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Lifetime of nuclear velocity dispersion drops in barred galaxies
We have made hydro/N-body simulations with and without star formation toshed some light on the conditions under which a central kinematicallycold stellar component (characterized by a velocity dispersion drop orσ-drop) could be created in a hot medium (e.g. a bulge) andsurvive enough time to be observed. We found that the time-scale for aσ-drop formation could be short (less than 500 Myr), whereas itslifetime could be long (more than 1 Gyr) provided that the centralregion is continuously or regularly fed by fresh gas which leads to acontinuous star formation activity. Star formation in the centralregion, even at a low rate as 1Msolaryr-1, ismandatory to sustain a permanent σ-drop by replacing heatedparticles by new low-σ ones. We moreover show that as soon as starformation is switched off, the σ-drop begins to disappear.

The SAURON project - VII. Integral-field absorption and emission-line kinematics of 24 spiral galaxy bulges
We present observations of the stellar and gas kinematics for arepresentative sample of 24 Sa galaxies obtained with our custom-builtintegral-field spectrograph SAURON operating on the William HerschelTelescope. The data have been homogeneously reduced and analysed bymeans of a dedicated pipeline. All resulting data cubes were spatiallybinned to a minimum mean signal-to-noise ratio of 60 per spatial andspectral resolution element. Our maps typically cover thebulge-dominated region. We find a significant fraction of kinematicallydecoupled components (12/24), many of them displaying central velocitydispersion minima. They are mostly aligned and co-rotating with the mainbody of the galaxies, and are usually associated with dust discs andrings detected in unsharp-masked images. Almost all the galaxies in thesample (22/24) contain significant amounts of ionized gas which, ingeneral, is accompanied by the presence of dust. The kinematics of theionized gas are consistent with circular rotation in a disc co-rotatingwith respect to the stars. The distribution of mean misalignmentsbetween the stellar and gaseous angular momenta in the sample suggeststhat the gas has an internal origin. The [OIII]/Hβ ratio is usuallyvery low, indicative of current star formation, and shows variousmorphologies (ring-like structures, alignments with dust lanes oramorphous shapes). The star formation rates (SFRs) in the sample arecomparable with that of normal disc galaxies. Low gas velocitydispersion values appear to be linked to regions of intense starformation activity. We interpret this result as stars being formed fromdynamically cold gas in those regions. In the case of NGC5953, the datasuggest that we are witnessing the formation of a kinematicallydecoupled component from cold gas being acquired during the ongoinginteraction with NGC5954.

GMOS IFU observations of the stellar and gaseous kinematics in the centre of NGC 1068
We present a data cube covering the central 10 arcsec of the archetypalactive galaxy NGC 1068 over a wavelength range 4200-5400 Åobtainedduring the commissioning of the integral field unit (IFU) of the GeminiMulti-object Spectrograph (GMOS) installed on the Gemini-Northtelescope. The data cube shows a complex emission line morphology in the[OIII] doublet and Hβ line. To describe this structurephenomenologically we construct an atlas of velocity components derivedfrom multiple Gaussian component fits to the emission lines. The atlascontains many features which cannot be readily associated with distinctphysical structures. While some components are likely to be associatedwith the expected biconical outflow, others are suggestive of highvelocity flows or disc-like structures. As a first step towardsinterpretation, we seek to identify the stellar disc using kinematicalmaps derived from the Mgb absorption line feature at 5170 Åandmake associations between this and gaseous components in the atlas ofemission line components.

Low-Luminosity Active Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes
Central black hole masses for 117 spiral galaxies representingmorphological stages S0/a through Sc and taken from the largespectroscopic survey of Ho et al. are derived using Ks-banddata from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Black hole masses are foundusing a calibrated black hole-Ks bulge luminosity relation,while bulge luminosities are measured by means of a two-dimensionalbulge-disk decomposition routine. The black hole masses are correlatedagainst a variety of parameters representing properties of the nucleusand host galaxy. Nuclear properties such as line width (FWHM [N II]), aswell as emission-line ratios (e.g., [O III]/Hβ, [O I]/Hα, [NII]/Hα, and [S II]/Hα), show a very high degree ofcorrelation with black hole mass. The excellent correlation with linewidth supports the view that the emission-line gas is in virialequilibrium with either the black hole or bulge potential. The very goodemission-line ratio correlations may indicate a change in ionizingcontinuum shape with black hole mass in the sense that more massiveblack holes generate harder spectra. Apart from theinclination-corrected rotational velocity, no excellent correlations arefound between black hole mass and host galaxy properties. Significantdifferences are found between the distributions of black hole masses inearly-, mid-, and late-type spiral galaxies (subsamples A, B, and C) inthe sense that early-type galaxies have preferentially larger centralblack holes, consistent with observations that Seyfert galaxies arefound preferentially in early-type systems. The line width distributionsshow a marked difference among subsamples A, B, and C in the sense thatearlier type galaxies have larger line widths. There are also cleardifferences in line ratios between subsamples A+B and C that likely arerelated to the level of ionization in the gas. Finally, aKs-band Simien & de Vaucouleurs diagram shows excellentagreement with the original B-band relation, although there is a largedispersion at a given morphological stage.

A radio census of nuclear activity in nearby galaxies
In 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*.

Chemically Decoupled Nuclei in Five Lenticular Galaxies from SAURON Data
We analyze data from the SAURON integral-field spectrograph of theWilliam Herschel 4-m telescope for five lenticular galaxies in which wepreviously found chemically decoupled nuclei from observations with theMultipupil Fiber Spectrograph of the 6-m Special AstrophysicalObservatory telescope. In a larger field of view, we confirmed thepresence of peaks of the equivalent width of the Mg Ib λ5175absorption line in the nuclei of all five galaxies. However, thestructure of the chemically decoupled regions turned out to be highlyvaried even in such a small sample: from compact unresolved knots todisks with an extent of several hundred parsecs and, in one case, atriaxial compact minibar-type structure. We confirmed the presence of aninner gaseous polar ring in NGC 7280 and found it in NGC 7332. In theirouter parts, the planes of these polar rings are warped toward the planeof stellar rotation in such a way that the gas counterrotates withrespect to the stars. This behavior of the gas in a triaxial potentialwas predicted by several theoretical models.

The Classification of Galaxies: Early History and Ongoing Developments
"You ask what is the use of classification, arrangement,systematization. I answer you; order and simplification are the firststeps toward the mastery of a subject the actual enemy is the unknown."

Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data Analysis
X-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources.

Nuclear Accretion in Galaxies of the Local Universe: Clues from Chandra Observations
In order to find an explanation for the radiative quiescence ofsupermassive black holes in the local universe, the most accurateestimates for a sample of nearby galaxies are collected for the mass ofa central black hole (MBH), the nuclear X-ray luminosityLX,nuc, and the circumnuclear hot gas density andtemperature, by using Chandra data. The nuclear X-ray luminosityLX,nuc varies by ~3 orders of magnitude and does not show arelationship with MBH or with the Bondi mass accretion rateM˙B LX,nuc is always much lower than expectedif M˙B ends in a standard accretion disk with highradiative efficiency (this instead can be the case of the active nucleusof Cen A). Radiatively inefficient accretion as in the standardadvection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) modeling may explain the lowluminosities of a few cases; for others, the predicted luminosity isstill too high, and, in terms of Eddington-scaled quantities, it isincreasingly higher than that observed for increasingM˙B. Variants of the simple radiatively inefficientscenario including outflow and convection may reproduce the low emissionlevels observed, since the amount of matter actually accreted is reducedconsiderably. However, the most promising scenario includes feedbackfrom accretion on the surrounding gas; this has the important advantagesof naturally explaining the observed lack of relationship amongLX,nuc, MBH, and M˙B, and evadingthe problem of the fate of the material accumulating in the centralgalactic regions over cosmological times.

A Chandra Snapshot Survey of Infrared-bright LINERs: A Possible Link Between Star Formation, Active Galactic Nucleus Fueling, and Mass Accretion
We present results from a high-resolution X-ray imaging study of nearbyLINERs observed by ACIS on board Chandra. This study complements andextends previous X-ray studies of LINERs, focusing on the underexploredpopulation of nearby dust-enshrouded infrared-bright LINERs. The sampleconsists of 15 IR-bright LINERs (LFIR/LB>3),with distances that range from 11 to 26 Mpc. Combining our sample withprevious Chandra studies, we find that ~51% (28/55) of the LINERsdisplay compact hard X-ray cores. The nuclear 2-10 keV luminosities ofthe galaxies in this expanded sample range from ~2×1038to ~2×1044 ergs s-1. We find that the mostextreme IR-faint LINERs are exclusively active galactic nuclei (AGNs).The fraction of LINERs containing AGNs appears to decrease with IRbrightness and increase again at the highest values ofLFIR/LB. We find that of the 24 LINERs showingcompact nuclear hard X-ray cores in the expanded sample that wereobserved at Hα wavelengths, only eight actually show evidence of abroad line. Similarly, of the 14 LINERs showing compact nuclear hardX-ray cores with corresponding radio observations, only eight display acompact flat spectrum radio core. These findings emphasize the need forhigh-resolution X-ray imaging observations in the study of IR-brightLINERs. Finally, we find an intriguing trend in the Eddington ratioversus LFIR and LFIR/LB for theAGN-LINERs in the expanded sample that extends over 7 orders ofmagnitude in L/LEdd. This correlation may imply a linkbetween black hole growth, as measured by the Eddington ratio, and thestar formation rate, as measured by the far-IR luminosity andIR-brightness ratio. If the far-IR luminosity is an indicator of themolecular gas content in our sample of LINERs, our results may furtherindicate that the mass accretion rate scales with the host galaxy's fuelsupply. We discuss the potential implications of our results in theframework of black hole growth and AGN fueling in low-luminosity AGNs.

Hα Imaging of Early-Type Sa-Sab Spiral Galaxies. II. Global Properties
New results, based on one of the most comprehensive Hα imagingsurveys of nearby Sa-Sab spirals completed to date, reveals early-typespirals to be a diverse group of galaxies that span a wide range inmassive star formation rates. While the majority of Sa-Sab galaxies inour sample are forming stars at a modest rate, a significant fraction(~29%) exhibit star formation rates greater than 1 Msolaryr-1, rivaling the most prolifically star-forming late-typespirals. A similar diversity is apparent in the star formation historyof Sa-Sab spirals as measured by their Hα equivalent widths.Consistent with our preliminary results presented in the first paper inthis series, we find giant H II regions [L(Hα)>=1039ergs s-1] in the disks of ~37% of early-type spirals. Wesuspect that recent minor mergers or past interactions are responsiblefor the elevated levels of Hα emission and, perhaps, for thepresence of giant H II regions in these galaxies. Our results, however,are not in total agreement with the Hα study of Kennicutt &Kent, who did not find any early-type spirals with Hα equivalentwidths >14 Å. A close examination of the morphologicalclassification of galaxies, however, suggests that systematicdifferences between the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog and the SecondReference Catalogue may be responsible for the contrasting results.Based on observations obtained with the 3.5 m telescope at Apache PointObservatory (APO) and the 0.9 m telescope at Kitt Peak NationalObservatory (KPNO). The APO 3.5 m telescope is owned and operated by theAstrophysical Research Consortium.

Gas and Stars in an H I-Selected Galaxy Sample
We present the results of a J-band study of the H I-selected AreciboDual-Beam Survey and Arecibo Slice Survey galaxy samples using TwoMicron All Sky Survey data. We find that these galaxies span a widerange of stellar and gas properties. However, despite the diversitywithin the samples, we find a very tight correlation between luminosityand size in the J band, similar to that found in a previous paper byRosenberg & Schneider between the H I mass and size. We also findthat the correlation between the baryonic mass and the J-band diameteris even tighter than that between the baryonic mass and the rotationalvelocity.

The Leo Triplet: Common origin or late encounter?
The kinematics, structure, and stellar population properties in thecenters of two early-type spiral galaxies of the Leo Triplet, NGC 3627and NGC 3623, are studied by means of integral-field spectroscopy.Unlike our previous targets, NGC 3384/NGC 3368 in the Leo I Group andNGC 5574/NGC 5576 in LGG 379, NGC 3623 and NGC 3627 do not appear toexperience a synchronous evolution. The mean ages of their circumnuclearstellar populations are quite different, and the magnesium overabundanceof the nucleus in NGC 3627 is evidence for a very brief last starformation event 1 Gyr ago whereas the evolution of the central part ofNGC 3623 looks more quiescent. In the center of NGC 3627 we observenoticeable gas radial motions, and the stars and the ionized gas in thecenter of NGC 3623 demonstrate more or less stable rotation. However,NGC 3623 has a chemically distinct core - a relic of a past starformation burst - which is shaped as a compact, dynamically cold stellardisk with a radius of ˜250-350 pc which has been formed not laterthan 5 Gyr ago.Based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope of the SpecialAstrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)which is operated under the financial support of Science Department ofRussia (registration number 01-43) and on data from the Isaac NewtonGroup (ING) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Archives.

Neutral hydrogen absorption at the centre of NGC 2146
We present 1.4-GHz HI absorption line observations towards thestarburst in NGC 2146, made with the Very Large Array and theMulti-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer Network. The HI gas has arotating disc/ring structure with column densities between 6 and 18× 1021 atom cm-2. The HI absorption has auniform spatial and velocity distribution, and does not reveal anyanomalous material concentration or velocity in the central region ofthe galaxy which might indicate an encounter with another galaxy or afar-evolved merger. We conclude that the signs of an encounter causingthe starburst should be searched for in the outer regions of the galaxy.

Pattern Speeds of BIMA SONG Galaxies with Molecule-dominated Interstellar Mediums Using the Tremaine-Weinberg Method
We apply the Tremaine-Weinberg method of pattern speed determination todata cubes of CO emission in six spiral galaxies from the BIMA Survey ofNearby Galaxies, each with an interstellar medium dominated by moleculargas. We compare derived pattern speeds with estimates based on othermethods, usually involving the identification of a predicted behavior atone or more resonances of the pattern(s). In two cases (NGC 1068 and NGC4736), we find evidence for a central bar pattern speed that is greaterthan that of the surrounding spiral and roughly consistent with previousestimates. However, the spiral pattern speed in both cases is muchlarger than previous determinations. For the barred spirals NGC 3627 andNGC 4321, the method is insensitive to the bar pattern speed (the bar ineach is nearly parallel to the major axis; in this case the method willnot work), but for the former galaxy the spiral pattern speed foundagrees with previous estimates of the bar pattern speed, suggesting thatthese two structures are part of a single pattern. For the latter, thespiral pattern speed found is in agreement with several previousdeterminations. For the flocculent spiral NGC 4414 and the ``Evil Eye''galaxy NGC 4826, the method does not support the presence of alarge-scale coherent pattern. We also apply the method to a simulatedbarred galaxy in order to demonstrate its validity and to understand itssensitivity to various observational parameters. In addition, we studythe results of applying the method to a simulated, clumpy axisymmetricdisk with no wave present. The Tremaine & Weinberg method in thiscase may falsely indicate a well-defined pattern.

A New Nonparametric Approach to Galaxy Morphological Classification
We present two new nonparametric methods for quantifying galaxymorphology: the relative distribution of the galaxy pixel flux values(the Gini coefficient or G) and the second-order moment of the brightest20% of the galaxy's flux (M20). We test the robustness of Gand M20 to decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) and spatialresolution and find that both measures are reliable to within 10% forimages with average S/N per pixel greater than 2 and resolutions betterthan 1000 and 500 pc, respectively. We have measured G andM20, as well as concentration (C), asymmetry (A), andclumpiness (S) in the rest-frame near-ultraviolet/optical wavelengthsfor 148 bright local ``normal'' Hubble-type galaxies (E-Sd) galaxies, 22dwarf irregulars, and 73 0.05

Deprojecting spiral galaxies using Fourier analysis. Application to the Frei sample
We present two methods that can be used to deproject spirals, based onFourier analysis of their images, and discuss their potential andrestrictions. Our methods perform particularly well for galaxies moreinclined than 50° or for non-barred galaxies moreinclined than 35°. They are fast and straightforward touse, and thus ideal for large samples of galaxies. Moreover, they arevery robust for low resolutions and thus are appropriate for samples ofcosmological interest. The relevant software is available from us uponrequest. We use these methods to determine the values of the positionand inclination angles for a sample of 79 spiral galaxies contained inthe Frei et al. (\cite{frei96}) sample. We compare our results with thevalues found in the literature, based on other methods. We findstatistically very good agreementTable 7 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/415/849

A joint mid-infrared spectroscopic and X-ray imaging investigation of LINER galaxies
We present a comprehensive comparative high resolution mid-IRspectroscopic and X-ray imaging investigation of LINERs using archivalobservations from the ISO-SWS and the Chandra Advanced CCD ImagingSpectrometer. Although the sample is heterogenous and incomplete, thisis the first comprehensive study of the mid-infrared fine structure lineemission of LINERs. These results have been compared with similarobservations of starburst galaxies and AGN. We find that LINERs veryclearly fall between starbursts and AGN in their mid-IR fine structureline spectra, showing L[OIV]26 μm/LFIR andL[OIV]26 μm/L[NeII]12.8 μm ratios, bothmeasures of the dominant nuclear energy source in dust-enshroudedgalaxies, intermediate between those of AGN and starbursts. Chandraimaging observations of the LINERs reveal hard nuclear point sourcesmorphologically consistent with AGN in most (67%) of the sample, with aclear trend with IR-brightness. Most LINERs that show a single dominanthard compact X-ray core are IR-faint (LFIR/LB <1), whereas most LINERs that show scattered X-ray sources are IR-bright.A comparative X-ray/mid-IR spectroscopic investigation of LINERs revealssome puzzling results. Objects that display strong hard nuclear X-raycores should also display high excitation lines in the IR. However, wefind two LINERs disagree with this expectation. The galaxy NGC 404 showsweak soft X-ray emission consistent with a starburst but has the mostprominent highest excitation mid-IR spectrum of our entire sample. UsingIR emission line diagnostics alone, this galaxy would be classified ashosting a dominant AGN. Conversely, the IR luminous LINER NGC 6240 hasan extremely luminous binary AGN as revealed by the X-rays but showsweak IR emission lines. With the advent of SIRTF, and future IR missionssuch as Herschel and JWST, it is increasingly critical to determine theorigin of these multiwavelength anomalies.Table 2 is also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/825Table 3 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

The Relationship between Stellar Light Distributions of Galaxies and Their Formation Histories
A major problem in extragalactic astronomy is the inability todistinguish in a robust, physical, and model-independent way how galaxypopulations are physically related to each other and to their formationhistories. A similar, but distinct, and also long-standing question iswhether the structural appearances of galaxies, as seen through theirstellar light distributions, contain enough physical information tooffer this classification. We argue through the use of 240 images ofnearby galaxies that three model-independent parameters measured on asingle galaxy image reveal its major ongoing and past formation modesand can be used as a robust classification system. These parametersquantitatively measure: the concentration (C), asymmetry (A), andclumpiness (S) of a galaxy's stellar light distribution. When combinedinto a three-dimensional ``CAS'' volume all major classes of galaxies invarious phases of evolution are cleanly distinguished. We argue thatthese three parameters correlate with important modes of galaxyevolution: star formation and major merging activity. This is arguedthrough the strong correlation of Hα equivalent width andbroadband colors with the clumpiness parameter S, the uniquely largeasymmetries of 66 galaxies undergoing mergers, and the correlation ofbulge to total light ratios, and stellar masses, with the concentrationindex. As an obvious goal is to use this system at high redshifts totrace evolution, we demonstrate that these parameters can be measured,within a reasonable and quantifiable uncertainty with available data outto z~3 using the Hubble Space Telescope GOODS ACS and Hubble Deep Fieldimages.

The 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas
We present the largest galaxies as seen in the near-infrared (1-2μm), imaged with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), ranging inangular size from 1' to 1.5d. We highlight the 100 largest in thesample. The galaxies span all Hubble morphological types, includingelliptical galaxies, normal and barred spirals, and dwarf and peculiarclasses. The 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas provides the necessary sensitivityand angular resolution to examine in detail morphologies in thenear-infrared, which may be radically different from those in theoptical. Internal structures such as spirals, bulges, warps, rings,bars, and star formation regions are resolved by 2MASS. In addition tolarge mosaic images, the atlas includes astrometric, photometric, andshape global measurements for each galaxy. A comparison of fundamentalmeasures (e.g., surface brightness, Hubble type) is carried out for thesample and compared with the Third Reference Catalogue. We furthershowcase NGC 253 and M51 (NGC 5194/5195) to demonstrate the quality anddepth of the data. The atlas represents the first uniform, all-sky,dust-penetrated view of galaxies of every type, as seen in thenear-infrared wavelength window that is most sensitive to the dominantmass component of galaxies. The images and catalogs are availablethrough the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database and Infrared ScienceArchive and are part of the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog.

The detection of stellar velocity dispersion drops in the central regions of five isolated Seyfert spirals
We analyze the kinematics of the central regions of five isolatedSeyfert spiral galaxies from the DEGAS sample (four with new datapresented in this paper, IC 184, UGC 3223, NGC 2639, NGC 6814, and NGC6951 from our previous data), by using long slit spectroscopy in theCaII triplet range (at ~8600 Å) obtained with a 4 m-classtelescope. A drop of the velocity dispersions in the innermost +/-(1-3)arcsec is observed in four of them, and hinted at in the remaininggalaxy (NGC 6814). The available HST images for our sample together withanother nine galaxies with reported velocity dispersion drops are alsoused to investigate the presence of morphological inner structures atthe scales of the kinematical drops. Evidence for disk-like shapes isfound in 12 out of the 14 cases. The only exceptions are NGC 6814 andNGC 6951. Existing N-body simulations including stars, gas and starformation predict that such a drop is most probably due to a youngstellar population born from dynamically cold gas accreted in acircumnuclear disk formed during an episode of central gas accretiondriven by a bar. The equivalent widths of the calcium triplet lines forour 5 galaxies have been measured. Even if the profiles could beformally consistent with constant EW(CaT) values, they seem to indicatethe presence of a local maximum in the regions corresponding spatiallyto the drops; if confirmed, this would imply the presence of a differentstellar population, whose properties could help constrain the models.Based on observations made with the WHT operated on the island of LaPalma by ING in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

Galaxy classification using fractal signature
Fractal geometry is becoming increasingly important in the study ofimage characteristics. For recognition of regions and objects in naturalscenes, there is always a need for features that are invariant and theyprovide a good set of descriptive values for the region. There are manyfractal features that can be generated from an image. In this paper,fractal signatures of nearby galaxies are studied with the aim ofclassifying them. The fractal signature over a range of scales proved tobe an efficient feature set with good discriminating power. Classifierswere designed using nearest neighbour method and neural networktechnique. Using the nearest distance approach, classification rate wasfound to be 92%. By the neural network method it has been found toincrease to 95%.

An Hα study of the kinematics of NGC 3627
We report here on the first observations in the Hα-line toinvestigate the kinematics of the spiral galaxy NGC 3627, the brightestmember of the Leo Triplet. The velocity field observed at high angularresolution shows signatures of non-circular motion. They can beattributed to dynamical perturbations due to the bar and to externalinteractions. In particular, we confirm the presence of an inner ringrecently detected in CO observations (Regan et al. \cite{Regan3}). Wefind a corotation radius significantly smaller than that derived inprevious studies and we show that the inner ring location is consistentwith the ultra-harmonic resonance induced by the bar pattern speed. Wealso show that a warped tilted-ring model can be fitted to the outerparts of the southern, receding half of the disc, which is inclined bysome 15 degr relative to the inner parts of the galaxy.Based on observations collected at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence(France).

Urban Astronomy: Observing the Messier Objects from the City
Not Available

A comparison of stellar populations in galaxy spheroids across a wide range of Hubble types
We present line-strengths and kinematics from the central regions of 32galaxies with Hubble types ranging from E to Sbc. Spectral indices,based on the Lick system, are measured in the optical and near-infrared(NIR). The 24 indices measured, in conjunction with models of theeffects of varying abundance ratios, permit the breaking ofage/metallicity degeneracy, and allow estimation of enhancements inspecific light elements (particularly C and Mg). The large range ofHubble types observed allows direct comparison of line-strengths in thecentres of early-type galaxies (E and S0) with those in spiral bulges,free from systematic differences that have plagued comparisons ofresults from different studies. Our sample includes field and Virgocluster galaxies. For early-type galaxies our data are consistent withpreviously reported trends of Mg2 and Mgb with velocitydispersion. In spiral bulges we find trends in all indices with velocitydispersion. We estimate luminosity-weighted ages, metallicities andheavy-element abundance ratios (enhancements) from optical indices.These show that bulges are less enhanced in light (α-capture)elements and have lower average age than early-type galaxies. Trendsinvolving age and metallicity also differ sharply between early and latetypes. An anticorrelation exists between age and metallicity in earlytypes, while, in bulges, metallicity is correlated with velocitydispersion. We consider the implications of these findings for models ofthe formation of these galaxies. We find that primordial collapse modelsof galaxy formation are ruled out by our observations, while severalpredictions of hierarchical clustering (merger) models are confirmed.

The SAURON project - II. Sample and early results
Early results are reported from the SAURON survey of the kinematics andstellar populations of a representative sample of nearby E, S0 and Sagalaxies. The survey is aimed at determining the intrinsic shape of thegalaxies, their orbital structure, the mass-to-light ratio as a functionof radius, the age and metallicity of the stellar populations, and thefrequency of kinematically decoupled cores and nuclear black holes. Theconstruction of the representative sample is described, and itsproperties are illustrated. A comparison with long-slit spectroscopicdata establishes that the SAURON measurements are comparable to, orbetter than, the highest-quality determinations. Comparisons arepresented for NGC 3384 and 4365, where stellar velocities and velocitydispersions are determined to a precision of 6kms-1, and theh3 and h4 parameters of the line-of-sight velocitydistribution to a precision of better than 0.02. Extraction of accurategas emission-line intensities, velocities and linewidths from the datacubes is illustrated for NGC 5813. Comparisons with published linestrengths for NGC 3384 and 5813 reveal uncertainties of <~0.1Åon the measurements of the Hβ, Mg b and Fe5270 indices.Integral-field mapping uniquely connects measurements of the kinematicsand stellar populations to the galaxy morphology. The maps presentedhere illustrate the rich stellar kinematics, gaseous kinematics, andline-strength distributions of early-type galaxies. The results includethe discovery of a thin, edge-on, disc in NGC 3623, confirm theaxisymmetric shape of the central region of M32, illustrate the LINERnucleus and surrounding counter-rotating star-forming ring in NGC 7742,and suggest a uniform stellar population in the decoupled core galaxyNGC 5813.

Inner Molecular Rings in Barred Galaxies: BIMA Survey of Nearby Galaxies CO Observations
Although inner star-forming rings are common in optical images of barredspiral galaxies, observational evidence for the accompanying moleculargas has been scarce. In this paper we present images of molecular innerrings, traced using the CO (1-0) emission line, from theBerkeley-Illinois-Maryland-Association Survey of Nearby Galaxies (BIMASONG). We detect inner-ring CO emission from all five SONG barredgalaxies classified as inner ring [type (r)]. We also examine the sevenSONG barred galaxies classified as inner spiral [type (s)]; in one ofthese, NGC 3627, we find morphological and kinematic evidence for amolecular inner ring. Inner-ring galaxies have been classified as suchbased on optical images, which emphasize recent star formation. Weconsider the possibility that there may exist inner rings in which starformation efficiency is not enhanced. However, we find that in NGC 3627the inner-ring star formation efficiency is enhanced relative to mostother regions in that galaxy. We note that the SONG (r) galaxies have apaucity of CO and Hα emission interior to the inner ring (exceptnear the nucleus), while NGC 3627 has relatively bright bar CO andHα emission; we suggest that galaxies with inner rings such as NGC3627 may be misclassified if there are significant amounts of gas andstar formation in the bar.

Untangling the X-Ray Emission from the Sa Galaxy NGC 1291 with Chandra
We present a Chandra ACIS-S observation of the nearby bulge-dominated Sagalaxy NGC 1291. The X-ray emission from the bulge resembles the X-rayemission from a subclass of elliptical and S0 galaxies with lowX-ray-to-optical luminosity ratios. The X-ray emission is composed of acentral pointlike nucleus, ~50 point sources that are most likelylow-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs), and diffuse gas detectable out to aradius of 120" (5.2 kpc). The diffuse gas has a global temperature of0.32+0.04-0.03 keV and metallicity of 0.06+/-0.02solar, and both quantities marginally decrease with increasing radius.The hot gas fills the hole in the H I distribution, and the softening ofthe spectrum of the X-ray gas with radius might indicate a thermalcoupling of the hot and cold phases of the interstellar medium aspreviously suggested. The integrated X-ray luminosity of the LMXBs, oncenormalized by the optical luminosity, is a factor of 1.4 less than inthe elliptical galaxy NGC 4697 or S0 galaxy NGC 1553. The difference inLX,stellar/LB between the galaxies appears to bebecause of a lack of very bright sources in NGC 1291. No sources above3×1038 ergs s-1 were found in NGC 1291 when~7 were expected from scaling from NGC 4697 and NGC 1553. The cumulativeLX,stellar/LB value including only sources below1.0×1038 ergs s-1 is remarkably similarbetween NGC 1291 and NGC 4697, if a recent surface brightnessfluctuation-determined distance is assumed for NGC 4697. If this is acommon feature of the LMXB population in early-type systems, it might beused as a distance indicator. Finally, a bright, variable[(1.6-3.1)×1039 ergs s-1] source wasdetected at the optical center of the galaxy. Its spectrum shows excesssoft emission superposed on a highly absorbed power-law component,similar to what has been found in several other low-luminosity activegalactic nuclei. However, the soft component does not vary in intensitylike the hard component, indicating that the soft component is notreprocessed hard component emission.

A Study of the Direct Fitting Method for Measurement of Galaxy Velocity Dispersions
We have measured the central stellar velocity dispersions of 33 nearbyspiral and elliptical galaxies, using a straightforward template-fittingalgorithm operating in the pixel domain. The spectra, obtained with theDouble Spectrograph at Palomar Observatory, cover both the Ca tripletand the Mg I b region, and we present a comparison of the velocitydispersion measurements from these two spectral regions. Model fits tothe Ca triplet region generally yield good results, with littlesensitivity to the choice of template star. In contrast, the Mg I bregion is more sensitive to template mismatch and to details of thefitting procedure, such as the order of a polynomial used to match thecontinuum shape of the template to the object. As a consequence of thecorrelation of the [Mg/Fe] ratio with velocity dispersion, it isdifficult to obtain a satisfactory model fit to the Mg I b lines and thesurrounding Fe blends simultaneously, particularly for giant ellipticalgalaxies with large velocity dispersions. We demonstrate that if themetallicities of the galaxy and template star are not well matched, thendirect template-fitting results are improved if the Mg I b linesthemselves are excluded from the fit and the velocity dispersion isdetermined from the surrounding weaker lines.

Bar Galaxies and Their Environments
The 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.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:11h18m54.00s
Apparent magnitude:9.3

Catalogs and designations:
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MessierM 65
NGC 2000.0NGC 3623

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