WIKISKY.ORG
 Home Getting Started To Survive in the Universe News@Sky Astro Photo The Collection Forum Blog New! FAQ Press Login

# NGC 2681

Contents

### Images

DSS Images   Other Images

### Related articles

 The Central Engines of 19 LINERs as Viewed by ChandraUsing archival Chandra observations of 19 LINERs, we explore the X-rayproperties of their inner kiloparsec to determine the origin of theirnuclear X-ray emission, to investigate the presence of an AGN, and toidentify the power source of the optical emission lines. The relativenumbers of LINER types in our sample are similar to those in opticalspectroscopic surveys. We find that diffuse, thermal emission is verycommon and is concentrated within the central few hundred parsecs. Theaverage spectra of the hot gas in spiral and elliptical galaxies arevery similar to those of normal galaxies. They can be fitted with athermal plasma (kT~0.5 keV) plus a power-law (photon index of 1.3-1.5)model. There are on average three detected point sources in their innerkiloparsec with 1037 ergss-1 Stellar Populations in Nearby Lenticular GalaxiesWe have obtained two-dimensional spectral data for a sample of 58 nearbyS0 galaxies with the Multi-Pupil Fiber/Field Spectrograph of the 6 mtelescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the RussianAcademy of Sciences. The Lick indices Hβ, Mg b, and arecalculated separately for the nuclei and for the bulges taken as therings between R=4'' and 7", and the luminosity-weighted ages,metallicities, and Mg/Fe ratios of the stellar populations are estimatedby comparing the data to single stellar population (SSP) models. Fourtypes of galaxy environments are considered: clusters, centers ofgroups, other places in groups, and the field. The nuclei are found tobe on average slightly younger than the bulges in any type ofenvironment, and the bulges of S0 galaxies in sparse environments areyounger than those in dense environments. The effect can be partlyattributed to the well-known age correlation with the stellar velocitydispersion in early-type galaxies (in our sample the galaxies in sparseenvironments are on average less massive than those in denseenvironments), but for the most massive S0 galaxies, withσ*=170-220 km s-1, the age dependence on theenvironment is still significant at the confidence level of 1.5 σ.Based on observations collected with the 6 m telescope (BTA) at theSpecial Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) of the Russian Academy ofSciences (RAS). Scaling Mass Profiles around Elliptical Galaxies Observed with Chandra and XMM-NewtonWe 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. 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*. How large are the bars in barred galaxies?I present a study of the sizes (semimajor axes) of bars in discgalaxies, combining a detailed R-band study of 65 S0-Sb galaxies withthe B-band measurements of 70 Sb-Sd galaxies from Martin (1995). As hasbeen noted before with smaller samples, bars in early-type (S0-Sb)galaxies are clearly larger than bars in late-type (Sc-Sd) galaxies;this is true both for relative sizes (bar length as fraction ofisophotal radius R25 or exponential disc scalelength h) andabsolute sizes (kpc). S0-Sab bars extend to ~1-10 kpc (mean ~ 3.3 kpc),~0.2-0.8R25 (mean ~ 0.38R25) and ~0.5-2.5h (mean ~1.4h). Late-type bars extend to only ~0.5-3.5 kpc,~0.05-0.35R25 and 0.2-1.5h their mean sizes are ~1.5 kpc, ~0.14R25 and ~0.6h. Sb galaxies resemble earlier-type galaxiesin terms of bar size relative to h; their smallerR25-relative sizes may be a side effect of higher starformation, which increases R25 but not h. Sbc galaxies form atransition between the early- and late-type regimes. For S0-Sbcgalaxies, bar size correlates well with disc size (both R25and h); these correlations are stronger than the known correlation withMB. All correlations appear to be weaker or absent forlate-type galaxies; in particular, there seems to be no correlationbetween bar size and either h or MB for Sc-Sd galaxies.Because bar size scales with disc size and galaxy magnitude for mostHubble types, studies of bar evolution with redshift should selectsamples with similar distributions of disc size or magnitude(extrapolated to present-day values); otherwise, bar frequencies andsizes could be mis-estimated. Because early-type galaxies tend to havelarger bars, resolution-limited studies will preferentially find bars inearly-type galaxies (assuming no significant differential evolution inbar sizes). I show that the bars detected in Hubble Space Telescope(HST) near-infrared(IR) images at z~ 1 by Sheth et al. have absolutesizes consistent with those in bright, nearby S0-Sb galaxies. I alsocompare the sizes of real bars with those produced in simulations anddiscuss some possible implications for scenarios of secular evolutionalong the Hubble sequence. Simulations often produce bars as large as(or larger than) those seen in S0-Sb galaxies, but rarely any as smallas those in Sc-Sd galaxies. Multicomponent decompositions for a sample of S0 galaxiesWe have estimated the bulge-to-total (B/T) light ratios in theKs band for a sample of 24 S0, S0/a and Sa galaxies byapplying a two-dimensional multicomponent decomposition method. For thedisc an exponential function is used, the bulges are fitted by aSérsic R1/n function and the bars and ovals aredescribed either by a Sérsic or a Ferrers function. In order toavoid non-physical solutions, preliminary characterization of thestructural components is made by inspecting the radial profiles of theorientation parameters and the low azimuthal wavenumber Fourieramplitudes and phases. In order to identify also the inner structures,unsharp masks were created: previously undetected inner spiral arms werefound in NGC 1415 and marginally in NGC 3941. Most importantly, we foundthat S0s have a mean K ratio of 0.24 +/- 0.11,which is significantly smaller than the mean R=0.6 generally reported in the literature. Also, the surface brightnessprofiles of the bulges in S0s were found to be more exponential-likethan generally assumed, the mean shape parameter of the bulge being= 2.1 +/- 0.7. We did not find examples of barred S0s lackingthe disc component, but we found some galaxies (NGC 718, 1452 and 4608)having a non-exponential disc in the bar region. To our knowledge, ourstudy is the first attempt to apply a multicomponent decompositionmethod for a moderately sized sample of early-type disc galaxies. XMM-Newton observations of the interacting galaxy pairs NGC 7771/0 and NGC 2342/1We present XMM-Newton X-ray observations of the interacting galaxy pairsNGC 7771/7770 and NGC 2342/2341. In NGC 7771, for the first time we areable to resolve the X-ray emission into a bright central source plus twobright (LX > 1040 erg s-1)ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) located either end of the bar. In thebright central source (LX~ 1041 ergs-1), the soft emission is well-modelled by a two-temperaturethermal plasma with kT= 0.4/0.7 keV. The hard emission is modelled witha flat absorbed power-law (Γ~ 1.7, NH~ 1022cm-2), and this together with a low-significance (1.7σ)~ 300 eV equivalent width emission line at ~6 keV are the firstindications that NGC 7771 may host a low-luminosity AGN. For the barULXs, a power-law fit to X-1 is improved at the 2.5σ level withthe addition of a thermal plasma component (kT~ 0.3 keV), while X-2 isimproved only at the 1.3σ level with the addition of a discblackbody component with Tin~ 0.2 keV. Both sources arevariable on short time-scales implying that their emission is dominatedby single accreting X-ray binaries (XRBs). The three remaining galaxies,NGC 7770, NGC 2342 and NGC 2341, have observed X-ray luminosities of0.2, 1.8 and 0.9 × 1041 erg s-1,respectively (0.3-10 keV). Their integrated spectra are alsowell-modelled by multi-temperature thermal plasma components with kT=0.2-0.7 keV, plus power-law continua with slopes of Γ= 1.8-2.3that are likely to represent the integrated emission of populations ofXRBs as observed in other nearby merger systems. A comparison with otherisolated, interacting and merging systems shows that all four galaxiesfollow the established correlations for starburst galaxies betweenX-ray, far-infrared and radio luminosities, demonstrating that theirX-ray outputs are dominated by their starburst components. The stellar populations of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei - III. Spatially resolved spectral propertiesIn a recently completed survey of the stellar population properties oflow-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and LINER/HIItransition objects (TOs), we have identified a numerous class ofgalactic nuclei which stand out because of their conspicuous108-9 yr populations, traced by high-order Balmer absorptionlines and other stellar indices. These objects are called young-TOs',because they all have TO-like emission-line ratios. In this paper weextend this previous work, which concentrated on the nuclear properties,by investigating the radial variations of spectral properties inlow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our analysis is based onhigh signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectra in the 3500-5500Å interval for a sample of 47 galaxies. The data probe distancesof typically up to 850 pc from the nucleus with a resolution of ~100 pc(~1 arcsec) and S/N ~ 30. Stellar population gradients are mapped by theradial profiles of absorption-line equivalent widths and continuumcolours along the slit. These variations are further analysed by meansof a decomposition of each spectrum in terms of template galaxiesrepresentative of very young (<=107 yr), intermediate age(108-9 yr) and old (1010 yr) stellar populations.This study reveals that young-TOs also differ from old-TOs andold-LINERs in terms of the spatial distributions of their stellarpopulations and dust. Specifically, our main findings are as follows.(i) Significant stellar population gradients are found almostexclusively in young-TOs. (ii) The intermediate age population ofyoung-TOs, although heavily concentrated in the nucleus, reachesdistances of up to a few hundred pc from the nucleus. Nevertheless, thehalf width at half-maximum of its brightness profile is more typically100 pc or less. (iii) Objects with predominantly old stellar populationspresent spatially homogeneous spectra, be they LINERs or TOs. (iv)Young-TOs have much more dust in their central regions than otherLLAGNs. (v) The B-band luminosities of the central <~1 Gyr populationin young-TOs are within an order of magnitude of MB=-15,implying masses of the order of ~107-108Msolar. This population was 10-100 times more luminous in itsformation epoch, at which time young massive stars would have completelyoutshone any active nucleus, unless the AGN too was brighter in thepast. A Chandra Survey of Nearby Spiral Galaxies. I. Point Source CatalogsEmission from discrete point sources dominates the X-ray luminosity inspiral galaxies. We present results from a survey of 11 nearby, nearlyface-on spiral galaxies with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Thesegalaxies span the Hubble sequence for spirals, allowing insights intothe X-ray source population of many diverse systems. In this paper, wepresent source lists for the 11 galaxies along with fluxes,luminosities, X-ray colors, and variability properties. We brieflydiscuss X-ray luminosity functions and how they relate to star formationof the host galaxies. We also discuss source colors and variability andwhat these can tell us about the composition of the X-ray sourcepopulation. UV/Optical Nuclear Activity in the gE Galaxy NGC 1399Using HST STIS, we have detected far-ultraviolet nuclear activity in thegiant elliptical galaxy NGC 1399, the central and brightest galaxy inthe Fornax I cluster. The source reached a maximum observed far-UVluminosity of ~1.2×1039 ergs s-1 in 1999January. It was detectable in earlier HST archival images in 1996 (Bband) but not in 1991 (V band) or 1993 (UV). It faded by a factor of ~4by mid-2000. The source is almost certainly associated with thelow-luminosity AGN responsible for the radio emission in NGC 1399. Theproperties of the outburst are remarkably similar to the UV-brightnuclear transient discovered earlier in NGC 4552 by Renzini andcoworkers. The source is much fainter than expected from its Bondiaccretion rate (estimated from Chandra high-resolution X-ray images),even in the context of radiatively inefficient accretion flow''models, and its variability also appears inconsistent with such models.High spatial resolution UV monitoring is a valuable means to studyactivity in nearby LLAGNs. The Link between Star Formation and Accretion in LINERs: A Comparison with Other Active Galactic Nucleus SubclassesWe present archival high-resolution X-ray imaging observations of 25nearby LINERs observed by ACIS on board Chandra. This sample builds onour previously published proprietary and archival X-ray observations andincludes the complete set of LINERs with published black hole masses andFIR luminosities that have been observed by Chandra. Of the 82 LINERsobserved by Chandra, 41 (50%) display hard nuclear cores consistent withan AGN. The nuclear 2-10 keV luminosities of these AGN-LINERs range from~2×1038 to ~1×1044 ergss-1. Reinforcing our previous work, we find a significantcorrelation between the Eddington ratio,Lbol/LEdd, and the FIR luminosity,LFIR, as well as the IR brightness ratio,LFIR/LB, in the host galaxy of AGN-LINERs thatextends over 7 orders of magnitude in Lbol/LEdd.Combining our AGN-LINER sample with galaxies from other AGN subclasses,we find that this correlation is reinforced in a sample of 129 AGNs,extending over almost 9 orders of magnitude inLbol/LEdd. Using archival and previously publishedobservations of the 6.2 μm PAH feature from ISO, we find that it isunlikely that dust heating by the AGN dominates the FIR luminosity inour sample of AGNs. Our results may therefore imply a fundamental linkbetween the mass accretion rate (M˙), as measured by the Eddingtonratio, and the star formation rate (SFR), as measured by the FIRluminosity. Apart from the overall correlation, we find that thedifferent AGN subclasses occupy distinct regions in the LFIRand Lbol/LEdd plane. Assuming a constant radiativeefficiency for accretion, our results may imply a variation in theSFR/M˙ ratio as a function of AGN activity level, a result that mayhave significant consequences for our understanding of galaxy formationand black hole growth. The Hubble Space Telescope View of LINER Nuclei: Evidence for a Dual Population?We study a complete, distance-limited sample of 25 LINERs, 21 of whichhave been imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope. In nine objects wedetect an unresolved nucleus. To study their physical properties, wecompare the radio and optical properties of the nuclei of LINERs withthose of other samples of local active galactic nuclei (AGNs), namely,Seyfert galaxies and low-luminosity radio galaxies (LLRGs). Our resultsshow that the LINER population is not homogeneous, as there are twosubclasses: (1) the first class is similar to the LLRG class, as itextends the population of radio-loud nuclei to lower luminosities; (2)the second is similar to Seyfert galaxies and extends the properties ofradio-quiet nuclei toward the lowest luminosities. The objects areoptimally discriminated in the plane formed by the black hole massversus nuclear radio loudness: all radio-loud LINERs haveMBH>~108Msolar, while Seyfertgalaxies and radio-quiet LINERs haveMBH<~108Msolar. The different natureof the various classes of local AGNs are best understood when thefraction of the Eddington luminosity they irradiate,Lo/LEdd, is plotted against the nuclearradio-loudness parameter: Seyfert galaxies are associated withrelatively high radiative efficienciesLo/LEdd>~10-4 (and high accretionrates onto low-mass black holes); LLRGs are associated with lowradiative efficiencies (and low accretion rates onto high-mass blackholes); all LINERs have low radiative efficiency (and accretion rates)and can be radio-loud or radio-quiet, depending on their black holemass.Based on observations obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute,which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research inAstronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. A catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources in external galaxiesWe present a catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in externalgalaxies. The aim of this catalogue is to provide easy access to theproperties of ULXs, their possible counterparts at other wavelengths(optical, IR, and radio), and their host galaxies. The cataloguecontains 229 ULXs reported in the literature until April 2004. Most ULXsare stellar-mass-black hole X-ray binaries, but it is not excluded thatsome ULXs could be intermediate-mass black holes. A small fraction ofthe candidate ULXs may be background Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) andSupernova Remnants (SNRs). ULXs with luminosity above 1040ergs s-1 are found in both starburst galaxies and in thehalos of early-type galaxies.Table 1 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/429/1125 The Ultraluminous X-Ray Source Population from the Chandra Archive of GalaxiesOne hundred fifty-four discrete non-nuclear ultraluminous X-ray (ULX)sources, with spectroscopically determined intrinsic X-ray luminositiesgreater than 1039 ergs s-1, are identified in 82galaxies observed with Chandra's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer.Source positions, X-ray luminosities, and spectral and timingcharacteristics are tabulated. Statistical comparisons between theseX-ray properties and those of the weaker discrete sources in the samefields (mainly neutron star and stellar-mass black hole binaries) aremade. Sources above ~1038 ergs s-1 display similarspatial, spectral, color, and variability distributions. In particular,there is no compelling evidence in the sample for a new and distinctclass of X-ray object such as the intermediate-mass black holes.Eighty-three percent of ULX candidates have spectra that can bedescribed as absorbed power laws with index <Γ>=1.74 andcolumn density =2.24×1021cm-2, or ~5 times the average Galactic column. About 20% ofthe ULXs have much steeper indices indicative of a soft, and likelythermal, spectrum. The locations of ULXs in their host galaxies arestrongly peaked toward their galaxy centers. The deprojected radialdistribution of the ULX candidates is somewhat steeper than anexponential disk, indistinguishable from that of the weaker sources.About 5%-15% of ULX candidates are variable during the Chandraobservations (which average 39.5 ks). Comparison of the cumulative X-rayluminosity functions of the ULXs to Chandra Deep Field results suggests~25% of the sources may be background objects, including 14% of the ULXcandidates in the sample of spiral galaxies and 44% of those inelliptical galaxies, implying the elliptical galaxy ULX population isseverely compromised by background active galactic nuclei. Correlationswith host galaxy properties confirm the number and total X-rayluminosity of the ULXs are associated with recent star formation andwith galaxy merging and interactions. The preponderance of ULXs instar-forming galaxies as well as their similarities to less-luminoussources suggest they originate in a young but short-lived populationsuch as the high-mass X-ray binaries with a smaller contribution (basedon spectral slope) from recent supernovae. The number of ULXs inelliptical galaxies scales with host galaxy mass and can be explainedmost simply as the high-luminosity end of the low-mass X-ray binarypopulation. Emission Line Properties of Active Galactic Nuclei from a Post-COSTAR Hubble Space Telescope Faint Object Spectrograph Spectral AtlasWe present consistent emission-line measurements for active galacticnuclei (AGNs), useful for reliable statistical studies of emission lineproperties. This paper joins a series including similar measurements of993 spectra from the Large Bright Quasar Survey and 174 spectra of AGNsobtained from the Faint Object Spectrograph (FOS) on the Hubble SpaceTelescope (HST) prior to the installation of COSTAR. This time weconcentrate on 220 spectra obtained with the FOS after the installationof COSTAR, completing the emission line analysis of all FOS archivalspectra. We use the same automated technique as in previous papers,which accounts for Galactic extinction, models blended optical and UViron emission, includes Galactic and intrinsic absorption lines, andmodels emission lines using multiple Gaussians. We present UV andoptical emission line parameters (equivalent widths, fluxes, FWHM, andline positions) for a large number (28) of emission lines includingupper limits for undetected lines. Further scientific analyses will bepresented in subsequent papers. Circumnuclear Structure and Black Hole Fueling: Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS Imaging of 250 Active and Normal GalaxiesWhy are the nuclei of some galaxies more active than others? If mostgalaxies harbor a central massive black hole, the main difference isprobably in how well it is fueled by its surroundings. We investigatethe hypothesis that such a difference can be seen in the detailedcircumnuclear morphologies of galaxies using several quantitativelydefined features, including bars, isophotal twists, boxy and diskyisophotes, and strong nonaxisymmetric features in unsharp-masked images.These diagnostics are applied to 250 high-resolution images of galaxycenters obtained in the near-infrared with NICMOS on the Hubble SpaceTelescope. To guard against the influence of possible biases andselection effects, we have carefully matched samples of Seyfert 1,Seyfert 2, LINER, starburst, and normal galaxies in their basicproperties, taking particular care to ensure that each was observed witha similar average scale (10-15 pc pixel-1). Severalmorphological differences among our five different spectroscopicclassifications emerge from the analysis. The H II/starburst galaxiesshow the strongest deviations from smooth elliptical isophotes, whilethe normal galaxies and LINERs have the least disturbed morphology. TheSeyfert 2s have significantly more twisted isophotes than any othercategory, and the early-type Seyfert 2s are significantly more disturbedthan the early-type Seyfert 1s. The morphological differences betweenSeyfert 1s and Seyfert 2s suggest that more is at work than simply theviewing angle of the central engine. They may correspond to differentevolutionary stages. Diffuse X-Ray Emission in Spiral GalaxiesWe compare the soft diffuse X-ray emission from Chandra images of 12nearby intermediate-inclination spiral galaxies to the morphology seenin Hα, molecular gas, and mid-infrared emission. We find thatdiffuse X-ray emission is often located along spiral arms in the outerparts of spiral galaxies but tends to be distributed in a more nearlyradially symmetric morphology in the center. The X-ray morphology in thespiral arms matches that seen in the mid-infrared or Hα and thusimplies that the X-ray emission is associated with recent active starformation. In the spiral arms there is a good correlation between thelevel of diffuse X-ray emission and that in the mid-infrared indifferent regions. The correlation between X-ray and mid-IR flux in thegalaxy centers is less strong. We also find that the central X-rayemission tends to be more luminous in galaxies with brighter bulges,suggesting that more than one process is contributing to the level ofcentral diffuse X-ray emission. We see no strong evidence for X-rayemission trailing the location of high-mass star formation in spiralarms. However, population synthesis models predict a high mechanicalenergy output rate from supernovae for a time period that is about 10times longer than the lifetime of massive ionizing stars, conflictingwith the narrow appearance of the arms in X-rays. The fraction ofsupernova energy that goes into heating the interstellar medium mustdepend on environment and is probably higher near sites of active starformation. The X-ray estimated emission measures suggest that the volumefilling factors and scale heights are low in the outer parts of thesegalaxies but higher in the galaxy centers. The differences between theX-ray properties and morphology in the centers and outer parts of thesegalaxies suggest that galactic fountains operate in outer galaxy disksbut that winds are primarily driven from galaxy centers. The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph ObservationsWe present a study of the stellar populations of low-luminosity activegalactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our goal is to search for spectroscopicsignatures of young and intermediate-age stars and to investigate theirrelationship with the ionization mechanism in LLAGNs. The method used isbased on the stellar population synthesis of the optical continuum ofthe innermost (20-100 pc) regions in these galaxies. For this purpose,we have collected high spatial resolution optical (2900-5700 Å)STIS spectra of 28 nearby LLAGNs that are available in the Hubble SpaceTelescope archive. The analysis of these data is compared with a similaranalysis also presented here for 51 ground-based spectra of LLAGNs. Ourmain findings are as follows: (1) No features due to Wolf-Rayet starswere convincingly detected in the STIS spectra. (2) Young starscontribute very little to the optical continuum in the ground-basedaperture. However, the fraction of light provided by these stars ishigher than 10% in most of the weak-[O I] ([OI]/Hα<=0.25) LLAGNSTIS spectra. (3) Intermediate-age stars contribute significantly to theoptical continuum of these nuclei. This population is more frequent inobjects with weak than with strong [O I]. Weak-[O I] LLAGNs that haveyoung stars stand out for their intermediate-age population. (4) Most ofthe strong-[O I] LLAGNs have predominantly old stellar population. A fewof these objects also show a featureless continuum that contributessignificantly to the optical continuum. These results suggest that youngand intermediate-age stars do not play a significant role in theionization of LLAGNs with strong [O I]. However, the ionization inweak-[O I] LLAGNs with young and/or intermediate-age populations couldbe due to stellar processes. A comparison of the properties of theseobjects with Seyfert 2 galaxies that harbor a nuclear starburst suggeststhat weak-[O I] LLAGNs are the lower luminosity counterparts of theSeyfert 2 composite nuclei.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. Based on observations made with the Nordic OpticalTelescope (NOT), operated on the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark,Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio delRoque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica deCanarias. The Stellar Populations of Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei. I. Ground-based ObservationsWe present a spectroscopic study of the stellar populations oflow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). Our main goal is todetermine whether the stars that live in the innermost (100 pc scale)regions of these galaxies are in some way related to the emission-lineproperties, which would imply a link between the stellar population andthe ionization mechanism. High signal-to-noise ratio, ground-basedlong-slit spectra in the 3500-5500 Å interval were collected for60 galaxies: 51 LINERs and LINER/H II transition objects, two starburstgalaxies, and seven nonactive galaxies. In this paper, the first of aseries, we (1) describe the sample; (2) present the nuclear spectra; (3)characterize the stellar populations of LLAGNs by means of an empiricalcomparison with normal galaxies; (4) measure a set of spectral indices,including several absorption-line equivalent widths and colorsindicative of stellar populations; and (5) correlate the stellar indiceswith emission-line ratios that may distinguish between possibleexcitation sources for the gas. Our main findings are as follows: (1)Few LLAGNs have a detectable young (<~107 yr) starburstcomponent, indicating that very massive stars do not contributesignificantly to the optical continuum. In particular, no features dueto Wolf-Rayet stars were convincingly detected. (2) High-order Balmerabsorption lines of H I (HOBLs), on the other hand, are detected in ~40%of LLAGNs. These features, which are strongest in108-109 yr intermediate-age stellar populations,are accompanied by diluted metal absorption lines and bluer colors thanother objects in the sample. (3) These intermediate-age populations arevery common (~50%) in LLAGNs with relatively weak [O I] emission([OI]/Hα<=0.25) but rare (~10%) in LLAGNs with stronger [O I].This is intriguing since LLAGNs with weak [O I] have been previouslyhypothesized to be transition objects'' in which both an AGN and youngstars contribute to the emission-line excitation. Massive stars, ifpresent, are completely outshone by intermediate-age and old stars inthe optical. This happens in at least a couple of objects whereindependent UV spectroscopy detects young starbursts not seen in theoptical. (4) Objects with predominantly old stars span the whole rangeof [O I]/Hα values, but (5) sources with significant young and/orintermediate-age populations are nearly all (~90%) weak-[O I] emitters.These new findings suggest a link between the stellar populations andthe gas ionization mechanism. The strong-[O I] objects are most likelytrue LLAGNs, with stellar processes being insignificant. However, theweak-[O I] objects may comprise two populations, one where theionization is dominated by stellar processes and another where it isgoverned by either an AGN or a more even mixture of stellar and AGNprocesses. Possible stellar sources for the ionization include weakstarbursts, supernova remnants, and evolved poststarburst populations.These scenarios are examined and constrained by means of complementaryobservations and detailed modeling of the stellar populations inforthcoming communications.Based on observations made with the Nordic Optical Telescope, operatedon the island of La Palma jointly by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,and Sweden, in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofísica de Canárias. Old and Young X-Ray Point Source Populations in Nearby GalaxiesWe have analyzed Chandra ACIS observations of 32 nearby spiral andelliptical galaxies and present the results of 1441 X-ray point sourcesthat were detected in these galaxies. The total point-source X-ray(0.3-8.0 keV) luminosity LXP is well correlated with theB-band, K-band, and FIR+UV luminosities of spiral host galaxies and iswell correlated with the B-band and K-band luminosities of ellipticalgalaxies. This suggests an intimate connection between LXPand both the old and young stellar populations, for which K and FIR+UVluminosities are reasonable proxies for the galaxy mass M and starformation rate SFR. We derive proportionality constantsα=1.3×1029 ergs s-1M-1solar and β=0.7×1039 ergss-1 (Msolar yr-1)-1, whichcan be used to estimate the old and young components from M and SFR,respectively. The cumulative X-ray luminosity functions for the pointsources have significantly different slopes. For the spiral andstarburst galaxies, γ~0.6-0.8, and for the elliptical galaxies,γ~1.4. This implies that the most luminous point sources-thosewith LX>~1038 ergss-1-dominate LXP for the spiral andstarburst galaxies. Most of the point sources have X-ray colors that areconsistent with soft-spectrum (photon index Γ~1-2) low-mass X-raybinaries, accretion-powered black hole high-mass X-ray binaries (BHHMXBs), or ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs, also known as IXOs). Werule out hard-spectrum neutron star HMXBs (e.g., accretion-powered X-raypulsars) as contributing much to LXP. Thus, for spirals,LXP is dominated by ULXs and BH HMXBs. We find no discernibledifference between the X-ray colors of ULXs(LX>=1039 ergs s-1) in spiralgalaxies and point sources withLX~1038-1039 ergs s-1. Weestimate that >~20% of all ULXs found in spirals originate from theolder (Population II) stellar populations, indicating that many of theULXs that have been found in spiral galaxies are in fact Population IIULXs, like those in elliptical galaxies. We find that LXPdepends linearly (within uncertainties) on both M and SFR for our samplegalaxies (M<~1011 Msolar and SFR<~10Msolar yr-1). Inner-truncated Disks in GalaxiesWe present an analysis of the disk brightness profiles of 218 spiral andlenticular galaxies. At least 28% of disk galaxies exhibit innertruncations in these profiles. There are no significant trends oftruncation incidence with Hubble type, but the incidence among barredsystems is 49%, more than 4 times that for nonbarred galaxies. However,not all barred systems have inner truncations, and not allinner-truncated systems are currently barred. Truncations represent areal dearth of disk stars in the inner regions and are not an artifactof our selection or fitting procedures nor the result of obscuration bydust. Disk surface brightness profiles in the outer regions are wellrepresented by simple exponentials for both truncated and nontruncateddisks. However, truncated and nontruncated systems have systematicallydifferent slopes and central surface brightness parameters for theirdisk brightness distributions. Truncation radii do not appear tocorrelate well with the sizes or brightnesses of the bulges. Thissuggests that the low angular momentum material apparently missing fromthe inner disk was not simply consumed in forming the bulge population.Disk parameters and the statistics of bar orientations in our sampleindicate that the missing stars of the inner disk have not simply beenredistributed azimuthally into bar structures. The sharpness of thebrightness truncations and their locations with respect to othergalactic structures suggest that resonances associated with diskkinematics, or tidal interactions with the mass of bulge stars, might beresponsible for this phenomenon. Structure and kinematics of candidatedouble-barred galaxiesResults of optical and NIR spectral and photometric observations of asample of candidate double-barred galaxies are presented. Velocityfields and velocity dispersion maps of stars and ionized gas, continuumand emission-line images were constructed from integral-fieldspectroscopy observations carried out at the 6 m telescope (BTA) of SAORAS, with the MPFS spectrograph and the scanning Fabry-PerotInterferometer. NGC 2681 was also observed with thelong-slit spectrograph of the BTA. Optical and NIR images were obtainedat the BTA and at the 2.1 m telescope (OAN, México).High-resolution images were retrieved from the HST data archive.Morphological and kinematic features of all 13 sample objects aredescribed in detail. Attention is focused on the interpretation ofobserved non-circular motions of gas and stars in circumnuclear (onekiloparsec-scale) regions. We have shown first of all that these motionsare caused by the gravitational potential of a large-scale bar.NGC 3368 and NGC 3786 have nuclearbars only, their isophotal twist at larger radii being connected withthe bright spiral arms. Three cases of inner polar disks in our sample(NGC 2681, NGC 3368 andNGC 5850) are considered. We found ionized-gascounter-rotation in the central kiloparsec of the lenticular galaxyNGC 3945. Seven galaxies (NGC 470,NGC 2273, NGC 2681, NGC3945, NGC 5566, NGC5905, and NGC 6951) have inner mini-disksnested in large-scale bars. Minispiral structures occur often in thesenuclear disks. It is interesting that the majority of the observed,morphological and kinematical, features in the sample galaxies can beexplained without the secondary bar hypothesis. Thus we suggest that adynamically independent secondary bar is a rarer phenomenon than followsfrom isophotal analysis of the images only.Based on observations carried out at the 6 m telescope of the SpecialAstrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, operatedunder the financial support of the Science Department of Russia(registration number 01-43), at the 2.1 m telescope of the ObservatorioAstronónico Nacional, San Pedro Martir, México, and fromthe data archive of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope at the SpaceTelescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the association ofUniversities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS5-26555.Tables 1 to 6 and Figures 2-13 and 15-18 are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Radio emission from AGN detected by the VLA FIRST surveyUsing the most recent (April 2003) version of the VLA FIRST survey radiocatalog, we have searched for radio emission from >2800 AGN takenfrom the most recent (2001) version of the Veron-Cetty and Veron AGNcatalog. These AGN lie in the 9033 square degrees of sky alreadycovered by the VLA FIRST survey. Our work has resulted in positivedetection of radio emission from 775 AGN of which 214 are new detectionsat radio wavelengths.Tables 3 and 4 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/416/35 Double-barred galaxies. I. A catalog of barred galaxies with stellar secondary bars and inner disksI present a catalog of 67 barred galaxies which contain distinct,elliptical stellar structures inside their bars. Fifty of these aredouble-barred galaxies: a small-scale, inner or secondary bar isembedded within a large-scale, outer or primary bar. I providehomogenized measurements of the sizes, ellipticities, and orientationsof both inner and outer bars, along with global parameters for thegalaxies. The other 17 are classified as inner-disk galaxies, where alarge-scale bar harbors an inner elliptical structure which is alignedwith the galaxy's outer disk. Four of the double-barred galaxies alsopossess inner disks, located in between the inner and outer bars. Whilethe inner-disk classification is ad-hoc - and undoubtedly includes someinner bars with chance alignments (five such probable cases areidentified) - there is good evidence that inner disks form astatistically distinct population, and that at least some are indeeddisks rather than bars. In addition, I list 36 galaxies which may bedouble-barred, but for which current observations are ambiguous orincomplete, and another 23 galaxies which have been previously suggestedas potentially being double-barred, but which are probably not. Falsedouble-bar identifications are usually due to features such as nuclearrings and spirals being misclassified as bars; I provide someillustrated examples of how this can happen.A detailed statistical analysis of the general population of double-barand inner-disk galaxies, as represented by this catalog, will bepresented in a companion paper.Tables \ref{tab:measured} and \ref{tab:deproj} are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org The Hα galaxy survey. I. The galaxy sample, Hα narrow-band observations and star formation parameters for 334 galaxiesWe discuss the selection and observations of a large sample of nearbygalaxies, which we are using to quantify the star formation activity inthe local Universe. The sample consists of 334 galaxies across allHubble types from S0/a to Im and with recession velocities of between 0and 3000 km s-1. The basic data for each galaxy are narrowband H\alpha +[NII] and R-band imaging, from which we derive starformation rates, H\alpha +[NII] equivalent widths and surfacebrightnesses, and R-band total magnitudes. A strong correlation is foundbetween total star formation rate and Hubble type, with the strongeststar formation in isolated galaxies occurring in Sc and Sbc types. Moresurprisingly, no significant trend is found between H\alpha +[NII]equivalent width and galaxy R-band luminosity. More detailed analyses ofthe data set presented here will be described in subsequent papers.Based on observations made with the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope operatedon the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group in the SpanishObservatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto deAstrofísica de Canarias.The full version of Table \ref{tab3} is available in electronic form atthe CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/23 Reduced image datafor this survey can be downloaded fromhttp://www.astro.livjm.ac.uk/HaGS/ Ultraluminous X-ray source populations in normal galaxies: a preliminary survey with ChandraWe present results of a Chandra survey of the ultraluminous X-raysources (ULX) in 13 normal galaxies, in which we combine sourcedetection with X-ray flux measurement. 22 ULX were detected, i.e. withLx > 1 × 1039 erg s-1(L10) and 39 other sources were detected with Lx> 5 × 1038 erg s-1 (L5). Wealso use radial intensity profiles to remove extended sources from thesample. The majority of sources are not extended, which for a typicaldistance constrains the emission region size to less than 50 pc. X-raycolour-colour diagrams and spectral fitting results were examined forindicators of the ULX nature. In the case of the brighter sources,spectral fitting generally requires two-component models. In only a fewcases do colour-colour diagrams or spectral fitting provide evidence ofa black hole nature. We find no evidence of a correlation with stellarmass, however, there is a strong correlation with star formation asindicated by the 60-μm flux as found in previous studies. An Imaging Survey of Early-Type Barred GalaxiesThis paper presents the results of a high-resolution imaging survey,using both ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope images, of a completesample of nearby barred S0-Sa galaxies in the field, with a particularemphasis on identifying and measuring central structures within thebars: secondary bars, inner disks, nuclear rings and spirals, andoff-plane dust. A discussion of the frequency and statistical propertiesof the various types of inner structures has already been published.Here we present the data for the individual galaxies and measurements oftheir bars and inner structures. We set out the methods we use to findand measure these structures, and how we discriminate between them. Inparticular, we discuss some of the deficiencies of ellipse fitting ofthe isophotes, which by itself cannot always distinguish between bars,rings, spirals, and dust, and which can produce erroneous measurementsof bar sizes and orientations. On the Nature of Low-Luminosity Narrow-Line Active Galactic NucleiThere is clear observational evidence that some narrow-line (type 2)active galactic nuclei (AGNs) have a hidden broad-line region (BLR) andare thus intrinsically broad-line (type 1) AGNs. Does this AGNunification apply for all type 2 AGNs? Indirect arguments suggest thatsome true'' type 2 AGNs, i.e., AGNs having no obscured BLR, do exist,but it is not clear why the BLR is missing in these AGNs. Here we pointout a possible natural explanation. The observed radius-luminosityrelation for the BLR implies an increasing line width with decreasingluminosity for a given black hole mass (MBH). In addition,there appears to be an upper limit to the observed width of broademission lines in AGNs of Δvmax~25,000 kms-1, which may reflect a physical limit above which the BLRmay not be able to survive. Thus, at a low enough luminosity the BLRradius shrinks below the Δvmax radius, leaving noregion where the BLR can exist, although the AGN may remain otherwisenormal.'' The implied minimum bolometric luminosity required tosustain a BLR with Δv<25,000 km s-1 isLmin~1041.8(MBH/108Msolar)2.All AGNs with L A Search for `Dwarf'' Seyfert Nuclei. VI. Properties of Emission-Line Nuclei in Nearby GalaxiesWe use the database from Paper III to quantify the global and nuclearproperties of emission-line nuclei in the Palomar spectroscopic surveyof nearby galaxies. We show that the host galaxies of Seyferts, LINERs,and transition objects share remarkably similar large-scale propertiesand local environments. The distinguishing traits emerge on nuclearscales. Compared with LINERs, Seyfert nuclei are an order of magnitudemore luminous and exhibit higher electron densities and internalextinction. We suggest that Seyfert galaxies possess characteristicallymore gas-rich circumnuclear regions and hence a more abundant fuelreservoir and plausibly higher accretion rates. The differences betweenthe ionization states of the narrow emission-line regions of Seyfertsand LINERs can be partly explained by the differences in their nebularproperties. Transition-type objects are consistent with being composite(LINER/H II) systems. With very few exceptions, the stellar populationwithin the central few hundred parsecs of the host galaxies is uniformlyold, a finding that presents a serious challenge to starburst orpost-starburst models for these objects. Seyferts and LINERs havevirtually indistinguishable velocity fields as inferred from their linewidths and line asymmetries. Transition nuclei tend to have narrowerlines and more ambiguous evidence for line asymmetries. All threeclasses of objects obey a strong correlation between line width and lineluminosity. We argue that the angular momentum content of circumnucleargas may be an important factor in determining whether a nucleus becomesactive. Finally, we discuss some possible complications for theunification model of Seyfert galaxies posed by our observations. A Chandra survey of nearby spiral galaxiesWe present results from a Chandra survey of 11 nearby, face-on spiralgalaxies. 24 observations totalling 900 ks of new and archival Chandradata reveal more than 1000 X-ray point sources associated with thegalaxies, diffuse emission, and hundreds of serendipitous sources. Wediscuss source populations and luminosity functions and show that theslope of the X-ray luminosity function is correlated with the starformation rate in the galaxies. We also discuss ultraluminous X-raysources in comparison with sources within the Milky Way. Finally, wediscuss ongoing work on source classification based upon X-ray colorsand spectra, position within the host galaxies, and multiwavelenthcounterparts.
Submit a new article