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 Stellar populations in a complete sample of local radio galaxiesWe investigate the nature of the continuum emission and stellarpopulations in the inner 1-3 kpc of a complete sample of 24 southernradio galaxies, and we compare the results with a control sample of 18non-active early-type galaxies. 12 of the radio galaxies are classifiedas Fanaroff-Riley type I (FR I), eight as FR II and four as intermediateor undefined type (FR x). Optical long-slit spectra are used to performspectral synthesis as a function of distance from the nucleus at anaverage sampling of 0.5-1.0 kpc and to quantify the relativecontributions of a blue featureless continuum and stellar populationcomponents of different ages. Our main finding is a systematicdifference between the stellar populations of the radio and controlsample galaxies: the former have a larger contribution from anintermediate-age (1 Gyr) component, suggesting a connection between thepresent radio activity and a starburst which occurred ~1 Gyr ago. Inaddition, we find a correlation between the contribution of the 1-Gyrcomponent and the radio power, suggesting that more massive starburstshave led to more powerful radio emission. A similar relation is foundbetween the radio power and the mean age of the stellar population, inthe sense that stronger nuclear activity is found in younger galaxies.We also find that the stellar populations of FR I galaxies are, onaverage, older and more homogeneous than those of FR IIs. Significantpopulation gradients were found in only four radio galaxies, which arealso those with more than 10 per cent of their total flux at 4020Åcontributed by age components younger than 100 Myr and/or afeatureless continuum (indistinguishable from a 3-Myr-old stellarpopulation). Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear dataWe have derived ages, metallicities and enhanced-element ratios[α/Fe] for a sample of 83 early-type galaxies essentially ingroups, the field or isolated objects. The stellar-population propertiesderived for each galaxy correspond to the nuclear re/8aperture extraction. The median age found for Es is 5.8+/-0.6 Gyr andthe average metallicity is +0.37+/-0.03 dex. For S0s, the median age is3.0+/-0.6 Gyr and [Z/H]= 0.53+/-0.04 dex. We compare the distribution ofour galaxies in the Hβ-[MgFe] diagram with Fornax galaxies. Ourelliptical galaxies are 3-4 Gyr younger than Es in the Fornax cluster.We find that the galaxies lie in a plane defined by [Z/H]= 0.99logσ0- 0.46 log(age) - 1.60, or in linear terms Z~σ0× (age) -0.5. More massive (largerσ0) and older galaxies present, on average, large[α/Fe] values, and therefore must have undergone shorterstar-formation time-scales. Comparing group against field/isolatedgalaxies, it is not clear that environment plays an important role indetermining their stellar-population history. In particular, ourisolated galaxies show ages differing by more than 8 Gyr. Finally weexplore our large spectral coverage to derive log(O/H) metallicity fromthe Hα and NIIλ6584 and compare it with model-dependent[Z/H]. We find that the O/H abundances are similar for all galaxies, andwe can interpret it as if most chemical evolution has already finishedin these galaxies. Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - I. Observations and nuclear dataThis is the first paper of a series on the investigation of stellarpopulation properties and galaxy evolution of an observationallyhomogeneous sample of early-type galaxies in groups, field and isolatedgalaxies.Here we present high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) long-slit spectroscopyof 86 nearby elliptical and S0 galaxies. Eight of them are isolated,selected according to a rigorous criterion, which guarantees a genuinelow-density subsample. The present survey has the advantage of coveringa larger wavelength range than normally found in the literature, whichincludes [OIII]λ5007 and Hα, both lines important foremission correction. Among the 86 galaxies with S/N >= 15 (perresolution element, for re/8 central aperture), 57 have theirHβ-index corrected for emission (the average correction is 0.190Åin Hβ) and 42 galaxies reveal [OIII]λ5007 emission,of which 16 also show obvious Hα emission. Most of the galaxies inthe sample do not show obvious signs of disturbances nor tidal featuresin the morphologies, although 11 belong to the Arp catalogue of peculiargalaxies; only three of them (NGC 750, 751 and 3226) seem to be stronglyinteracting. We present the measurement of 25 central line-strengthindices calibrated to the Lick/IDS system. Kinematic information isobtained for the sample. We analyse the line-strength index versusvelocity dispersion relations for our sample of mainly low-densityenvironment galaxies, and compare the slope of the relations withcluster galaxies from the literature. Our main findings are that theindex-σ0 relations presented for low-density regionsare not significantly different from those of cluster E/S0s. The slopeof the index-σ0 relations does not seem to change forearly-type galaxies of different environmental densities, but thescatter of the relations seems larger for group, field and isolatedgalaxies than for cluster galaxies. Measuring shapes of galaxy images - II. Morphology of 2MASS galaxiesWe study a sample of 112 galaxies of various Hubble types imaged in theTwo Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) in the near-infrared (NIR; 1-2 μm)J, H and Ks bands. The sample contains (optically classified)32 ellipticals, 16 lenticulars and 64 spirals acquired from the 2MASSExtended Source Catalogue (XSC).We use a set of non-parametric shape measures constructed from theMinkowski functionals (MFs) for galaxy shape analysis. We useellipticity (ɛ) and orientation angle (Φ) as shapediagnostics. With these parameters as functions of area within theisophotal contour, we note that the NIR elliptical galaxies withɛ > 0.2 show a trend of being centrally spherical andincreasingly flattened towards the edge, a trend similar to images inoptical wavelengths. The highly flattened elliptical galaxies showstrong change in ellipticity between the centre and the edge. Thelenticular galaxies show morphological properties resembling eitherellipticals or disc galaxies. Our analysis shows that almost half of thespiral galaxies appear to have bar-like features while the rest arelikely to be non-barred. Our results also indicate that almost one-thirdof spiral galaxies have optically hidden bars.The isophotal twist noted in the orientations of elliptical galaxiesdecreases with the flattening of these galaxies, indicating that twistand flattening are also anticorrelated in the NIR, as found in opticalwavelengths. The orientations of NIR lenticular and spiral galaxies showa wide range of twists. Ages and metallicities of Hickson compact group galaxies Hickson compact groups (HCGs) constitute an interesting extreme in therange of environments in which galaxies are located, as the spacedensity of galaxies in these small groups are otherwise only found inthe centres of much larger clusters. The work presented here uses Lickindices to make a comparison of ages and chemical compositions ofgalaxies in HCGs with those in other environments (clusters, loosegroups and the field). The metallicity and relative abundance ofα-elements' show strong correlations with galaxy age and centralvelocity dispersion, with similar trends found in all environments.However, we show that the previously reported correlation betweenα-element abundance ratios and velocity dispersion disappears whena full account is taken of the abundance ratio pattern in thecalibration stars. This correlation is thus found to be an artefact ofincomplete calibration to the Lick system.Variations are seen in the ranges and average values of age, metallicityand α-element abundance ratios for galaxies in differentenvironments. Age distributions support the hierarchical formationprediction that field galaxies are on average younger than their clustercounterparts. However, the ages of HCG galaxies are shown to be moresimilar to those of cluster galaxies than those in the field, contraryto the expectations of current hierarchical models. A trend for lowervelocity dispersion galaxies to be younger was also seen. This is againinconsistent with hierarchical collapse models, but is qualitativelyconsistent with the latest N-body smoothed particle hydrodynamics modelsbased on monolithic collapse in which star formation continues for manyGyr in low-mass haloes. The Relation between Galaxy Activity and the Dynamics of Compact Groups of GalaxiesUsing a sample of 91 galaxies distributed over 27 compact groups (CGs)of galaxies, we define an index that allows us to quantify their levelof activity due to an active galactic nucleus (AGN) or star formation.By combining the mean activity index with the mean morphological type ofthe galaxies in a group, we are able to quantify the evolutionary stateof the groups. We find that they span an evolutionary sequence thatcorrelates with the spatial configuration of the galaxies in the CG. Wedistinguish three main configuration types: A, B, and C. Type A CGs showpredominantly low velocity dispersions and are rich in late-type spiralsthat show active star formation or harbor an AGN. Type B groups haveintermediate velocity dispersions and contain a large fraction ofinteracting or merging galaxies. Type C comprises CGs with high velocitydispersions, which are dominated by elliptical galaxies that show noactivity. We suggest that evolution proceeds A==>B==>C. Mappingthe groups with different evolution levels in a diagram of radius versusvelocity dispersion does not reveal the pattern expected based on theconventional fast merger model for CGs, which predicts a direct relationbetween these two parameters. Instead, we observe a trend contrary toexpectation: the evolutionary state of a group increases with velocitydispersion. This trend seems to be related to the masses of thestructures in which CGs are embedded. In general, the evolutionary stateof a group increases with the mass of the structure. This suggestseither that galaxies evolve more rapidly in massive structures or thatthe formation of CGs embedded in massive structures predated theformation of CGs associated with lower mass systems. Our observationsare consistent with the structure formation predicted by the CDM model(or ΛCDM), only if the formation of galaxies is a biased process. 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 Measuring shapes of galaxy images - I. Ellipticity and orientationWe suggest a set of morphological measures that we believe can help inquantifying the shapes of two-dimensional cosmological images such asgalaxies, clusters and superclusters of galaxies. The method employsnon-parametric morphological descriptors known as the Minkowskifunctionals in combination with geometric moments widely used in theimage analysis. For the purpose of visualization of the morphologicalproperties of image contour lines, we introduce three auxiliary ellipsesrepresenting the vector and tensor Minkowski functionals. We study thediscreteness, seeing and noise effects on elliptic contours as well astheir morphological characteristics such as the ellipticity andorientation. In order to reduce the effect of noise, we employ atechnique of contour smoothing. We test the method by studying simulatedelliptic profiles of toy spheroidal galaxies ranging in ellipticity fromE0 to E7. We then apply the method to real galaxies, including eightspheroidals, three disc spirals and one peculiar galaxy, as imaged inthe near-infrared Ks-band (2.2 μm) with the Two Micron AllSky Survey. The method is numerically very efficient and can be used inthe study of hundreds of thousands of images obtained in modern surveys. Near-infrared imaging of ellipticals: surface brightness profiles and photometryWe present near-infrared K-band imaging of a large sample of candidatemerger remnant galaxies and Hickson Compact Group ellipticals. We derivelight profile indices, effective radii and surface brightnesses, as wellas total K-band magnitudes. We find that the light distributions of themerger remnant candidates are consistent with those of normal'ellipticals, and scatter around a mean profile index of (1/n) = 0.20.Many of our sample galaxies have surface brightness profiles that arenot well described by a de Vaucouleurs law (1/n= 0.25), and we discussthe implications of this on the derived total magnitudes. Comparing thetotal K magnitudes calculated by extrapolating a de Vaucouleurs profileand those derived using a generalized Sérsic form, we find that asignificant bias is introduced if the de Vaucouleurs law is not a gooddescription of the actual light profile. X-ray scaling properties of early-type galaxiesWe present an analysis of 39 X-ray luminous early-type galaxies observedwith the ROSAT PSPC. Using multicomponent spectral and spatial fits tothese data, we have measured halo abundance, temperature, luminosity andsurface brightness profile. We compare these measurements to similarresults from galaxy groups and clusters, fitting a number of relationscommonly used in the study of these larger objects. In particular, wefind that the σ-TX relation for our sample is similarto that reported for clusters, consistent with βspec= 1,and that the LX-TX relation has a steep slope(gradient 4.8 +/- 0.7) comparable with that found for galaxy groups.Assuming isothermality, we construct three-dimensional models of ourgalaxies, allowing us to measure gas entropy. We find no correlationbetween gas entropy and system mass, but do find a trend forlow-temperature systems to have reduced gas fractions. We conclude thatthe galaxies in our sample are likely to have developed their haloesthrough galaxy winds, influenced by their surrounding environment. Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Circular-Aperture PhotometryWe present R-band CCD photometry for 1332 early-type galaxies, observedas part of the ENEAR survey of peculiar motions using early-typegalaxies in the nearby universe. Circular apertures are used to tracethe surface brightness profiles, which are then fitted by atwo-component bulge-disk model. From the fits, we obtain the structuralparameters required to estimate galaxy distances using theDn-σ and fundamental plane relations. We find thatabout 12% of the galaxies are well represented by a pure r1/4law, while 87% are best fitted by a two-component model. There are 356repeated observations of 257 galaxies obtained during different runsthat are used to derive statistical corrections and bring the data to acommon system. We also use these repeated observations to estimate ourinternal errors. The accuracy of our measurements are tested by thecomparison of 354 galaxies in common with other authors. Typical errorsin our measurements are 0.011 dex for logDn, 0.064 dex forlogre, 0.086 mag arcsec-2 for<μe>, and 0.09 for mRC,comparable to those estimated by other authors. The photometric datareported here represent one of the largest high-quality and uniformall-sky samples currently available for early-type galaxies in thenearby universe, especially suitable for peculiar motion studies.Based on observations at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO),National Optical Astronomy Observatory, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., undercooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF);European Southern Observatory (ESO); Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(FLWO); and the MDM Observatory on Kitt Peak. A new catalogue of ISM content of normal galaxiesWe have compiled a catalogue of the gas content for a sample of 1916galaxies, considered to be a fair representation of normality''. Thedefinition of a normal'' galaxy adopted in this work implies that wehave purposely excluded from the catalogue galaxies having distortedmorphology (such as interaction bridges, tails or lopsidedness) and/orany signature of peculiar kinematics (such as polar rings,counterrotating disks or other decoupled components). In contrast, wehave included systems hosting active galactic nuclei (AGN) in thecatalogue. This catalogue revises previous compendia on the ISM contentof galaxies published by \citet{bregman} and \citet{casoli}, andcompiles data available in the literature from several small samples ofgalaxies. Masses for warm dust, atomic and molecular gas, as well asX-ray luminosities have been converted to a uniform distance scale takenfrom the Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC). We have used twodifferent normalization factors to explore the variation of the gascontent along the Hubble sequence: the blue luminosity (LB)and the square of linear diameter (D225). Ourcatalogue significantly improves the statistics of previous referencecatalogues and can be used in future studies to define a template ISMcontent for normal'' galaxies along the Hubble sequence. The cataloguecan be accessed on-line and is also available at the Centre desDonnées Stellaires (CDS).The catalogue is available in electronic form athttp://dipastro.pd.astro.it/galletta/ismcat and at the CDS via anonymousftp to\ cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via\http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/405/5 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. Line-strength indices and velocity dispersions for 148 early-type galaxies in different environmentsWe have derived high quality line-strength indices and velocitydispersions for a sample of 148 early-type galaxies in differentenvironments. The wavelength region covered by the observations (lambda=~ 4600 to 6600 Å) includes the Lick/IDS indices Hβ,Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, Fe5015, Fe5270, Fe5335, Fe5406,Fe5709, Fe5782, NaD, TiO1 and TiO2. The data areintended to address possible differences of the stellar populations ofearly-type galaxies in low- and high-density environments. This paperdescribes the sample properties, explains the data reduction andpresents the complete list of all the measurements. Most galaxies of thesample (85%) had no previous measurements of any Lick/IDS indices andfor 30% of the galaxies we present first-time determinations of theirvelocity dispersions. Special care is taken to identify galaxies withemission lines. We found that 62 per cent of the galaxies in the samplehave emission lines, as measured by the equivalent width of the [OIII]5007Å line, EW[OIII] > 0.3 Å. Tables 5 and 6 are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/395/431. They are also available via ftp atftp.mpe.mpg.de in the directory people/dthomas/Beuing02 or via WWW atftp://ftp.mpe.mpg.de/people/dthomas/Beuing02. A catalogue and analysis of X-ray luminosities of early-type galaxiesWe present a catalogue of X-ray luminosities for 401 early-typegalaxies, of which 136 are based on newly analysed ROSAT PSPC pointedobservations. The remaining luminosities are taken from the literatureand converted to a common energy band, spectral model and distancescale. Using this sample we fit the LX:LB relationfor early-type galaxies and find a best-fit slope for the catalogue of~2.2. We demonstrate the influence of group-dominant galaxies on the fitand present evidence that the relation is not well modelled by a singlepower-law fit. We also derive estimates of the contribution to galaxyX-ray luminosities from discrete-sources and conclude that they provideLdscr/LB~=29.5ergs-1LBsolar-1. Wecompare this result with luminosities from our catalogue. Lastly, weexamine the influence of environment on galaxy X-ray luminosity and onthe form of the LX:LB relation. We conclude thatalthough environment undoubtedly affects the X-ray properties ofindividual galaxies, particularly those in the centres of groups andclusters, it does not change the nature of whole populations. X-ray luminosities of galaxies in groupsWe have derived the X-ray luminosities of a sample of galaxies ingroups, making careful allowance for contaminating intragroup emission.The LX:LB and LX:LFIRrelations of spiral galaxies in groups appear to be indistinguishablefrom those in other environments, however the elliptical galaxies fallinto two distinct classes. The first class is central-dominant groupgalaxies, which are very X-ray luminous and may be the focus of groupcooling flows. All other early-type galaxies in groups belong to thesecond class, which populates an almost constant band ofLX/LB over the range9.8 The LX-σ Relation for Galaxies and Clusters of GalaxiesWe demonstrate that individual elliptical galaxies and clusters ofgalaxies form a continuous X-ray luminosity-velocity dispersion(LX-σ) relation. Our samples of 280 clusters and 57galaxies have LX~σ4.4 andLX~σ10, respectively. This unifiedLX-σ relation spans 8 orders of magnitude inLX and is fully consistent with the observed and theoreticalluminosity-temperature scaling laws. Our results support the notion thatgalaxies and clusters of galaxies are the luminous tracers of similardark matter halos. The Optical and Near-Infrared Morphologies of Isolated Early-Type GalaxiesTo study early-type galaxies in their simplest environments, we haveconstructed a well-defined sample of 30 isolated galaxies. The samplecontains all early-type galaxies listed in the Third Reference Catalogueof Bright Galaxies (RC3) with no other cataloged galaxy with a knownredshift lying within a projected radius of 1h-1100 Mpc and +/-1000 km s-1 (where weuse the recession velocities in the RC3). We have obtained optical andnear-infrared images of 23 of the galaxies and of a comparison sample of13 early-type galaxies in X-ray-detected poor groups of galaxies. Wehave applied the techniques of unsharp-masking, galaxy model division,and color maps to search for morphological features that might provideclues to the evolution of these galaxies. Evidence for dust features isfound in approximately 75% of both the isolated and group galaxies (17of 22 and 9 of 12, respectively). However, shells or tidal features aremuch more prevalent in our isolated sample than in our group sample (9of 22=41% vs. 1 of 12=8%, respectively). The isolation and colors ofthese shell galaxies make it unlikely that tidal interactions orasymmetric star formation are the causes of such features. One modelthat is not ruled out is that mergers produce the shells. If shells anddust are both merger signatures, the absence of shells in groupelliptical galaxies implies that shells (1) form more easily, (2) areyounger, and/or (3) are longer lived in isolated environments. Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of GroupsIn this paper we describe the Nearby Optical Galaxy (NOG) sample, whichis a complete, distance-limited (cz<=6000 km s-1) andmagnitude-limited (B<=14) sample of ~7000 optical galaxies. Thesample covers 2/3 (8.27 sr) of the sky (|b|>20deg) andappears to have a good completeness in redshift (97%). We select thesample on the basis of homogenized corrected total blue magnitudes inorder to minimize systematic effects in galaxy sampling. We identify thegroups in this sample by means of both the hierarchical and thepercolation friends-of-friends'' methods. The resulting catalogs ofloose groups appear to be similar and are among the largest catalogs ofgroups currently available. Most of the NOG galaxies (~60%) are found tobe members of galaxy pairs (~580 pairs for a total of ~15% of objects)or groups with at least three members (~500 groups for a total of ~45%of objects). About 40% of galaxies are left ungrouped (field galaxies).We illustrate the main features of the NOG galaxy distribution. Comparedto previous optical and IRAS galaxy samples, the NOG provides a densersampling of the galaxy distribution in the nearby universe. Given itslarge sky coverage, the identification of groups, and its high-densitysampling, the NOG is suited to the analysis of the galaxy density fieldof the nearby universe, especially on small scales. The Nuclear Activity of Galaxies in the Hickson Compact GroupsIn order to investigate the nuclear activity of galaxies residing incompact groups of galaxies, we present results of our opticalspectroscopic program made at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory. We haveperformed optical spectroscopy of 69 galaxies belonging to 31 Hicksoncompact groups (HCGs) of galaxies. Among them, three galaxies havediscordant redshifts and, moreover, spectral quality is too poor toclassify another three galaxies. Therefore, we describe our results forthe remaining 63 galaxies. Our main results are summarized as follows:(1) We have found in our sample 28 active galactic nuclei (AGNs), 16 HII nuclei, and 19 normal galaxies showing no emission line. We used thisHCG sample for statistical analyses. (2) Comparing the frequencydistributions of activity types between the HCGs and the field galaxieswhose data are taken from Ho, Filippenko, & Sargent (382 fieldgalaxies), we find that the frequency of H II nuclei in the HCGs issignificantly less than that in the field. However, this difference maybe due to selection bias to the effect that our HCG sample contains moreearly-type galaxies than the field, because it is known that H II nucleiare rarer in early-type galaxies than in later ones. (3) Applying acorrection to this morphological bias to the HCG sample, we find thatthere is no statistically significant difference in the frequency ofoccurrence of emission-line galaxies between the HCGs and the field.This implies that the dense galaxy environment in the HCGs does notaffect the triggering of either the AGN activity and the nuclearstarburst. We discuss some implications on the nuclear activity in theHCG galaxies. A Test for Large-Scale Systematic Errors in Maps of Galactic ReddeningAccurate maps of Galactic reddening are important for a number ofapplications, such as mapping the peculiar velocity field in the nearbyuniverse. Of particular concern are systematic errors which vary slowlyas a function of position on the sky, as these would induce spuriousbulk flow. We have compared the reddenings of Burstein & Heiles (BH)and those of Schlegel, Finkbeiner, & Davis (SFD) to independentestimates of the reddening, for Galactic latitudes |b|>10^deg. Ourprimary source of Galactic reddening estimates comes from comparing thedifference between the observed B-V colors of early-type galaxies, andthe predicted B-V color determined from the B-V-Mg_2 relation. We havefitted a dipole to the residuals in order to look for large-scalesystematic deviations. There is marginal evidence for a dipolar residualin the comparison between the SFD maps and the observed early-typegalaxy reddenings. If this is due to an error in the SFD maps, then itcan be corrected with a small (13%) multiplicative dipole term. Weargue, however, that this difference is more likely to be due to a small(0.01 mag) systematic error in the measured B-V colors of the early-typegalaxies. This interpretation is supported by a smaller, independentdata set (globular cluster and RR Lyrae stars), which yields a resultinconsistent with the early-type galaxy residual dipole. BH reddeningsare found to have no significant systematic residuals, apart from theknown problem in the region 230^deg X-ray luminosities for a magnitude-limited sample of early-type galaxies from the ROSAT All-Sky SurveyFor a magnitude-limited optical sample (B_T <= 13.5 mag) ofearly-type galaxies, we have derived X-ray luminosities from the ROSATAll-Sky Survey. The results are 101 detections and 192 useful upperlimits in the range from 10^36 to 10^44 erg s^-1. For most of thegalaxies no X-ray data have been available until now. On the basis ofthis sample with its full sky coverage, we find no galaxy with anunusually low flux from discrete emitters. Below log (L_B) ~ 9.2L_⊗ the X-ray emission is compatible with being entirely due todiscrete sources. Above log (L_B) ~ 11.2 L_osolar no galaxy with onlydiscrete emission is found. We further confirm earlier findings that L_xis strongly correlated with L_B. Over the entire data range the slope isfound to be 2.23 (+/- 0.12). We also find a luminosity dependence ofthis correlation. Below log L_x = 40.5 erg s^-1 it is consistent with aslope of 1, as expected from discrete emission. Above this value theslope is close to 2, as expected from gaseous emission. Comparing thedistribution of X-ray luminosities with the models of Ciotti et al.leads to the conclusion that the vast majority of early-type galaxiesare in the wind or outflow phase. Some of the galaxies may have alreadyexperienced the transition to the inflow phase. They show X-rayluminosities in excess of the value predicted by cooling flow modelswith the largest plausible standard supernova rates. A possibleexplanation for these super X-ray-luminous galaxies is suggested by thesmooth transition in the L_x--L_B plane from galaxies to clusters ofgalaxies. Gas connected to the group environment might cause the X-rayoverluminosity. The Evolution of Galaxies in Compact GroupsWe present an analysis of the spectra of 62 galaxies in 15 compactgroups. The galaxies are classified into four activity classes: galaxieswithout emission, starburst galaxies, luminous AGNs (Seyfert andLINERs), and low-luminosity AGNs (LLAGNs). The star formation in theHickson compact group (HCG) starbursts is more intense than in normalspirals, but comparable to that observed in starburst-nucleus galaxies(SBNGs) in the field. In general, the HCG starbursts have mean solar gasmetallicity and do not follow the metallicity-luminosity relation tracedby the early-type SBNGs in the field, suggesting that most of them arelate-type SBNGs. This morphology preference, coupled with theobservation that the HCG starbursts are predominantly located in thehalos of the groups, is consistent with the idea that compact groups areembedded in sparser structures. The stellar metallicities of thenonstarburst galaxies are comparable to those observed in normalgalaxies with similar morphologies, but are relatively high for theirluminosities. In these galaxies, the metal absorption line equivalentwidths are slightly narrower than normal, while the Balmer absorptionlines are relatively strong. All these observations suggest the presenceof a population of intermediate-age stars. These galaxies could bepoststarburst, but at a very advanced stage of evolution, the lastbursts having happened more than 2 Gyr in the past. Our observationssupport a scenario in which the cores of the groups are slowlycollapsing evolved systems embedded in more extended structures. In thecores of the groups, the interactions were more frequent and thegalaxies evolved at a more rapid rate than in their halos. ROSAT X-Ray Colors and Emission Mechanisms in Early-Type GalaxiesThe X-ray colors and X-ray-to-optical luminosity ratios (LX/LB) of 61early-type galaxies observed with the ROSAT PSPC are determined. Thecolors indicate that the X-ray spectral properties of galaxies vary as afunction of LX/LB. The brightest X-ray galaxies have colors that areconsistent with thermal emission from hot gas with roughly the samemetallicity of 50% solar. The spatial variation of the colors indicatesthat the gas temperature in these galaxies increases radially. Galaxieswith medium LX/LB also have spectral properties consistent with emissionfrom hot gas. If a simple one-component thermal model is assumed todescribe the 0.1-2.0 keV X-ray emission in these galaxies, then onepossible explanation for the progressive decrease in LX/LB amonggalaxies of this class could be the progressive decrease in metalabundance of the X-ray-emitting gas contained by the galaxies. However,stellar X-ray emission may become a complicating factor for the faintergalaxies in this medium-LX/LB class. Galaxies with the lowest LX/LBvalues appear to be lacking a hot interstellar component. Their X-raycolors are consistent with those derived from the bulges of the spiralgalaxies M31 and NGC 1291. In M31, the X-ray emission is resolved intodiscrete sources and is apparently due primarily to low-mass X-raybinaries (LMXBs). We therefore suggest that the bulk of the X-rayemission in the faintest elliptical galaxies is also due to LMXBs.Previously, the X-ray spectra of X-ray-faint galaxies had been found tobe described by a hard component, which was attributed to LMXB emission,and a very soft component of unknown origin. We show that the very softcomponent also likely results from LMXBs, as a very soft component isseen in the X-ray spectra of the nearby LMXB Her X-1 and LMXBs in thebulge of M31. If the X-ray emission in X-ray-faint galaxies is primarilyfrom stellar sources, then a range in LX/LB among these galaxiessuggests that the stellar X-ray luminosity does not scale with opticalluminosity, at least for galaxies of low optical luminosities. Thiscould be the result of a decrease in the proportion of LMXBs withdecreasing optical luminosity and/or the effects of fluctuations in thesmall number of LMXBs expected. Structural and Dynamical Analysis of the Hickson Compact GroupsBased on the spectroscopic survey of de Carvalho et al., we analyze thestructural and dynamical properties of 17 Hickson compact groups. Thisanalysis probes a region of 0.dg5 x 0.dg5 around each group and showsthat most of them are part of larger structures. Our results alsosuggest that the Hickson sample is composed of different dynamicalstages of the groups" evolution. Specifically, we identify threepossible evolutionary phases among groups in the sample: loose groups,core + halo systems, and compact groups, each one presenting a distinctsurface density profile. This sequence is consistent with thereplenishment scenario for the formation and evolution of compact groupswithin larger and less dense systems. The Nature of the Activity in Hickson Compact Groups of GalaxiesWe present the results of the spectral classification of the 82brightest galaxies in a sample of 17 compact groups. We verify that theactive galactic nuclei (AGNs) are preferentially located in the mostearly-type and luminous galaxies of the groups, as is usually observedin the field. But these AGNs also appear to be systematicallyconcentrated toward the central parts of the groups. Our observationssuggest a correlation between activity types, morphologies, anddensities of galaxies in the compact groups. This is consistent with ascenario in which galaxies of compact groups evolve by interacting withtheir environment and are currently in a quiet phase of their activity. A catalogue of Mg_2 indices of galaxies and globular clustersWe present a catalogue of published absorption-line Mg_2 indices ofgalaxies and globular clusters. The catalogue is maintained up-to-datein the HYPERCAT database. The measurements are listed together with thereferences to the articles where the data were published. A codeddescription of the observations is provided. The catalogue gathers 3541measurements for 1491 objects (galaxies or globular clusters) from 55datasets. Compiled raw data for 1060 galaxies are zero-point correctedand transformed to a homogeneous system. Tables 1, 3, and 4 areavailable in electronic form only at the CDS, Strasbourg, via anonymousftp 130.79.128.5. Table 2 is available both in text and electronic form. Total magnitude, radius, colour indices, colour gradients and photometric type of galaxiesWe present a catalogue of aperture photometry of galaxies, in UBVRI,assembled from three different origins: (i) an update of the catalogueof Buta et al. (1995) (ii) published photometric profiles and (iii)aperture photometry performed on CCD images. We explored different setsof growth curves to fit these data: (i) The Sersic law, (ii) The net ofgrowth curves used for the preparation of the RC3 and (iii) A linearinterpolation between the de Vaucouleurs (r(1/4) ) and exponential laws.Finally we adopted the latter solution. Fitting these growth curves, wederive (1) the total magnitude, (2) the effective radius, (3) the colourindices and (4) gradients and (5) the photometric type of 5169 galaxies.The photometric type is defined to statistically match the revisedmorphologic type and parametrizes the shape of the growth curve. It iscoded from -9, for very concentrated galaxies, to +10, for diffusegalaxies. Based in part on observations collected at the Haute-ProvenceObservatory. A catalogue of spatially resolved kinematics of galaxies: BibliographyWe present a catalogue of galaxies for which spatially resolved data ontheir internal kinematics have been published; there is no a priorirestriction regarding their morphological type. The catalogue lists thereferences to the articles where the data are published, as well as acoded description of these data: observed emission or absorption lines,velocity or velocity dispersion, radial profile or 2D field, positionangle. Tables 1, 2, and 3 are proposed in electronic form only, and areavailable from the CDS, via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (to130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html Redshift Survey of Galaxies around a Selected Sample of Compact GroupsWe report the results of a spectroscopic survey of faint galaxies in theregions surrounding Hickson compact groups. Our sample is composed of 17groups within 9000 km s-1. The spectra were taken at the prime focus ofthe Tololo 4 m telescope, using the ARGUS fiber-fed spectrograph. Fromthese observations, redshifts were determined for the faint galaxiespreviously identified by de Carvalho, Ribeiro, & Zepf in thesurroundings of the groups. Statistical methods were applied to theresultant catalog in order to determine the kinematical structure ofeach group. This analysis confirms the idea that the Hickson sample ofcompact groups contains a wide variety of projection and dynamicalconfigurations. Our results demonstrate the necessity of newspectroscopic surveys around compact groups in order to assess theircomplete velocity distribution.
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