscopic atlas of active galactic nuclei covering theregion around the λλ8498, 8542, 8662 calcium triplet(CaT). The sample comprises 78 objects, divided into 43 Seyfert 2s, 26Seyfert 1s, three starburst and six normal galaxies. The spectra pertainto the inner ~300 pc in radius, and thus sample the central kinematicsand stellar populations of active galaxies. The data are used to measurestellar velocity dispersions (σ*) with bothcross-correlation and direct fitting methods. These measurements arefound to be in good agreement with each other and with those in previousstudies for objects in common. The CaT equivalent width is alsomeasured. We find average values and sample dispersions ofWCaT of 4.6 +/- 2.0, 7.0 +/- 1.0 and 7.7 +/- 1.0 Å forSeyfert 1s, Seyfert 2s and normal galaxies, respectively. We furtherpresent an atlas of [SIII]λ9069 emission-line profiles for asubset of 40 galaxies. These data are analysed in a companion paperwhich addresses the connection between stellar and narrow-line regionkinematics, the behaviour of the CaT equivalent width as a function ofσ*, activity type and stellar population properties.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear data|
We have derived ages, metallicities and enhanced-element ratios[α/Fe] for a sample of 83 early-type galaxies essentially ingroups, the field or isolated objects. The stellar-population propertiesderived for each galaxy correspond to the nuclear re/8aperture extraction. The median age found for Es is 5.8+/-0.6 Gyr andthe average metallicity is +0.37+/-0.03 dex. For S0s, the median age is3.0+/-0.6 Gyr and [Z/H]= 0.53+/-0.04 dex. We compare the distribution ofour galaxies in the Hβ-[MgFe] diagram with Fornax galaxies. Ourelliptical galaxies are 3-4 Gyr younger than Es in the Fornax cluster.We find that the galaxies lie in a plane defined by [Z/H]= 0.99logσ0- 0.46 log(age) - 1.60, or in linear terms Z~σ0× (age) -0.5. More massive (largerσ0) and older galaxies present, on average, large[α/Fe] values, and therefore must have undergone shorterstar-formation time-scales. Comparing group against field/isolatedgalaxies, it is not clear that environment plays an important role indetermining their stellar-population history. In particular, ourisolated galaxies show ages differing by more than 8 Gyr. Finally weexplore our large spectral coverage to derive log(O/H) metallicity fromthe Hα and NIIλ6584 and compare it with model-dependent[Z/H]. We find that the O/H abundances are similar for all galaxies, andwe can interpret it as if most chemical evolution has already finishedin these galaxies.
|Mass-to-light ratio gradients in early-type galaxy haloes|
Owing to the fact that the near future should see a rapidly expandingset of probes of the halo masses of individual early-type galaxies, weintroduce a convenient parameter for characterizing the halo masses fromboth observational and theoretical results:∇lΥ, the logarithmic radial gradient of themass-to-light ratio. Using halo density profiles from Λ-cold darkmatter (CDM) simulations, we derive predictions for this gradient forvarious galaxy luminosities and star formation efficienciesɛSF. As a pilot study, we assemble the available∇lΥ data from kinematics in early-type galaxies- representing the first unbiased study of halo masses in a wide rangeof early-type galaxy luminosities - and find a correlation betweenluminosity and ∇lΥ, such that the brightestgalaxies appear the most dark-matter dominated. We find that thegradients in most of the brightest galaxies may fit in well with theΛCDM predictions, but that there is also a population of faintergalaxies whose gradients are so low as to imply an unreasonably highstar formation efficiency ɛSF > 1. This difficultyis eased if dark haloes are not assumed to have the standard ΛCDMprofiles, but lower central concentrations.
|Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear data|
This is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies.
|Supermassive Black Holes: Relation to Dark Halos|
Estimates of the masses of supermassive black holes (M bh ) in thenuclei of disk galaxies with known rotation curves are compared withestimates of the rotational velocities V m and the“indicative” masses of the galaxies M i . Although there isa correlation between M bh and V m or M i , it is appreciably weakerthan the correlation with the central velocity dispersion. The values ofM bh for early-type galaxies (S0-Sab), which have more massive bulges,are, on average, higher than the values for late-type galaxies with thesame rotational velocities. We conclude that the black-hole masses aredetermined primarily by the properties of the bulge and not therotational velocity or the mass of the galaxy.
|Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data Analysis|
X-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources.
|O VI in Elliptical Galaxies: Indicators of Cooling Flows|
Early-type galaxies often contain a hot X-ray-emitting interstellarmedium [(3-8)×106 K] with an apparent radiative coolingtime much less than a Hubble time. If unopposed by a heating mechanism,the gas will radiatively cool to temperatures <~104 K at arate proportional to LX/TX, typically 0.03-1Msolar yr-1. We can test whether gas is coolingthrough the 3×105 K range by observing the O VIdoublet, whose luminosity is proportional to the cooling rate. Here wereport on a study of an unbiased sample of 24 galaxies, obtaining FarUltraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer spectra to complement the X-ray dataof ROSAT and Chandra. The O VI line emission was detected in about 40%of the galaxies and at a luminosity level similar to the prediction fromthe cooling flow model. There is a correlation betweenM˙OVI and M˙X, although there issignificant dispersion about the relationship, where the O VI isbrighter or dimmer than expected by a factor of 3 or more. If thecooling flow picture is to be retained, then this dispersion requiresthat cooling flows be time-dependent, as might occur by the activity ofan AGN. However, of detected objects, those with the highest or lowestvalues of M˙OVI/M˙X are not systematicallyhot or cool, as one might predict from AGN heating.
|The Ages of Globular Clusters in NGC 4365 Revisited with Deep HST Observations|
We present new Hubble Space Telescope (HST) NIC3, near-infrared H-bandphotometry of globular clusters (GCs) around NGC 4365 and NGC 1399 incombination with archival HST WFPC2 and ACS optical data. We find thatNGC 4365 has a number of globular clusters with bluer optical colorsthan expected for their red optical-to-near-infrared colors and an oldage. The only known way to explain these colors is with a significantpopulation of intermediate-age (2-8 Gyr) clusters in this ellipticalgalaxy. On the other hand, our result for NGC 1399 is in agreement withprevious spectroscopic work that suggests that its clusters have a largemetallicity spread and are nearly all old. In the literature, there arevarious results from spectroscopic studies of modest samples of NGC 4365globular clusters. The spectroscopic data allow for either the presenceor absence of a significant population of intermediate-age clusters,given the index uncertainties indicated by comparing objects in commonbetween these studies and the few spectroscopic candidates withoptical-to-near-IR colors indicative of intermediate ages. Our newnear-IR data of the NGC 4365 GC system with a much highersignal-to-noise ratio agree well with earlier published photometry, andboth give strong evidence of a significant intermediate-age component.The agreement between the photometric and spectroscopic results for NGC1399 and other systems lends further confidence to this conclusion andto the effectiveness of the near-IR technique.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., underNASA contract NAS 5-26555.
|Halos of Spiral Galaxies. II. Halo Metallicity-Luminosity Relation|
Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we have resolved individual red giantbranch stars in the halos of eight nearby spiral galaxies. The fieldslie at projected distances between 2 and 13 kpc along the galaxies'minor axes. The data set allows a first look at the systematic trends inhalo stellar populations. We have found that bright galaxies tend tohave broad red giant branch star color distributions with redder meancolors, suggesting that the heavy-element abundance spread increaseswith the parent galaxy luminosity. The mean metallicity of the stellarhalo, estimated using the mean colors of red giant branch stars,correlates with the parent galaxy luminosity. The metallicity of theMilky Way halo falls nearly 1 dex below this luminosity-metallicityrelation, suggesting that the halo of the Galaxy is more the exceptionthan the rule for spiral galaxies; i.e., massive spirals with metal-poorhalos are unusual. The luminosity-halo stellar abundance relation isconsistent with the scaling relation expected for stellar systemsembedded in dominant halos, suggesting that the bulk of the halo stellarpopulation may have formed in situ.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 Birthplace of Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries: Field Versus Globular Cluster Populations|
Recent Chandra studies of low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) withinearly-type galaxies have found that LMXBs are commonly located withinglobular clusters of the galaxies. However, whether all LMXBs are formedwithin globular clusters has remained an open question. If all LMXBsformed within globular clusters, the summed X-ray luminosity of theLMXBs in a galaxy should be directly proportional to the number ofglobular clusters in the galaxy regardless of where the LMXBs currentlyreside. We have compared these two quantities over the same angular areafor a sample of 12 elliptical and S0 galaxies observed with Chandra andfound that the correlation between the two quantities is weaker thanexpected if all LMXBs formed within globular clusters. This indicatesthat a significant number of the LMXBs were formed in the field andnaturally accounts for the spread in field-to-cluster fractions of LMXBsfrom galaxy to galaxy. We also find that the ``pollution'' of globularcluster LMXBs into the field has been minimal within ellipticalgalaxies, but there is evidence that roughly half of the LMXBsoriginally in the globular clusters of S0 galaxies in our sample haveescaped into the field. This is likely due to higher globular clusterdisruption rates in S0s, resulting from stronger gravitational shockscaused by the passage of globular clusters through the disks of S0galaxies that are absent in elliptical galaxies.
|Deep ACS Imaging of the Halo of NGC 5128: Reaching the Horizontal Branch|
Using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera (WFC) of theAdvanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), we have obtained deep (V, I)photometry of an outer halo field in NGC 5128, to a limiting magnitudeof I~=29. Our photometry directly reveals the core helium burningstellar population (the ``red clump'' or horizontal branch) in a giantE/S0 galaxy for the first time. The color-magnitude diagram displays avery wide red giant branch (RGB), an asymptotic giant branch (AGB) bump,and the red clump; no noticeable population of blue horizontal branchstars is present, confirming previous suggestions that old, verymetal-poor population is not ubiquitous in the halo of this galaxy. Fromthe upper RGB we derive the metallicity distribution, which we find tobe very broad and moderately metal-rich, with average [M/H]=-0.64 anddispersion 0.49 dex. The metallicity distribution function is virtuallyidentical to that found in other halo fields observed previously withHST, but with an enhanced metal-rich population that was partiallymissed in the previous surveys due to V-band incompleteness for thesevery red stars. Combining the metallicity-sensitive colors of the RGBstars with the metallicity- and age-sensitive features of the AGB bumpand the red clump, we infer the average age of the halo stars to be~8+3-3.5 Gyr. As part of our study, we present anempirical calibration of the ACS F606W and F814W filters to the standardV and I bands, achieved with ground-based observations of the same fieldmade from the EMMI camera of the New Technology Telescope of the ESO LaSilla Observatory.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., underNASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated withprogram GO-9373. Also partially based on observations collected at theEuropean Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile, in Observing Programme071.D-0560.
|Close Binaries as the Progenitors of the Brightest Planetary Nebulae|
We investigate the possible progenitors of the planetary nebulae (PNs)that populate the top 0.5 mag of the [O III] λ5007 planetarynebula luminosity function (PNLF). We show that the absolute luminosityof the PNLF cutoff demands that the central stars of these most luminousPNs be >~0.6 Msolar and that such high-mass PN cores mustexist in every galaxy. We also use the bolometric luminosity-specific PNnumber density to show that in early-type galaxies, [O III]-bright PNsare relatively rare, with only ~10% of stars evolving to these brightmagnitudes. We demonstrate that the combination of these two factsimplies that either all early-type systems contain a small, smoothlydistributed component of young (<~1 Gyr old) stars or that anothermechanism exists for creating high core mass PNs. We argue that binarystar evolution is this second mechanism and demonstrate that bluestragglers have the appropriate core properties and number density toexplain the observations. We discuss the implications of thisalternative mode of stellar evolution and speculate on how coalescedbinaries might affect the use of PNs for measuring a galaxy's starformation history and chemical evolution.
|Faint Fuzzies and the Formation of Lenticular Galaxies|
We investigate the dynamical state of a new class of extended starclusters known as ``faint fuzzies,'' which were discovered in two nearbyS0 galaxies, NGC 1023 and NGC 3384. It is shown that the faint fuzziesof NGC 1023 lie in a fast-rotating ringlike structure within thegalactic disk with mean radius of 5 kpc, rotational velocity of 200 kms-1, and velocity dispersion of 115 km s-1. Wepropose a scenario for the origin of faint fuzzies that is connected tothe origin of S0 galaxies as a result of galaxy-galaxy interactions indense environments. As is apparent in the Cartwheel galaxy and confirmedby numerical simulations, the passage of a small galaxy through, orclose to, the center of a disk galaxy can form a ring of clumpy starformation with a radius comparable to the faint fuzzy ring radius in NGC1023. In this case, the faint fuzzies are signposts for thetransformation of spiral galaxies into lenticulars via suchinteractions.
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