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|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. VIII. The Nuclei of Early-Type Galaxies|
The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey is a Hubble Space Telescope program toobtain high-resolution imaging in widely separated bandpasses (F475W~gand F850LP~z) for 100 early-type members of the Virgo Cluster, spanninga range of ~460 in blue luminosity. We use this large, homogenous dataset to examine the innermost structure of these galaxies and tocharacterize the properties of their compact central nuclei. We presenta sharp upward revision in the frequency of nucleation in early-typegalaxies brighter than MB~-15 (66%<~fn<~82%)and show that ground-based surveys underestimated the number of nucleidue to surface brightness selection effects, limited sensitivity andpoor spatial resolution. We speculate that previously reported claimsthat nucleated dwarfs are more concentrated toward the center of Virgothan their nonnucleated counterparts may be an artifact of theseselection effects. There is no clear evidence from the properties of thenuclei, or from the overall incidence of nucleation, for a change atMB~-17.6, the traditional dividing point between dwarf andgiant galaxies. There does, however, appear to be a fundamentaltransition at MB~-20.5, in the sense that the brighter,``core-Sérsic'' galaxies lack resolved (stellar) nuclei. A searchfor nuclei that may be offset from the photocenters of their hostgalaxies reveals only five candidates with displacements of more than0.5", all of which are in dwarf galaxies. In each case, however, theevidence suggests that these ``nuclei'' are, in fact, globular clustersprojected close to the galaxy photocenter. Working from a sample of 51galaxies with prominent nuclei, we find a median half-light radius of=4.2 pc, with the sizes of individual nucleiranging from 62 pc down to <=2 pc (i.e., unresolved in our images) inabout a half-dozen cases. Excluding these unresolved objects, the nucleisizes are found to depend on nuclear luminosity according to therelation rh L0.50+/-0.03. Because the largemajority of nuclei are resolved, we can rule out low-level AGNs as anexplanation for the central luminosity excess in almost all cases. Onaverage, the nuclei are ~3.5 mag brighter than a typical globularcluster. Based on their broadband colors, the nuclei appear to have oldto intermediate age stellar populations. The colors of the nuclei ingalaxies fainter than MB~-17.6 are tightly correlated withtheir luminosities, and less so with the luminosities of their hostgalaxies, suggesting that their chemical enrichment histories weregoverned by local or internal factors. Comparing the nuclei to the``nuclear clusters'' found in late-type spiral galaxies reveals a closematch in terms of size, luminosity, and overall frequency. A formationmechanism that is rather insensitive to the detailed properties of thehost galaxy properties is required to explain this ubiquity andhomogeneity. The mean of the frequency function for thenucleus-to-galaxy luminosity ratio in our nucleated galaxies,=-2.49+/-0.09 dex (σ=0.59+/-0.10), isindistinguishable from that of the SBH-to-bulge mass ratio,=-2.61+/-0.07dex (σ=0.45+/-0.09), calculated in 23 early-type galaxies withdetected supermassive black holes (SBHs). We argue that the compactstellar nuclei found in many of our program galaxies are the low-masscounterparts of the SBHs detected in the bright galaxies. If thisinterpretation is correct, then one should think in terms of ``centralmassive objects''-either SBHs or compact stellar nuclei-that accompanythe formation of almost all early-type galaxies and contain a meanfraction ~0.3% of the total bulge mass. In this view, SBHs would be thedominant formation mode above MB~-20.5.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. IX. The Color Distributions of Globular Cluster Systems in Early-Type Galaxies|
We present the color distributions of globular cluster (GC) systems for100 early-type galaxies observed in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey, thedeepest and most homogeneous survey of this kind to date. On average,galaxies at all luminosities in our study (-22
|Virgo Cluster Early-Type Dwarf Galaxies with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. On the Possible Disk Nature of Bright Early-Type Dwarfs|
We present a systematic search for disk features in 476 Virgo Clusterearly-type dwarf (dE) galaxies. This is the first such study of analmost-complete, statistically significant dE sample, which includes allcertain or possible cluster members with mB<=18 that arecovered by the optical imaging data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DataRelease 4. Disk features (spiral arms, edge-on disks, or bars) wereidentified by applying unsharp masks to a combined image from threebands (g, r, and i), as well as by subtracting the axisymmetric lightdistribution of each galaxy from that image. Fourteen objects areunambiguous identifications of disks, 10 objects show ``probable disk''features, and 17 objects show ``possible disk'' features. The numberfraction of these galaxies, for which we introduce the term ``dEdi,''reaches more than 50% at the bright end of the dE population anddecreases to less than 5% for magnitudes mB>16. Althoughpart of this observed decline might be due to the lower signal-to-noiseratio at fainter magnitudes, we show that it cannot be caused solely bythe limitations of our detection method. The luminosity function of ourfull dE sample can be explained by a superposition of dEdis and ordinarydEs, strongly suggesting that dEdis are a distinct type of galaxy. Thisis supported by the projected spatial distribution: dEdis show basicallyno clustering and roughly follow the spatial distribution of spirals andirregulars, whereas ordinary dEs are distributed similarly to thestrongly clustered E/S0 galaxies. While the flattening distribution ofordinary dEs is typical for spheroidal objects, the distribution ofdEdis is significantly different and agrees with their being flat oblateobjects. We therefore conclude that the dEdis are not spheroidalgalaxies that just have an embedded disk component but are instead apopulation of genuine disk galaxies. Several dEdis display well-definedspiral arms with grand-design features that clearly differ from theflocculent, open arms typical for late-type spirals that have frequentlybeen proposed as progenitors of dEs. This raises the question of whatprocess is able to create such spiral arms-with pitch angles like thoseof Sab/Sb galaxies-in bulgeless dwarf galaxies.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. X. Half-Light Radii of Globular Clusters in Early-Type Galaxies: Environmental Dependencies and a Standard Ruler for Distance Estimation|
We have measured half-light radii, rh, for thousands ofglobular clusters (GCs) belonging to the 100 early-type galaxiesobserved in the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey and the elliptical galaxy NGC4697. An analysis of the dependencies of the measured half-light radiion both the properties of the GCs themselves and their host galaxiesreveals that, in analogy with GCs in the Galaxy but in a milder fashion,the average half-light radius increases with increasing galactocentricdistance or, alternatively, with decreasing galaxy surface brightness.For the first time, we find that the average half-light radius decreaseswith the host galaxy color. We also show that there is no evidence for avariation of rh with the luminosity of the GCs. Finally, wefind in agreement with previous observations that the averagerh depends on the color of GCs, with red GCs being ~17%smaller than their blue counterparts. We show that this difference isprobably a consequence of an intrinsic mechanism, rather than projectioneffects, and that it is in good agreement with the mechanism proposed byJordán. We discuss these findings in light of two simple picturesfor the origin of the rh of GCs and show that both lead to abehavior in rough agreement with the observations. After accounting forthe dependencies on galaxy color, galactocentric radius, and underlyingsurface brightness, we show that the average GC half-light radii can be successfully used as a standard ruler fordistance estimation. We outline the methodology, provide a calibrationfor its use, and discuss the prospects for this distance estimator withfuture observing facilities. We find =2.7+/-0.35 pcfor GCs with (g-z)=1.2 mag in a galaxy with color(g-z)gal=1.5 mag and at an underlying surface z-bandbrightness of μz=21 mag arcsec-2. Using thistechnique, we place an upper limit of 3.4 Mpc on the 1 σline-of-sight depth of the Virgo Cluster. Finally, we examine the formof the rh distribution for our sample galaxies and provide ananalytic expression that successfully describes this distribution.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. II. Data Reduction Procedures|
The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey is a large program to carry out multicolorimaging of 100 early-type members of the Virgo Cluster using theAdvanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope. DeepF475W and F850LP images (~SDSS g and z) are being used to study thecentral regions of the program galaxies, their globular cluster systems,and the three-dimensional structure of Virgo itself. In this paper, wedescribe in detail the data reduction procedures used for the survey,including image registration, drizzling strategies, the computation ofweight images, object detection, the identification of globular clustercandidates, and the measurement of their photometric and structuralparameters.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555.
|The ACS Virgo Cluster Survey. I. Introduction to the Survey|
The Virgo Cluster is the dominant mass concentration in the LocalSupercluster and the largest collection of elliptical and lenticulargalaxies in the nearby universe. In this paper, we present anintroduction to the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey: a program to image, in theF475W and F850LP bandpasses (~Sloan g and z), 100 early-type galaxies inthe Virgo Cluster using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the HubbleSpace Telescope. We describe the selection of the program galaxies andtheir ensemble properties, the choice of filters, the field placementand orientation, the limiting magnitudes of the survey, coordinatedparallel observations of 100 ``intergalactic'' fields with WFPC2, andsupporting ground-based spectroscopic observations of the programgalaxies. In terms of depth, spatial resolution, sample size, andhomogeneity, this represents the most comprehensive imaging survey todate of early-type galaxies in a cluster environment. We brieflydescribe the main scientific goals of the survey, which include themeasurement of luminosities, metallicities, ages, and structuralparameters for the many thousands of globular clusters associated withthese galaxies, a high-resolution isophotal analysis of galaxiesspanning a factor of ~450 in luminosity and sharing a commonenvironment, the measurement of accurate distances for the full sampleof galaxies using the method of surface brightness fluctuations, and adetermination of the three-dimensional structure of Virgo itself.ID="FN1"> 1Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble SpaceTelescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which isoperated by the association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
|The luminosity function of the Virgo Cluster from MB=-22 to -11|
We measure the galaxy luminosity function (LF) for the Virgo Clusterbetween blue magnitudes MB=-22 and -11 from wide-fieldcharge-coupled device (CCD) imaging data. The LF is only graduallyrising for -22
|The UZC-SSRS2 Group Catalog|
We apply a friends-of-friends algorithm to the combined Updated ZwickyCatalog and Southern Sky Redshift Survey to construct a catalog of 1168groups of galaxies; 411 of these groups have five or more members withinthe redshift survey. The group catalog covers 4.69 sr, and all groupsexceed the number density contrast threshold, δρ/ρ=80. Wedemonstrate that the groups catalog is homogeneous across the twounderlying redshift surveys; the catalog of groups and their membersthus provides a basis for other statistical studies of the large-scaledistribution of groups and their physical properties. The medianphysical properties of the groups are similar to those for groupsderived from independent surveys, including the ESO Key Programme andthe Las Campanas Redshift Survey. We include tables of groups and theirmembers.
|Galaxy Populations and Evolution in Clusters. I. Dynamics and the Origin of Low-Mass Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
Early-type dwarfs are the most common galaxy in the local universe, yettheir origin and evolution remain a mystery. Various cosmologicalscenarios predict that dwarf-like galaxies in dense areas are the firstto form and hence should be the oldest stellar systems in clusters. Byusing radial velocities of early-type dwarfs in the Virgo cluster wedemonstrate that these galaxies are not an old cluster population buthave signatures of production from the infall of field galaxies.Evidence of this includes the combined large dispersions andsubstructure in spatial and kinematic distributions for Virgo early-typedwarfs and a velocity dispersion ratio with giant ellipticals expectedfor virialized and accreted populations. We also argue that thesegalaxies cannot originate from accreted field dwarfs, but must havephysically evolved from a precursor population, of different morphology,that fell into Virgo some time in the past.
|Arcsecond Positions of UGC Galaxies|
We present accurate B1950 and J2000 positions for all confirmed galaxiesin the Uppsala General Catalog (UGC). The positions were measuredvisually from Digitized Sky Survey images with rms uncertaintiesσ<=[(1.2")2+(θ/100)2]1/2,where θ is the major-axis diameter. We compared each galaxymeasured with the original UGC description to ensure high reliability.The full position list is available in the electronic version only.
|Detailed Surface Photometry of Dwarf Elliptical and Dwarf S0 Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
We analyze new V-band images of 14 dwarf S0 galaxies and 10 dwarfelliptical galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, in combination with R-bandimages of 70 dwarf elliptical galaxies from an earlier paper. We computethe intensity-weighted mean ellipticity, the mean deviations fromelliptical isophotes, and a newly defined parameter to measure isophotaltwists. We also fit each major-axis profile to a power lawSigma(a)~exp[-(a/a_s)^n], where n is allowed to vary. Consistent withother studies of the Virgo dwarf ellipticals, we find that the profileshapes for the entire sample is strongly peaked near n=1 (exponentialprofiles) and that no galaxies have n=1/4 (de Vaucouleurs profile). Thefaintest galaxies all have nearly exponential profiles, while thebrighter ones on average have n<1. The correlation betweenellipticity and the boxy/disky parameter is similar to that of largeelliptical galaxies, suggesting that dwarfs may also be divided into twogroups with differing internal dynamics. The Virgo dEs also show agreater degree of isophotal twisting than more luminous ellipticalgalaxies. There does not seem to be any combination of parameters fromthe surface photometry that statistically correlates with the dE/dS0designation: in particular, the dS0 galaxies do not, on average, havemore pointed (disky) isophotes than the dEs.
|Old Stellar Populations. VI. Absorption-Line Spectra of Galaxy Nuclei and Globular Clusters|
We present absorption-line strengths on the Lick/IDS line-strengthsystem of 381 galaxies and 38 globular clusters in the 4000-6400Angstroms region. All galaxies were observed at Lick Observatory between1972 and 1984 with the Cassegrain Image Dissector Scanner spectrograph,which makes this study one of the largest homogeneous collections ofgalaxy spectral line data to date. We also present a catalog of nuclearvelocity dispersions used to correct the absorption-line strengths ontothe stellar Lick/IDS system. Extensive discussion of both random andsystematic errors of the Lick/IDS system is provided. Indices are seento fall into three families: alpha -element-like indices (including CN,Mg, Na D, and TiO2) that correlate positively with velocity dispersion;Fe-like indices (including Ca, the G band, TiO1, and all Fe indices)that correlate only weakly with velocity dispersion and the alphaindices; and H beta that anticorrelates with both velocity dispersionand the alpha indices. C24668 seems to be intermediate between the alphaand Fe groups. These groupings probably represent different elementabundance families with different nucleosynthesis histories.
|A catalogue of Mg_2 indices of galaxies and globular clusters|
We present a catalogue of published absorption-line Mg_2 indices ofgalaxies and globular clusters. The catalogue is maintained up-to-datein the HYPERCAT database. The measurements are listed together with thereferences to the articles where the data were published. A codeddescription of the observations is provided. The catalogue gathers 3541measurements for 1491 objects (galaxies or globular clusters) from 55datasets. Compiled raw data for 1060 galaxies are zero-point correctedand transformed to a homogeneous system. Tables 1, 3, and 4 areavailable in electronic form only at the CDS, Strasbourg, via anonymousftp 220.127.116.11. Table 2 is available both in text and electronic form.
|Extragalactic Globular Clusters. IV. The Data|
We have explored the use of absorption line strength indices, measuredfrom integrated globular cluster spectra, to predict mean metallicity inlate-type stellar systems. In previous papers we identified the bestindices for such metallicity calibrations out of ~13 measured in a largesample of galactic and M31 cluster spectra. In this paper we present theindividual measurements of 13 indices and averages of multiplemeasurements, where appropriate. Data are given for 151 M31 globularclusters, 88 galaxies, 22 M33 cluster candidates, 10 M87 clusters, eightM81 globular clusters, three Fornax dwarf galaxy clusters, "standard"stars from the lists of Faber et al., stars in the open cluster NGC 188and, for completeness, other stars observed as candidate globularclusters.
|Extragalactic globular clusters. III - Metallicity comparisons and anomalies|
A method based on the strengths of six absorption line indices measuredin integrated spectra is used to derive metallicities for 22 globularclusters associated with the Sc galaxy, M33, 10 globular clusters withthe giant elliptical galaxy, M87, eight globular clusters associatedwith the Sb(r)I-II galaxy, M81, and three globular clusters associatedwith the Fornax dwarf elliptical galaxy. Mean metallicities are derivedfor 38 bright galaxies, mostly ellipticals, 29 dwarf elliptical galaxiesin the Virgo cluster, 10 dwarf elliptical galaxies in the Fornaxcluster, and four local group dwarf galaxies. These results are comparedwith previously derived metallicities for 149 clusters in M31 and withthe Milky Way cluster metallicities to show that the mean metallicity ofa cluster system is linearly related to the luminosity of the parentgalaxy. A similar relationship is suggested between galaxy metallicityand luminosity for the bright and dwarf galaxies.
|Isophotal twisting in isolated elliptical galaxies|
Luminosity, ellipticity, and position angle profiles of 43 ellipticalgalaxies selected from the UGC catalog are used to study isophotaltwisting not arising from the intrinsic structure of the object.Isolated galaxies have been chosen to avoid distortions of the isophotesdue to the occurrence of tidal effects of photometric overlapping withclose companions. It is demonstrated that isophotal twisting occurs inisolated galaxies with about the same frequency as for objects inrandomly selected samples. Objects having luminosity profiles close tothe exp 1/4 law show no twist of the isophotes within the errors,whereas any degree of twist is allowed when more complex luminosityprofiles are observed.
|Studies of the Virgo Cluster. II - A catalog of 2096 galaxies in the Virgo Cluster area.|
The present catalog of 2096 galaxies within an area of about 140 sq degapproximately centered on the Virgo cluster should be an essentiallycomplete listing of all certain and possible cluster members,independent of morphological type. Cluster membership is essentiallydecided by galaxy morphology; for giants and the rare class of highsurface brightness dwarfs, membership rests on velocity data. While 1277of the catalog entries are considered members of the Virgo cluster, 574are possible members and 245 appear to be background Zwicky galaxies.Major-to-minor axis ratios are given for all galaxies brighter than B(T)= 18, as well as for many fainter ones.
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