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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.
|Explaining the Color Distributions of Globular Cluster Systems in Elliptical Galaxies|
The colors of globular clusters in most large elliptical galaxies arebimodal. This is generally taken as evidence for the presence of twocluster subpopulations that have different geneses. However, here wefind that, because of the nonlinear nature of the metallicity-to-colortransformation, a coeval group of old clusters with a unimodalmetallicity spread can exhibit color bimodality. The models of clustercolors indicate that horizontal-branch stars are the main drivers behindthe empirical nonlinearity. We show that the scenario gives simple andcohesive explanations for all the key observations and could simplifytheories of elliptical galaxy formation.
|Environmental Effects on Late-Type Galaxies in Nearby Clusters|
The transformations that take place in late-type galaxies in theenvironment of rich clusters of galaxies at z=0 are reviewed. From thehandful of late-type galaxies that inhabit local clusters, whether theywere formed in situ and survived as such, avoiding transformation oreven destruction, or if they are newcomers that have recently fallen infrom outside, we can learn an important lesson on the latest stages ofgalaxy evolution. We start by reviewing the observational scenario,covering the broadest possible stretch of the electromagnetic spectrum,from the gas tracers (radio and optical) to the star formation tracers(UV and optical), the old star tracers (near-IR), and the dust (far-IR).Strong emphasis is given to the three nearby, well-studied clustersVirgo, A1367, and Coma, which are representative of differentevolutionary stages, from unrelaxed and spiral-rich (Virgo) to relaxedand spiral-poor (Coma). We continue by providing a review of models ofgalaxy interactions that are relevant to clusters of galaxies.Prototypes of various mechanisms and processes are discussed, and theirtypical timescales are given in an appendix. Observations indicate thepresence of healthy late-type galaxies falling into nearby clustersindividually or as part of massive groups. More rare are infallinggalaxies belonging to compact groups, where significant preprocessingmight take place. Once they have entered the cluster, they lose theirgas and quench their star formation activity, becoming anemic.Observations and theory agree in indicating that the interaction withthe intergalactic medium is responsible for the gas depletion. However,this process cannot be the origin of the cluster lenticular galaxypopulation. Physical and statistical properties of S0 galaxies in nearbyclusters and at higher redshift indicate that they originate from spiralgalaxies that have been transformed by gravitational interactions.
|Classical novae from the POINT-AGAPE microlensing survey of M31 - II. Rate and statistical characteristics of the nova population|
The POINT-AGAPE (Pixel-lensing Observations with the Isaac NewtonTelescope-Andromeda Galaxy Amplified Pixels Experiment) survey is anoptical search for gravitational microlensing events towards theAndromeda galaxy (M31). As well as microlensing, the survey is sensitiveto many different classes of variable stars and transients. In our firstpaper of this series, we reported the detection of 20 classical novae(CNe) observed in Sloan r' and i' passbands.An analysis of the maximum magnitude versus rate of decline (MMRD)relationship in M31 is performed using the resulting POINT-AGAPE CNcatalogue. Within the limits of the uncertainties of extinction internalto M31, good fits are produced to the MMRD in two filters. The MMRDcalibration is the first to be performed for Sloan r' and i' filters.However, we are unable to verify that novae have the same absolutemagnitude 15 d after peak (the t15 relationship), nor anysimilar relationship for either Sloan filter.The subsequent analysis of the automated pipeline has provided us withthe most thorough knowledge of the completeness of a CN survey to date.In addition, the large field of view of the survey has permitted us toprobe the outburst rate well into the galactic disc, unlike previous CCDimaging surveys. Using this analysis, we are able to probe the CNdistribution of M31 and evaluate the global nova rate. Using models ofthe galactic surface brightness of M31, we show that the observed CNdistribution consists of a separate bulge and disc population. We alsoshow that the M31 bulge CN eruption rate per unit r' flux is more thanfive times greater than that of the disc.Through a combination of the completeness, M31 surface brightness modeland our M31 CN eruption model, we deduce a global M31 CN rate of65+16-15 yr-1, a value much higher thanfound by previous surveys. Using the global rate, we derive a M31 bulgerate of 38+15-12 yr-1 and a disc rateof 27+19-15 yr-1. Given ourunderstanding of the completeness and an analysis of other sources oferror, we conclude that the true global nova rate of M31 is at least 50per cent higher than was previously thought and this has consequentimplications for the presumed CN rate in the Milky Way. We deduce aGalactic bulge rate of 14+6-5 yr-1, adisc rate of 20+14-11 yr-1 and a globalGalactic rate of 34+15-12 yr-1,consistent with the Galactic global rate derived elsewhere byindependent methods.
|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.
|Gemini/GMOS spectra of globular clusters in the Virgo giant elliptical NGC 4649|
NGC 4649 (M60) is one of a handful of giant Virgo ellipticals. We haveobtained Gemini/GMOS (Gemini North Multi-Object Spectrograph) spectrafor 38 globular clusters (GCs) associated with this galaxy. Applying themulti-index χ2 minimization technique of Proctor andSansom with the single stellar population models of Thomas, Maraston andKorn, we derive ages, metallicities and α-element abundanceratios. We find several young (2-3 Gyr old) supersolar metallicity GCs,while the majority are old (>10 Gyr), spanning a range ofmetallicities from solar to [Z/H]=-2. At least two of these young GCsare at large projected radii of 17-20 kpc. The galaxy itself shows noobvious signs of a recent starburst, interaction or merger. A trend ofdecreasing α-element ratio with increasing metallicity is found.
|Globular cluster systems in low-luminosity early-type galaxies near the Fornax cluster centre|
We present a photometric study of the globular cluster systems (GCSs) ofthe Fornax cluster galaxies NGC1374, NGC1379 and NGC1387. The dataconsist of images from the wide-field MOSAIC imager of the Cerro TololoInter-American Observatory (CTIO) 4-m telescope, obtained withWashington C and Kron-Cousins R filters. The images cover a field of 36× 36arcmin2, corresponding to 200 ×200kpc2 at the Fornax distance. Two of the galaxies, NGC1374and NGC1379, are low-luminosity ellipticals while NGC1387 is alow-luminosity lenticular. Their cluster systems are still embedded inthe cluster system of NGC1399. Therefore, the use of a large field iscrucial and some differences to previous work can be explained by this.The colour distributions of all GCSs are bimodal. NGC1387 presents aparticularly distinct separation between red and blue clusters and anoverproportionally large population of red clusters. The radialdistribution is different for blue and red clusters, red clusters beingmore concentrated towards the respective galaxies. The different colourand radial distributions point to the existence of two globular clustersubpopulations in these galaxies. Specific frequencies are in the rangeSN= 1.4-2.4, smaller than the typical values for ellipticalgalaxies. These galaxies might have suffered tidal stripping of blueglobular clusters by NGC1399.
|A Virgo high-resolution Hα kinematical survey - II. The Atlas|
A catalogue of ionized gas velocity fields for a sample of 30 spiral andirregular galaxies of the Virgo cluster has been obtained by using 3Doptical data. The aim of this survey is to study the influence ofhigh-density environments on the gaseous kinematics of local clustergalaxies. Observations of the Hα line by means of Fabry-Perotinterferometry have been performed at the Canada-France-HawaiiTelescope, European Southern Observatory 3.6-m telescope, Observatoirede Haute-Provence 1.93-m telescope and Observatoire du montMégantic telescope at angular and spectral samplings from 0.4 to1.6arcsec and 7 to 16kms-1. A recently developed, automaticand adaptive spatial binning technique is used to reach a nearlyconstant signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) over the whole field of view,allowing us to keep a high spatial resolution in high-S/N regions andextend the detection of signal in low-S/N regions. This paper is part ofa series and presents the integrated emission-line and velocity maps ofthe galaxies. Both Hα morphologies and kinematics exhibit signs ofperturbations in the form of, for example, external filaments, inner andnuclear spiral- and ring-like structures, inner kinematical twists,kinematical decoupling of a nuclear spiral, streaming motions alongspiral arms and misalignment between kinematical and photometricorientation axes.
|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.
|Uv Upturn of Elliptical Galaxies|
We investigate the UV upturn phenomenon of elliptical galaxies byapplying the binary model of hot subdwarfs of Han et al. (2002, 2003).Preliminary results show that the model provides a natural explanationfor the UV upturn phenomenon and that the model could be used to detectlow level recent star formation.
|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. VI. Isophotal Analysis and the Structure of Early-Type Galaxies|
We present a detailed analysis of the morphology, isophotal parameters,and surface brightness profiles for 100 early-type members of the VirgoCluster, from dwarfs (MB=-15.1 mag) to giants(MB=-21.8 mag), imaged in the g and z passbands using theAdvanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope. Dustand complex morphological structures are common. Dust is detected in 42%of galaxies brighter than BT=12.15 mag, whilekiloparsec-scale stellar disk, bars, and nuclear stellar disks are seenin 60% of galaxies with intermediate luminosity. Isophotal parametersare derived typically within 8 kpc from the center for the brightestgalaxies, and 1.5 kpc for the faintest systems, with a resolution of 7pc. For most galaxies, the surface brightness profiles are welldescribed by a Sérsic model with index n that increases steadilywith the galaxy luminosity; only for 8 of the 10 brightest galaxies arethe inner profiles (typically within 100 pc of the center) lower thanexpected based on an extrapolation of the outer Sérsic model, andare better described by a single power-law function. Contrary toprevious claims, we find no evidence in support of a strong bimodalbehavior of the logarithmic slope of the inner surface brightnessprofile, γ in particular the γ distribution for galaxiesthat do not show evidence of multiple morphological components isunimodal across the entire magnitude range spanned by the ACSVCSgalaxies. Although the brightest galaxies have shallow inner profiles,the shallowest profiles are found in faint dwarf systems. The widelyadopted separation of early-type galaxies between ``core'' and``power-law'' types is questioned based on the present study.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.
|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 Ages of Elliptical Galaxies from Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions|
The mean ages of early-type galaxies obtained from the analysis ofoptical spectra give a mean age of 8 Gyr at z=0, with 40% being youngerthan 6 Gyr. Independent age determinations are possible by usinginfrared spectra (5-21 μm), which we have obtained with the InfraredSpectrograph on Spitzer. This age indicator is based on the collectivemass-loss rate of stars, in which mass loss from AGB stars produces asilicate emission feature at 9-12 μm. This feature decreases morerapidly than the shorter wavelength continuum as a stellar populationages, providing an age indicator. From observations of 30 nearbyearly-type galaxies, 29 show a spectral energy distribution dominated bystars, and one has significant emission from the ISM and is excluded.The infrared age indicators for the 29 galaxies show them all to be old,with a mean age of about 10 Gyr and a standard deviation of only a fewGyr. This is consistent with the ages inferred from the values ofM/LB, but is inconsistent with the ages derived from theoptical line indices, which can be much younger. All of these ageindicators are luminosity weighted and should be correlated, even ifmultiple-age components are considered. The inconsistency indicates thatthere is a significant problem with either the infrared and theM/LB ages, which agree, or with the ages inferred from theoptical absorption lines.
|A Chandra View of Dark Matter in Early-Type Galaxies|
We present a Chandra study of mass profiles in seven ellipticalgalaxies, of which three have galaxy-scale and four have group-scalehalos, demarcated at 1013 Msolar. These representthe best available data for nearby objects with comparable X-rayluminosities. We measure approximately flat mass-to-light (M/L) profileswithin an optical half-light radius (Reff), rising by anorder of magnitude at ~10 Reff, which confirms the presenceof dark matter (DM). The data indicate hydrostatic equilibrium, which isalso supported by agreement with studies of stellar kinematics inelliptical galaxies. The data are well fitted by a model comprising anNFW DM profile and a baryonic component following the optical light. Thedistribution of DM halo concentration parameters (c) versusMvir agrees with ΛCDM predictions and our observationsof bright groups. Concentrations are slightly higher than expected,which is most likely a selection effect. Omitting the stellar massdrastically increases c, possibly explaining large concentrations foundby some past observers. The stellar M/LK agree withpopulation synthesis models, assuming a Kroupa IMF. Allowing adiabaticcompression (AC) of the DM halo by baryons made M/L more discrepant,casting some doubt on AC. Our best-fitting models imply total baryonfractions ~0.04-0.09, consistent with models of galaxy formationincorporating strong feedback. The groups exhibit positive temperaturegradients, consistent with the ``universal'' profiles found in othergroups and clusters, whereas the galaxies have negative gradients,suggesting a change in the evolutionary history of the systems aroundMvir~=1013 Msolar.
|Chandra Multiwavelength Project: Normal Galaxies at Intermediate Redshift|
We have investigated 136 Chandra extragalactic sources, including 93galaxies with narrow emission lines (NELGs) and 43 with only absorptionlines (ALGs). Based on fX/fO, LX, X-rayspectral hardness, and optical emission-line diagnostics, we haveconservatively classified 36 normal galaxies and 71 AGNs. Their redshiftranges from 0.01 to 1.2, with normal galaxies in the range z=0.01-0.3.Our normal galaxies appear to share characteristics with local galaxies,as expected from the X-ray binary populations and the hot interstellarmatter (ISM). In conjunction with normal galaxies found in othersurveys, we found no statistically significant evolution inLX/LB, within the limited z range (<~0.1). Thebest-fit slope of our log(N)-log(S) relationship is -1.5 for both S(0.5-2 keV) and B (0.5-8 keV) energy bands, which is considerablysteeper than that of the AGN-dominated cosmic background sources, butslightly flatter than the previous estimate, indicating that normalgalaxies will not exceed the AGN population until fX(0.5-2.0keV)~2×10-18 ergs s-1 cm-2 (afactor of ~5 lower than the previous estimate). A group of NELGs appearto be heavily obscured in X-rays. After correcting for intrinsicabsorption, their X-ray luminosities could beLX>1044 ergs s-1, making them type 2quasar candidates. While most X-ray-luminous ALGs do not appear to besignificantly absorbed, we found two heavily obscured objects that couldbe as luminous as an unobscured broad-line quasar. Among 43 ALGs, wefound two E+A galaxy candidates. The X-ray spectra of both galaxies aresoft, and one of them has a nearby close companion galaxy, supportingthe merger/interaction scenario rather than the dusty starbursthypothesis.
|Chandra Observations of Gas Stripping in the Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4552 in the Virgo Cluster|
We use a 54.4 ks Chandra observation to study ram pressure stripping inNGC 4552 (M89), an elliptical galaxy in the Virgo Cluster. Chandraimages in the 0.5-2 keV band show a sharp leading edge in the surfacebrightness 3.1 kpc north of the galaxy center, a cool(kT=0.51+0.09-0.06 keV) tail with mean densityne~(5.4+/-1.7)×10-3 cm-3extending ~10 kpc to the south of the galaxy, and two 3-4 kpc horns ofemission extending southward away from the leading edge. These are allfeatures characteristic of supersonic ram pressure stripping of galaxygas, due to NGC 4552's motion through the surrounding Virgo ICM. Fittingthe surface brightness profile and spectra across the leading edge, wefind the galaxy gas inside the edge is cooler(kT=0.43+0.03-0.02 keV) and denser(ne~0.010 cm-3) than the surrounding Virgo ICM[kT=2.2+0.7-0.4 keV andne=(3.0+/-0.3)×10-4 cm-3]. Theresulting pressure ratio between the free-streaming ICM and cluster gasat the stagnation point is ~7.6+3.4-2.0 for galaxygas metallicities of 0.5+0.5-0.3Zsolar, which suggests that NGC 4552 is moving supersonicallythrough the cluster with a velocity v~1680+390-220km s-1 (Mach 2.2+0.5-0.3) at an angleξ~35deg+/-7deg toward us with respect to theplane of the sky.
|Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT HRI Observations. II. Statistical Properties|
The statistical properties of the nonnuclear X-ray point sources fromthe ROSAT HRI survey of nearby galaxies in Paper I are studied, withparticular attention to the contamination from background and/orforeground objects. This study reveals a statistical preference for theultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) to occur in late-type galaxies overearly-type galaxies, and in starburst/H II galaxies over nonstarburstgalaxies. There is a trend of greater occurrence frequencies and ULXrates for galaxies with increasing star formation rates, confirming theconnection between the ULX phenomenon and the star formation. Anonlinear correlation is found between the number of ULXs and the starformation rate, with significantly more ULXs at low star formation ratesthan the ULX population expected from the high-mass X-ray binaries(HMXBs) as an indicator of the star formation and the accompanying youngstellar population, suggestive of another population of ULXs associatedwith the low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs) and the old stellar population.There are no breaks around 1039 ergs s-1 in theluminosity functions of ULXs in all galaxies or in late-type galaxies,suggesting the regular ULXs below 1040 ergs s-1are a high-luminosity extension of the ordinary HMXB/LMXB populationsbelow 1039 ergs s-1. There is evidence that theextreme ULXs above 1040 ergs s-1 might be adifferent ULX class from the regular ULXs below 1040 ergss-1, although a larger sample with more ULXs is needed toestablish the statistical properties of the extreme ULXs as a class.
|The Complex X-Ray Morphology of NGC 7618: A Major Group-Group Merger in the Local Universe?|
We present results from a short Chandra ACIS-S observation of NGC 7618,the dominant central galaxy of a nearby (z=0.017309, d=74.1 Mpc) group.We detect a sharp surface brightness discontinuity 14.4 kpc north of thenucleus subtending an angle of 130° with an X-ray tail extending ~70kpc in the opposite direction. The temperature of the gas inside andoutside the discontinuity is 0.79+/-0.03 and 0.81+/-0.07 keV,respectively. There is marginal evidence for a discontinuous change inthe elemental abundance (Zinner=0.65+/-0.25,Zouter=0.17+/-0.21 at 90% confidence), suggesting that thismay be an ``abundance'' front. Fitting a two-temperature model to theASCA GIS spectrum of the NGC 7618/UGC 12491 pair shows the presence of asecond, much hotter (T=~2.3 keV) component. We consider severalscenarios for the origin of the edge and the tail, including a radiolobe/IGM interaction, nonhydrostatic ``sloshing,'' equal-mass merger andcollision, and ram pressure stripping. In the last case, we consider thepossibility that NGC 7618 is falling into UGC 12491 or that both groupsare falling into a gas-poor cluster potential. There are significantproblems with the first two models, however, and we conclude that thediscontinuity and tail are most likely the result of ram pressurestripping of the NGC 7618 group, as it falls into a larger dark matterpotential.
|Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. II. Optical Study and Interpretation|
Our X-ray study of the nuclear activity in a new sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, as well as in a larger sample from the literature,confirmed (Paper I) that the Bondi accretion rate of diffuse hot gas isnot a good indicator of the SMBH X-ray luminosity. Here we suggest thata more reliable estimate of the accretion rate must include the gasreleased by the stellar population inside the sphere of influence of theSMBH, in addition to the Bondi inflow of hot gas across that surface. Weuse optical surface brightness profiles to estimate the mass-loss ratefrom stars in the nuclear region: we show that for our sample ofgalaxies it is an order of magnitude higher (~10-4 to10-3 Msolar yr-1) than the Bondi inflowrate of hot gas, as estimated from Chandra (Paper I). Only by takinginto account both sources of fuel can we constrain the true accretionrate, the accretion efficiency, and the power budget. Radiativelyefficient accretion is ruled out, for quiescent SMBHs. For typicalradiatively inefficient flows, the observed X-ray luminosities of theSMBHs imply accretion fractions ~1%-10% (i.e., ~90%-99% of the availablegas does not reach the SMBH) for at least five of our six targetgalaxies and most of the other galaxies with known SMBH masses. Wediscuss the conditions for mass conservation inside the sphere ofinfluence, so that the total gas injection is balanced by accretion plusoutflows. We show that a fraction of the total accretion power(mechanical plus radiative) would be sufficient to sustain aself-regulating, slow outflow that removes from the nuclear region allthe gas that does not sink into the BH (``BH feedback''). The rest ofthe accretion power may be carried out in a jet or advected. We alsodiscuss scenarios that would lead to an intermittent nuclear activity.
|Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. I. X-Ray Study|
We have studied the nuclear activity in a sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, with new Chandra data and archival HST opticalimages. Their nuclear sources have X-ray luminosities~1038-1039 ergs s-1(LX/LEdd~10-8 to 10-7) andcolors or spectra consistent with accreting supermassive black holes(SMBHs), except for the nucleus of NGC 4486B, which is softer thantypical AGN spectra. In a few cases, the X-ray morphology of the nuclearsources shows hints of marginally extended structures, in addition tothe surrounding diffuse thermal emission from hot gas, which isdetectable on scales >~1 kpc. In one case (NGC 5845), a dusty diskmay partially obstruct our direct view of the SMBH. We have estimatedthe temperature and density of the hot interstellar medium, which is onemajor source of fuel for the accreting SMBH; typical central densitiesare ne~(0.02+/-0.01) cm-3. Assuming that the hotgas is captured by the SMBH at the Bondi rate, we show that the observedX-ray luminosities are too faint to be consistent with standard diskaccretion, but brighter than predicted by radiatively inefficientsolutions (e.g., advection-dominated accretion flows [ADAFs]). In total,there are ~20 galaxies for which SMBH mass, hot gas density, and nuclearX-ray luminosity are simultaneously known. In some cases, the nuclearsources are brighter than predicted by the ADAF model; in other cases,they are consistent or fainter. We discuss the apparent lack ofcorrelations between Bondi rate and X-ray luminosity and suggest that,in order to understand the observed distribution, we need to know twoadditional parameters: the amount of gas supplied by the stellarpopulation inside the accretion radius, and the fraction (possibly<<1) of the total gas available that is accreted by the SMBH. Weleave a detailed study of these issues to a subsequent paper.
|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 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
|Stellar Populations of Elliptical Galaxies in Virgo Cluster. I. The Data and Stellar Population Analysis|
We have determined spectroscopic ages of elliptical galaxies in theVirgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio(S/N>100 Å-1). We observed eight galaxies with theSubaru Telescope and have combined this sample with six galaxiespreviously observed with the WHT. To determine their ages, we have useda new method based on the Hγσ age indicator,which is virtually independent of the effects of metallicity. Apart fromages we have estimated abundances of various elements. In this paper wepresent the observations, the data reduction, and the reliability of theHγσ method. The results of this investigation arepresented in a companion paper.
|A Local Group Polar Ring Galaxy: NGC 6822|
Star counts obtained from a 2° × 2° area centered on NGC6822 have revealed an optical image of this galaxy composed of twocomponents: in addition to the well-known H I disk with its youngstellar component, there is a spheroidal stellar structure as extensiveas its H I disk, but with its major axis at roughly right angles to it,that we traced to at least 36'. Radial velocities of over 100intermediate-age carbon stars found within this structure displaykinematics contrasting strongly with those of the H I disk. These Cstars belong to the spheroid. Although devoid of gas, the spheroidrotation is consistent with the I-band Tully-Fisher relation. Theorientation of the rotation axis that minimizes the stellar velocitydispersion coincides with the minor axis of the stellar populationellipsoid, lying very nearly in the plane of the H I disk. We concludethat the H I disk is a polar ring and that the spheroidal component isan erstwhile disk, a fossil remainder of a past close encounter episode.Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint projectof CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT),which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, theInstitut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de laRecherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii.Based on observations acquired at the du Pont Telescope, from theObservatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
|Low-Mass X-Ray Binaries and Metallicity Dependence: Story of Failures|
Observations of Galactic and extragalactic globular clusters have shownthat, on average, metal-rich clusters are ~3 times more likely tocontain a bright X-ray source than their metal-poor counterparts. Wepropose that this can be explained by taking into account the differencein the stellar structure of main-sequence donors with masses between~0.85 and ~1.25 Msolar at different metallicities. Metal-poormain-sequence stars in this mass range do not have an outer convectivezone, while metal-rich stars do. The absence of this zone turns offmagnetic braking, a powerful mechanism of orbital shrinkage, leading tothe failure of dynamically formed main-sequence-neutron star binaries tostart mass transfer or appear as bright, low-mass X-ray binaries.
|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.
|Globular Cluster Systems in Brightest Cluster Galaxies: Bimodal Metallicity Distributions and the Nature of the High-Luminosity Clusters|
We present new (B, I) photometry for the globular cluster systems ineight brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs), obtained with the ACS/WFCcamera on the Hubble Space Telescope. In the very rich cluster systemsthat reside within these giant galaxies, we find that all have stronglybimodal color distributions that are clearly resolved by themetallicity-sensitive (B-I) index. Furthermore, the mean colors andinternal color range of the blue subpopulation are remarkably similarfrom one galaxy to the next, to well within the +/-0.02-0.03 maguncertainties in the foreground reddenings and photometric zero points.By contrast, the mean color and internal color range for the redsubpopulation differ from one galaxy to the next by twice as much as theblue population. All the BCGs show population gradients, with muchhigher relative numbers of red clusters within 5 kpc of their centers,consistent with their having formed at later times than the blue,metal-poor population. A striking new feature of the color distributionsemerging from our data is that for the brightest clusters(MI<-10.5) the color distribution becomes broad and lessobviously bimodal. This effect was first noticed by Ostrov et al. andDirsch et al. for the Fornax giant NGC 1399; our data suggest that itmay be a characteristic of many BCGs and perhaps other large galaxies.Our data indicate that the blue (metal-poor) clusters brighter thanMI~=-10 become progressively redder with increasingluminosity, following a mass/metallicity scaling relationZ~M0.55. A basically similar relation has been found for M87by Strader et al. (2005). We argue that these GCS characteristics areconsistent with a hierarchical-merging galaxy formation picture in whichthe metal-poor clusters formed in protogalactic clouds or densestarburst complexes with gas masses in the range107-1010 Msolar, but where the moremassive clusters on average formed in bigger clouds with deeperpotential wells where more preenrichment could occur.
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