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 HI content in galaxies in loose groupsGas deficiency in cluster spirals is well known and ram-pressurestripping is considered the main gas removal mechanism. In some compactgroups too gas deficiency is reported. However, gas deficiency in loosegroups is not yet well established. Lower dispersion of the membervelocities and the lower density of the intragroup medium in small loosegroups favour tidal stripping as the main gas removal process in them.Recent releases of data from the HI Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) andcatalogues of nearby loose groups with associated diffuse X-ray emissionhave allowed us to test this notion. In this paper, we address thefollowing questions: (i) do galaxies in groups with diffuse X-rayemission statistically have lower gas content compared to the ones ingroups without diffuse X-ray emission? (ii) does HI deficiency vary withthe X-ray luminosity, LX, of the loose group in a systematicway? We find that (i) galaxies in groups with diffuse X-ray emission, onaverage, are HI deficient, and have lost more gas compared to those ingroups without X-ray emission; the latter are found not to havesignificant HI deficiency; (ii) no systematic dependence of the HIdeficiency with LX is found. Ram-pressure-assisted tidalstripping and evaporation by thermal conduction are the two possiblemechanisms to account for this excess gas loss. A radio census of nuclear activity in nearby galaxiesIn order to determine the incidence of black hole accretion-drivennuclear activity in nearby galaxies, as manifested by their radioemission, we have carried out a high-resolution Multi-ElementRadio-Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN) survey of LINERs andcomposite LINER/Hii galaxies from a complete magnitude-limited sample ofbright nearby galaxies (Palomar sample) with unknown arcsecond-scaleradio properties. There are fifteen radio detections, of which three arenew subarcsecond-scale radio core detections, all being candidate AGN.The detected galaxies supplement the already known low-luminosity AGN -low-luminosity Seyferts, LINERs and composite LINER/Hii galaxies - inthe Palomar sample. Combining all radio-detected Seyferts, LINERs andcomposite LINER/Hii galaxies (LTS sources), we obtain an overall radiodetection rate of 54% (22% of all bright nearby galaxies) and weestimate that at least ~50% (~20% of all bright nearby galaxies) aretrue AGN. The radio powers of the LTS galaxies allow the construction ofa local radio luminosity function. By comparing the luminosity functionwith those of selected moderate-redshift AGN, selected from the 2dF/NVSSsurvey, we find that LTS sources naturally extend the RLF of powerfulAGN down to powers of about 10 times that of Sgr A*. The host galaxy/AGN connection in nearby early-type galaxies. Is there a miniature radio-galaxy in every "core" galaxy?This is the second of a series of three papers exploring the connectionbetween the multiwavelength properties of AGN in nearby early-typegalaxies and the characteristics of their hosts. We selected two sampleswith 5 GHz VLA radio flux measurements down to 1 mJy, reaching levels ofradio luminosity as low as 1036 erg s-1. In PaperI we presented a study of the surface brightness profiles for the 65objects with available archival HST images out of the 116 radio-detectedgalaxies. We classified early-type galaxies into "core" and "power-law"galaxies, discriminating on the basis of the slope of their nuclearbrightness profiles, following the Nukers scheme. Here we focus on the29 core galaxies (hereafter CoreG). We used HST and Chandra data toisolate their optical and X-ray nuclear emission. The CoreG invariablyhost radio-loud nuclei, with an average radio-loudness parameter of LogR = L5 {GHz} / LB  3.6. The optical and X-raynuclear luminosities correlate with the radio-core power, smoothlyextending the analogous correlations already found for low luminosityradio-galaxies (LLRG) toward even lower power, by a factor of 1000, covering a combined range of 6 orders of magnitude. This supportsthe interpretation of a common non-thermal origin of the nuclearemission also for CoreG. The luminosities of the nuclear sources, mostlikely dominated by jet emission, set firm upper limits, as low asL/L_Edd  10-9 in both the optical and X-ray band, on anyemission from the accretion process. The similarity of CoreG and LLRGwhen considering the distributions host galaxies luminosities and blackhole masses, as well as of the surface brightness profiles, indicatesthat they are drawn from the same population of early-type galaxies.LLRG represent only the tip of the iceberg associated with (relatively)high activity levels, with CoreG forming the bulk of the population. Wedo not find any relationship between radio-power and black hole mass. Aminimum black hole mass of M_BH = 108 Mȯ isapparently associated with the radio-loud nuclei in both CoreG and LLRG,but this effect must be tested on a sample of less luminous galaxies,likely to host smaller black holes. In the unifying model for BL Lacsand radio-galaxies, CoreG likely represent the counterparts of the largepopulation of low luminosity BL Lac now emerging from the surveys at lowradio flux limits. This suggests the presence of relativistic jets alsoin these quasi-quiescent early-type "core" galaxies. The X-ray emission properties and the dichotomy in the central stellar cusp shapes of early-type galaxiesThe Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a dichotomy in the centralsurface brightness profiles of early-type galaxies, which havesubsequently been grouped into two families: core, boxy, anisotropicsystems; and cuspy (power-law'), discy, rotating ones. Here weinvestigate whether a dichotomy is also present in the X-ray propertiesof the two families. We consider both their total soft emission(LSX,tot), which is a measure of the galactic hot gascontent, and their nuclear hard emission (LHX,nuc), mostlycoming from Chandra observations, which is a measure of the nuclearactivity. At any optical luminosity, the highest LSX,totvalues are reached by core galaxies; this is explained by their beingthe central dominant galaxies of groups, subclusters or clusters, inmany of the logLSX,tot (ergs-1) >~ 41.5 cases.The highest LHX,nuc values, similar to those of classicalactive galactic nuclei (AGNs), in this sample are hosted only by core orintermediate galaxies; at low luminosity AGN levels, LHX,nucis independent of the central stellar profile shape. The presence ofoptical nuclei (also found by HST) is unrelated to the level ofLHX,nuc, even though the highest LHX,nuc are allassociated with optical nuclei. The implications of these findings forgalaxy evolution and accretion modalities at the present epoch arediscussed. Supernova 2005cz in NGC 4589IAUC 8579 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Supernovae 2005cx, 2005cy, 2005czIAUC 8569 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. Intrinsic shapes of elliptical galaxies.Not Available On the Relation between Circular Velocity and Central Velocity Dispersion in High and Low Surface Brightness GalaxiesIn order to investigate the correlation between the circular velocityVc and the central velocity dispersion of the spheroidalcomponent σc, we analyzed these quantities for a sampleof 40 high surface brightness (HSB) disk galaxies, eight giant lowsurface brightness (LSB) spiral galaxies, and 24 elliptical galaxiescharacterized by flat rotation curves. Galaxies have been selected tohave a velocity gradient <=2 km s-1 kpc-1 forR>=0.35R25. We used these data to better define theprevious Vc-σc correlation for spiralgalaxies (which turned out to be HSB) and elliptical galaxies,especially at the lower end of the σc values. We findthat the Vc-σc relation is described by alinear law out to velocity dispersions as low as σc~50km s-1, while in previous works a power law was adopted forgalaxies with σc>80 km s-1. Ellipticalgalaxies with Vc based on dynamical models or directlyderived from the H I rotation curves follow the same relation as the HSBgalaxies in the Vc-σc plane. On the otherhand, the LSB galaxies follow a different relation, since most of themshow either higher Vc or lower σc withrespect to the HSB galaxies. This argues against the relevance of baryoncollapse to the radial density profile of the dark matter halos of LSBgalaxies. Moreover, if the Vc-σc relation isequivalent to one between the mass of the dark matter halo and that ofthe supermassive black hole, then these results suggest that the LSBgalaxies host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) with a smaller masscompared to HSB galaxies with an equal dark matter halo. On the otherhand, if the fundamental correlation of SMBH mass is with the halocircular velocity, then LSB galaxies should have larger black holemasses for a given bulge dispersion. Elliptical galaxies withVc derived from H I data and LSB galaxies were not consideredin previous studies.Based on observations made with European Southern Observatory telescopesat the Paranal Observatory under programs 67.B-0283, 69.B-0573, and70.B-0171. The Centers of Early-Type Galaxies with Hubble Space Telescope. V. New WFPC2 PhotometryWe present observations of 77 early-type galaxies imaged with the PC1CCD of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2. Nuker-law'' parametricfits to the surface brightness profiles are used to classify the centralstructure into core'' or power-law'' forms. Core galaxies aretypically rounder than power-law galaxies. Nearly all power-law galaxieswith central ellipticities ɛ>=0.3 have stellar disks,implying that disks are present in power-law galaxies withɛ<0.3 but are not visible because of unfavorable geometry. Afew low-luminosity flattened core galaxies also have disks; these may betransition forms from power-law galaxies to more luminous core galaxies,which lack disks. Several core galaxies have strong isophote twistsinterior to their break radii, although power-law galaxies have interiortwists of similar physical significance when the photometricperturbations implied by the twists are evaluated. Central colorgradients are typically consistent with the envelope gradients; coregalaxies have somewhat weaker color gradients than power-law galaxies.Nuclei are found in 29% of the core galaxies and 60% of the power-lawgalaxies. Nuclei are typically bluer than the surrounding galaxy. Whilesome nuclei are associated with active galactic nuclei (AGNs), just asmany are not; conversely, not all galaxies known to have a low-level AGNexhibit detectable nuclei in the broadband filters. NGC 4073 and 4382are found to have central minima in their intrinsic starlightdistributions; NGC 4382 resembles the double nucleus of M31. In general,the peak brightness location is coincident with the photocenter of thecore to a typical physical scale of <1 pc. Five galaxies, however,have centers significantly displaced from their surrounding cores; thesemay be unresolved asymmetric double nuclei. Finally, as noted byprevious authors, central dust is visible in about half of the galaxies.The presence and strength of dust correlates with nuclear emission;thus, dust may outline gas that is falling into the central black hole.The prevalence of dust and its morphology suggest that dust clouds form,settle to the center, and disappear repeatedly on ~108 yrtimescales. We discuss the hypothesis that cores are created by thedecay of a massive black hole binary formed in a merger. Apart fromtheir brightness profiles, there are no strong differences between coregalaxies and power-law galaxies that demand this scenario; however, therounder shapes of core, their lack of disks, and their reduced colorgradients may be consistent with it.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 (AURA), Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated withGO and GTO proposals 5236, 5446, 5454, 5512, 5943, 5990, 5999, 6099,6386, 6554, 6587, 6633, 7468, 8683, and 9107. Near infra-red and optical colour gradients in E-type galaxies. Inferences on dust contentColour gradients are considered for a sample of circa 50 E-type galaxiesin the Local Supercluster. The new data includes isophotal colourprofiles in J-H, J-K, V-J and V-K, measured using 2MASS frames mostlyfrom the Large Galaxies Atlas, V frames from previous work and Vprofiles from the literature. This is supplemented by U-B, B-V, B-R, V-Icolour gradients obtained anew from published photometric data. Colourgradients in E galaxies show remarkably large variations from object toobject and do not correlate with other properties. Metallicity gradientsare the primary cause as shown before. Age gradients with oppositeeffects are possibly needed to explain objects with small colourgradients. Some empirical evidence of such age effects has been foundfor a subset of objects with morphological peculiarities and youngerstars mixed. Dust has only modest effects on colour gradients, as shownby the fact that objects with zero IRAS 100 μ flux have the sameaverage values of the gradients, except in V-J and V-K, as those withnon zero flux (cf. Table 7). This last subsample however exhibits poorbut definite correlations between IRAS flux and gradients, which mightbe caused by the presence of a few relatively dusty galaxies in thesample. Given the absence of a correlation between any gradients andgalaxy velocity dispersion (and hence mass), the observations do notagree with the predictions of the monolithic scenario for the formationof E galaxies. Simulated datasets of “dummy” objectsmimicking the hierarchical scenario have been obtained, and used to testa technique for estimating the dust content of E-galaxies from thecomparison of the V-K (or V-J) colour gradients with the U-B (or B-V)ones: the contents of diffuse dust, gauged in terms of published models,are obtained for a dozen objects. The host galaxy/AGN connection in nearby early-type galaxies. Sample selection and hosts brightness profilesThis is the first of a series of three papers exploring the connectionbetween the multiwavelength properties of AGNs in nearby early-typegalaxies and the characteristics of their hosts. We selected twosamples, both with high resolution 5 GHz VLA observations available andproviding measurements down to 1 mJy level, reaching radio-luminositiesas low as 1019 W Hz-1. We focus on the 116radio-detected galaxies as to boost the fraction of AGN with respect toa purely optically selected sample. Here we present the analysis of theoptical brightness profiles based on archival HST images, available for65 objects. We separate early-type galaxies on the basis of the slope oftheir nuclear brightness profiles, into core and power-law galaxiesfollowing the Nuker's scheme, rather than on the traditionalmorphological classification (i.e. into E and S0 galaxies). Our sampleof AGN candidates is indistinguishable, when their brightness profilesare concerned, from galaxies of similar optical luminosity but hostingweaker (or no) radio-sources. We confirm previous findings thatrelatively bright radio-sources (Lr > 1021.5 WHz-1) are uniquely associated to core galaxies. However,below this threshold in radio-luminosity core and power-law galaxiescoexist and they do not show any apparent difference in theirradio-properties. Not surprisingly, since our sample is deliberatelybiased to favour the inclusion of active galaxies, we found a higherfraction of optically nucleated galaxies. Addressing the multiwavelengthproperties of these nuclei will be the aim of the two forthcomingpapers. Radio sources in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei. IV. Radio luminosity function, importance of jet power, and radio properties of the complete Palomar sampleWe present the completed results of a high resolution radio imagingsurvey of all ( 200) low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) andAGNs in the Palomar Spectroscopic Sample of all ( 488) bright northerngalaxies. The high incidences of pc-scale radio nuclei, with impliedbrightness temperatures ≳107 K, and sub-parsec jetsargue for accreting black holes in ≳50% of all LINERs andlow-luminosity Seyferts; there is no evidence against all LLAGNs beingmini-AGNs. The detected parsec-scale radio nuclei are preferentiallyfound in massive ellipticals and in type 1 nuclei (i.e. nuclei withbroad Hα emission). The radio luminosity function (RLF) of PalomarSample LLAGNs and AGNs extends three orders of magnitude below, and iscontinuous with, that of “classical” AGNs. We find marginalevidence for a low-luminosity turnover in the RLF; nevertheless LLAGNsare responsible for a significant fraction of present day massaccretion. Adopting a model of a relativistic jet from Falcke &Biermann, we show that the accretion power output in LLAGNs is dominatedby the kinetic power in the observed jets rather than the radiatedbolometric luminosity. The Palomar LLAGNs and AGNs follow the samescaling between jet kinetic power and narrow line region (NLR)luminosity as the parsec to kilo-parsec jets in powerful radio galaxies.Eddington ratios {l_Edd} (=L_Emitted/L_Eddington) of≤10-1{-}10-5 are implied in jet models of theradio emission. We find evidence that, in analogy to Galactic black holecandidates, LINERs are in a “low/hard” state (gas poornuclei, low Eddington ratio, ability to launch collimated jets) whilelow-luminosity Seyferts are in a “high” state (gas richnuclei, higher Eddington ratio, less likely to launch collimated jets).In addition to dominating the radiated bolometric luminosity of thenucleus, the radio jets are energetically more significant thansupernovae in the host galaxies, and are potentially able to depositsufficient energy into the innermost parsecs to significantly slow thegas supply to the accretion disk. A dichotomy in the orientation of dust and radio jets in nearby low-power radio galaxiesWe examine the properties of central dust in nearby quiescent and activeearly-type galaxies. The active galaxies are low-power radio galaxieswith Fanaroff & Riley type I or I/II radio jets. We focus on (a) thecomparison of the dust distributions in the active and quiescent galaxysamples; and (b) the relation between the radio jet and dustorientations. Our main observational conclusions are: (i) in line withprevious studies, the dust detection rate is higher in radio-jetgalaxies than in non radio-jet galaxies; (ii) radio galaxies contain ahigher fraction of regular dust “ellipses” compared toquiescent galaxies which contain more often irregular dustdistributions; (iii) the morphology, size and orientation of dustellipses and lanes in quiescent early-types and active early-types withkpc-scale radio jets is very similar; (iv) dust ellipses are alignedwith the major axis of the galaxy, dust lanes do not show a preferredalignment except for large (>kpc) dust lanes which are aligned withthe minor axis of the galaxy; and (v) as projected on the sky, jets donot show a preferred orientation relative to the galaxy major axis (andhence dust ellipses), but jets are preferentially perpendicular to dustlanes. We show that the dust ellipses are consistent with being nearlycircular thin disks viewed at random viewing angles. The lanes arelikely warped dust structures, which may be in the process of settlingdown to become regular disks or are being perturbed by anon-gravitational force. We use the observed dust-jet orientations toconstrain the three-dimensional angle θDJ between jetand dust. For dust-lane galaxies, the jet is approximately perpendicularto the dust structure, while for dust-ellipse galaxies there is a muchwider distribution of θDJ. We discuss two scenariosthat could explain the dust/jet/galaxy orientation dichotomy. If lanesare indeed settling, then the jet orientation apparently is roughlyaligned with the angular momentum of the dust before it settles. Iflanes are perturbed by a jet-related force, it appears that it causesthe dust to move out of its equilibrium plane in the galaxy into a planewhich is perpendicular to the jet. Nuclear activity and the dynamics of elliptical galaxiesThis Letter looks for any correlation between the internal dynamics ofelliptical galaxies and the relatively mild nuclear activity found inmany such systems. We show that there is such a relation in the sensethat the active ellipticals tend to be significantly less rotationallysupported than their inactive cousins. The correlation can partly berelated to the galaxies' luminosities: the brightest galaxies tend to bemore active and less rotationally supported. However, even at lowerluminosities the active and inactive galaxies seem to havesystematically different dynamics. This variation suggests that thereare significant large-scale structural differences between active andinactive elliptical galaxies, and hence that the existence of both typesof system cannot just be the result of random sporadic nuclear activity. The GEMS project: X-ray analysis and statistical properties of the group sampleThe Group Evolution Multiwavelength Study (GEMS) involves amultiwavelength study of a sample of 60 galaxy groups, chosen to span awide range of group properties. Substantial ROSAT Position SensitiveProportional Counter (PSPC) observations, available for all of thesegroups, are used to characterize the state of the intergalactic mediumin each. We present the results of a uniform analysis of these ROSATdata and a statistical investigation of the relationship between X-rayand optical properties across the sample. Our analysis improves inseveral respects on previous work: (i) we distinguish between systems inwhich the hot gas is a group-scale medium and those in which it appearsto be just a hot halo associated with a central galaxy; (ii) weextrapolate X-ray luminosities to a fixed overdensity radius(r500) using fitted surface brightness models, in order toavoid biases arising from the fact that cooler systems are detectable tosmaller radii, and (iii) optical properties have been rederived in auniform manner from the NASA Extragalactic Database, rather than relyingon the data in the disparate collection of group catalogues from whichour systems are drawn.The steepening of the LX-TX relation in the groupregime reported previously is not seen in our sample, which fits well onto the cluster trend, albeit with large non-statistical scatter. Anumber of biases affect the fitting of regression lines under thesecircumstances, and until the impact of these has been thoroughlyinvestigated it seems best to regard the slope of the groupLX-TX relation as being poorly determined. Asignificant problem in comparing the properties of groups and clustersis the derivation of system radii, to allow different systems to becompared within regions having the same overdensity. We find evidencethat group velocity dispersion (σv) provides a veryunreliable measure of system mass (and hence radius), with a number ofgroups having remarkably low values of σv, given thatthey appear from their X-ray properties to be collapsed systems. Weconfirm that the surface brightness profiles of groups are significantlyflatter than those of clusters - the maximum value of theβfit parameter for our sample is 0.58, lower than thetypical value of 0.67 seen in clusters - however, we find no significanttendency within our sample for cooler groups to show flatter profiles.This result is inconsistent with simple universal pre-heating models.The morphology of the galaxies in the GEMS groups is correlated to theirX-ray properties in a number of ways: we confirm the very strongrelationship between X-ray emission and a dominant early-type centralgalaxy, which has been noted since the early X-ray studies of groups,and also find that spiral fraction is correlated with the temperature ofthe hot gas and hence the depth of the gravitational potential. A classof spiral-rich groups with little or no X-ray emission probablycorresponds to groups that have not yet fully collapsed. Cold Dust in Early-Type Galaxies. I. ObservationsWe describe far-infrared observations of early-type galaxies selectedfrom the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) archive. This ratherinhomogeneous sample includes 39 giant elliptical galaxies and 14 S0 (orlater) galaxies. These galaxies were observed with the array photometerPHOT on-board the ISO satellite using a variety of different observingmodes-sparse maps, mini-maps, oversampled maps, and singlepointings-each of which requires different and often rather elaboratephotometric reduction procedures. The ISO background data agree wellwith the COBE-DIRBE results to which we have renormalized ourcalibrations. As a further check, the ISO fluxes from galaxies at 60 and100 μm agree very well with those previously observed with IRAS atthese wavelengths. The spatial resolution of ISO is several timesgreater than that of IRAS, and the ISO observations extend out to 200μm, which views a significantly greater mass of colder dust notassessable to IRAS. Most of the galaxies are essentially point sourcesat ISO resolution, but a few are clearly extended at FIR wavelengthswith image sizes that increase with FIR wavelength. The integratedfar-infrared luminosities do not correlate with optical luminosities,suggesting that the dust may have an external, merger-related origin. Ingeneral, the far-infrared spectral energy distributions can be modeledwith dust at two temperatures, ~43 and ~20 K, which probably representlimits of a continuous range of temperatures. The colder dust componentdominates the total mass of dust, 106-107Msolar, which is typically more than 10 times larger than thedust masses previously estimated for the same galaxies using IRASobservations. For S0 galaxies we find that the optically normalizedfar-infrared luminosity LFIR/LB correlatesstrongly with the mid-infrared luminosityL15μm/LB, but that correlation is weaker forelliptical galaxies.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands, and United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS andNASA. Companions to Isolated Elliptical Galaxies: Revisiting the Bothun-Sullivan SampleWe investigate the number of physical companion galaxies for a sample ofrelatively isolated elliptical galaxies. The NASA/IPAC ExtragalacticDatabase (NED) has been used to reinvestigate the incidence of satellitegalaxies for a sample of 34 elliptical galaxies, first investigated byBothun & Sullivan using a visual inspection of Palomar Sky Surveyprints out to a projected search radius of 75 kpc. We have repeatedtheir original investigation using data cataloged in NED. Nine of theseelliptical galaxies appear to be members of galaxy clusters; theremaining sample of 25 galaxies reveals an average of +1.0+/-0.5apparent companions per galaxy within a projected search radius of 75kpc, in excess of two equal-area comparison regions displaced by 150-300kpc. This is significantly larger than the +0.12+/-0.42companions/galaxy found by Bothun & Sullivan for the identicalsample. Making use of published radial velocities, mostly availablesince the completion of the Bothun-Sullivan study, identifies thephysical companions and gives a somewhat lower estimate of +0.4companions per elliptical galaxy. This is still 3 times larger than theoriginal statistical study, but given the incomplete and heterogeneousnature of the survey redshifts in NED, it still yields a firm lowerlimit on the number (and identity) of physical companions. An expansionof the search radius out to 300 kpc, again restricted to sampling onlythose objects with known redshifts in NED, gives another lower limit of4.5 physical companions per galaxy. (Excluding five elliptical galaxiesin the Fornax Cluster, this average drops to 3.5 companions perelliptical.) These physical companions are individually identified andlisted, and the ensemble-averaged radial density distribution of theseassociated galaxies is presented. For the ensemble, the radial densitydistribution is found to have a falloff consistent withρ~R-0.5 out to approximately 150 kpc. For non-FornaxCluster companions the falloff continues out to the 300 kpc limit of thesurvey. The velocity dispersion of these companions is found to reach amaximum of 350 km s-1 at around 120 kpc, after which theyfall at a rate consistent with Keplerian falloff. This falloff may thenindicate the detection of a cut-off in the mass-density distribution inthe elliptical galaxies' dark matter halo at ~100 kpc. Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. I. An old question revisitedMorphological peculiarities, as defined from isophote asymmetries andnumber of detected shells, jets or similar features, have been estimatedin a sample of 117 E classified galaxies, and qualified by an ad hocΣ2 index. The overall frequency of peculiar'' objects(Pec subsample) is 32.5%. It decreases with the cosmic density of theenvironment, being minimal for the Virgo cluster, the densestenvironment in the sampled volume. This environmental effect is strongerfor galaxies with relatively large Σ2.The Pec subsample objects are compared with normal'' objects (Nopsubsample) as regards their basic properties. Firstly, theysystematically deviate from the Fundamental Plane and the Faber-Jacksonrelation derived for the Nop subsample, being too bright for their mass.Secondly, the dust content of galaxies, as estimated from IRAS fluxes,are similar in both subsamples. Third, the same is true of the frequencyof Kinematically Distinct cores (KDC), suggesting that KDC andmorphological peculiarities do not result from the same events in thehistory of E-galaxies.Using the Nop sample alone, we obtain very tight reference relationsbetween stellar population indicators (U-B, B-V, B-R, V-I,Mg2, Hβ, , Mgb) and the central velocitydispersion σ0. The discussion of the residuals of theserelations allows us to classify the Pec galaxies in two families i.e.the YP or NGC 2865 family, and the NP or NGC 3923 one. Galaxies in thefirst group show consistent evidence for a younger stellar populationmixed with the old one, in agreement with classical results (Schweizeret al. \cite{Schweizer1990}; Schweizer & Seitzer\cite{Schweizer1992}). The second group, however, has normal, orreddish, populations. It is remarkable that a fraction (circa 40%) ofmorphologically perturbed objects do not display any signature of ayoung population, either because the event responsible for thepecularity is too ancient, or because it did not produce significantstar formation (or eventually that the young sub-population has highmetallicity).A preliminary attempt is made to interpret the populations of Pecobjects by combining a young Single Stellar Population with a Nopgalaxy, with only limited success, perhaps largely due to uncertaintiesin the SSP indices used.Based in part on observations collected at the Observatoire deHaute-Provence.Figures \ref{fig1}-\ref{fig3} are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.orgTable 10 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/423/833 Ultrahigh-Energy Cosmic RaysNot Available Measuring Distances and Probing the Unresolved Stellar Populations of Galaxies Using Infrared Surface Brightness FluctuationsTo empirically calibrate the IR surface brightness fluctuation (SBF)distance scale and probe the properties of unresolved stellarpopulations, we measured fluctuations in 65 galaxies using NICMOS on theHubble Space Telescope. The early-type galaxies in this sample includeelliptical and S0 galaxies and spiral bulges in a variety ofenvironments. Absolute fluctuation magnitudes in the F160W (1.6 μm)filter (MF160W) were derived for each galaxy using previouslymeasured I-band SBF and Cepheid variable star distances. F160W SBFs canbe used to measure distances to early-type galaxies with a relativeaccuracy of ~10%, provided that the galaxy color is known to ~0.035 magor better. Near-IR fluctuations can also reveal the properties of themost luminous stellar populations in galaxies. Comparison of F160Wfluctuation magnitudes and optical colors to stellar population modelpredictions suggests that bluer elliptical and S0 galaxies havesignificantly younger populations than redder ones and may also be moremetal-rich. There are no galaxies in this sample with fluctuationmagnitudes consistent with old, metal-poor (t>5 Gyr, [Fe/H]<-0.7)stellar population models. Composite stellar population models implythat bright fluctuations in the bluer galaxies may be the result of anepisode of recent star formation in a fraction of the total mass of agalaxy. Age estimates from the F160W fluctuation magnitudes areconsistent with those measured using the Hβ Balmer-line index. Thetwo types of measurements make use of completely different techniquesand are sensitive to stars in different evolutionary phases. Bothtechniques reveal the presence of intermediate-age stars in theearly-type galaxies of this sample.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Lensing and the Centers of Distant Early-Type GalaxiesGravitational lensing provides a unique probe of the inner 10-1000 pc ofdistant galaxies (z~0.2-1). Theoretical studies have predicted that eachstrong lens system should have a faint image near the center of the lensgalaxy, which should, in principle, be visible in radio lenses but hasnever been detected. We study the predicted core'' images using modelsderived from the stellar distributions in nearby early-type galaxies. Wefind that realistic lens galaxies produce a remarkably wide range ofcore images, with magnifications spanning some 6 orders of magnitude.More concentrated galaxies produce fainter core images, although notwith any model-independent relation between the galaxy properties andthe core images. Some real galaxies have diffuse cores that should yieldbright core images (magnification μcore>~0.1), but morecommon are galaxies that yield faint core images(μcore<~0.001). Thus, stellar mass distributions aloneare probably concentrated enough to explain the lack of observed coreimages. Observational sensitivity may need to improve by an order ofmagnitude before detections of core images become common. Two-imagelenses should tend to have brighter core images than four-image lenses,so they will be the better targets for finding core images andexploiting these tools for studying the central mass distributions ofdistant galaxies. Metallicity distributions of globular cluster systems in galaxiesWe collected a sample of 100 galaxies for which different observers havedetermined colour indices of globular cluster candidates. The sampleincludes representatives of galaxies of various morphological types anddifferent luminosities. Colour indices (in most cases (V-I), but also(B-I) and (C-T_1)) were transformed into metallicities [Fe/H] accordingto a relation by Kissler-Patig (1998). These data were analysed with theKMM software in order to estimate similarity of the distribution withuni- or bimodal Gaussian distribution. We found that 45 of 100 systemshave bimodal metallicity distributions. Mean metallicity of themetal-poor component for these galaxies is < [Fe/H]> = -1.40 +/-0.02, of the metal-rich component < [Fe/H]> = -0.69 +/- 0.03.Dispersions of the distributions are 0.15 and 0.18, respectively.Distribution of unimodal metallicities is rather wide. These data willbe analysed in a subsequent paper in order to find correlations withparameters of galaxies and galactic environment. Core Radio and Optical Emission in the Nuclei of nearby FR I Radio GalaxiesIn this paper we analyze the relation between radio, optical continuumand Hα+[N II] emission from the cores of a sample of 21 nearbyFanaroff and Riley type I galaxies as observed with the VLBA and HST.The emission arises inside the inner tens of parsecs of the galaxies.Core radio emission is observed in 19/20 galaxies, optical corecontinuum emission is detected in 12/21 galaxies and Hα+[N II]core emission is detected in 20/21 galaxies. We confirm the recentlydetected linear correlation between radio and optical core emission inFR I galaxies and show that both core emissions also correlate withcentral Hα+[N II] emission. The tight correlations between radio,optical, and Hα+[N II] core emission constrain the bulk Lorentzfactor to γ~2-5 and γ<~2 for a continuous jet and a jetconsisting of discrete blobs, respectively, assuming jet-viewing anglesin the range 30°-90°. Radio and optical core emissions arelikely to be synchrotron radiation from the inner jet, possibly with asignificant contribution from emission by an accretion disk and/or flow.Elliptical galaxies with LINER nuclei without large-scale radio jetsseem to follow the core emission correlations found in FR I galaxies.This suggests that the central engines could be very similar for the twoclasses of active galactic nuclei. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Galaxy cores as relics of black hole mergersWe investigate the hypothesis that the cores of elliptical galaxies andbulges are created from the binding energy liberated by the coalescenceof supermassive binary black holes during galaxy mergers. Assuming thatthe central density profiles of galaxies were initially steep powerlaws, ρ ~r -2 , we define the mass deficit' as the massin stars that had to be removed from the nucleus in order to produce theobserved core. We use non-parametric deprojection to compute the massdeficit in a sample of 35 early-type galaxies with high-resolutionimaging data. We find that the mass deficit correlates well with themass of the nuclear black hole, consistent with the predictions ofmerger models. We argue that cores in haloes of non-interacting darkmatter particles should be comparable in size to those observed in thestars. A Radio Survey for Linear and Circular Polarization in Low-Luminosity Active Galactic NucleiWe conducted a Very Large Array survey of 11 low-luminosity activegalactic nuclei (LLAGNs) for linear and circular polarization at 8.4GHz. We detected circular polarization in one source (M81*) and linearpolarization in three sources. Sensitivity limits were ~0.1% for bothmodes of polarization in nine of 11 sources. The detections confirm theimportance of nonthermal emission in LLAGNs. However, detection ratesfor circular and linear polarization are lower for these sources thanfor more powerful AGNs. Fractional linear polarization in detectedsources is also lower than in more powerful AGNs. The weak linearpolarization in the survey sources indicates their overall similarity toSgr A*. Confusion with thermal sources, depolarization, and weaker, lessextended jets may contribute to these differences. We detect a rotationmeasure >~7×104 rad m-2 for NGC 4579.This may arise from magnetized plasma in the accretion, outflow, orinterstellar regions. Inverted spectra are present in both M81* and SgrA* and absent from all sources in which circular polarization is notdetected. This suggests that optical depth effects are important in thecreation of circular polarization. Globular Cluster Systems and the Missing Satellite Problem: Implications for Cold Dark Matter ModelsWe analyze the metallicity distributions of globular clusters belongingto 28 early-type galaxies in the survey of Kundu & Whitmore. A MonteCarlo algorithm that simulates the chemical evolution of galaxies thatgrow hierarchically via dissipationless mergers is used to determine themost probable protogalactic mass function for each galaxy. Contrary tothe claims of Kundu & Whitmore, we find that the observedmetallicity distributions are in close agreement with the predictions ofsuch hierarchical formation models. The mass spectrum of protogalacticfragments for the galaxies in our sample has a power-law behavior,n(M)~Mα, with an index of α~=-2. This spectrum isindistinguishable from the mass spectrum of dark matter halos predictedby cold dark matter models for structure formation. We argue that theseprotogalactic fragments-the likely sites of globular cluster formationin the early universe-are the disrupted remains of the missing''satellite galaxies predicted by cold dark matter models. Our findingssuggest that the solution to the missing satellite problem is throughthe suppression of gas accretion in low-mass halos after reionization,or via self-interacting dark matter, and argue against models withsuppressed small-scale power or warm dark matter. Nuclear Cusps and Cores in Early-Type Galaxies as Relics of Binary Black Hole MergersWe present an analysis of the central cusp slopes and core parameters ofearly-type galaxies using a large database of surface brightnessprofiles obtained from Hubble Space Telescope observations. We examinethe relation between the central cusp slopes, core parameters, and blackhole masses in early-type galaxies, in light of two models that attemptto explain the formation of cores and density cusps via the dynamicalinfluence of black holes. Contrary to the expectations fromadiabatic-growth models, we find that the cusp slopes do not steepenwith increasing black hole mass fraction. Moreover, a comparison ofkinematic black hole mass measurements with the masses predicted by theadiabatic models shows that they overpredict the masses by a factor of~3. Simulations involving binary black hole mergers predict that boththe size of the core and the central mass deficit correlate with thefinal black hole mass. These relations are qualitatively supported bythe present data. Bar Galaxies and Their EnvironmentsThe prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment. Detailed Structural Decomposition of Galaxy ImagesWe present a two-dimensional fitting algorithm (GALFIT) designed toextract structural components from galaxy images, with emphasis onclosely modeling light profiles of spatially well-resolved, nearbygalaxies observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Our algorithmimproves on previous techniques in two areas: by being able tosimultaneously fit a galaxy with an arbitrary number of components andwith optimization in computation speed, suited for working on largegalaxy images. We use two-dimensional models such as the Nuker'' law,the Sérsic (de Vaucouleurs) profile, an exponential disk, andGaussian or Moffat functions. The azimuthal shapes are generalizedellipses that can fit disky and boxy components. Some potentialapplications of our program include: standard modeling of global galaxyprofiles; extracting bars, stellar disks, double nuclei, and compactnuclear sources; and measuring absolute dust extinction or surfacebrightness fluctuations after removing the galaxy model. When examinedin detail, we find that even simple looking galaxies generally requireat least three components to be modeled accurately, rather than the oneor two components more often employed. Many galaxies with complexisophotes, ellipticity changes, and position angle twists can be modeledaccurately in two dimensions. We illustrate this by way of 11 casestudies, which include regular and barred spiral galaxies, highly diskylenticular galaxies, and elliptical galaxies displaying various levelsof complexities. A useful extension of this algorithm is to accuratelyextract nuclear point sources in galaxies. We compare two-dimensionaland one-dimensional extraction techniques on simulated images ofgalaxies having nuclear slopes with different degrees of cuspiness, andwe then illustrate the application of the program to several examples ofnearby galaxies with weak nuclei. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
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