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The SAURON project - VI. Line strength maps of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies
We present absorption line strength maps of 48 representative ellipticaland lenticular galaxies obtained as part of a survey of nearby galaxiesusing our custom-built integral-field spectrograph, SAURON, operating onthe William Herschel Telescope. Using high-quality spectra, spatiallybinned to a constant signal-to-noise ratio, we measure four key age,metallicity and abundance ratio sensitive indices from the Lick/IDSsystem over a two-dimensional field extending up to approximately oneeffective radius. A discussion of calibrations and offsets is given,along with a description of error estimation and nebular emissioncorrection. We modify the classical Fe5270 index to define a new index,Fe5270S, which maximizes the useable spatial coverage ofSAURON. Maps of Hβ, Fe5015, Mgb and Fe5270S arepresented for each galaxy. We use the maps to compute average linestrengths integrated over circular apertures of one-eighth effectiveradius, and compare the resulting relations of index versus velocitydispersion with previous long-slit work. The metal line strength mapsshow generally negative gradients with increasing radius roughlyconsistent with the morphology of the light profiles. Remarkabledeviations from this general trend exist, particularly the Mgb isoindexcontours appear to be flatter than the isophotes of the surfacebrightness for about 40 per cent of our galaxies without significantdust features. Generally, these galaxies exhibit significant rotation.We infer from this that the fast-rotating component features a highermetallicity and/or an increased Mg/Fe ratio as compared to the galaxy asa whole. The Hβ maps are typically flat or show a mild positiveoutwards radial gradient, while a few galaxies show strong central peaksand/or elevated overall Hβ strength likely connected to recent starformation activity. For the most prominent post-starburst galaxies, eventhe metal line strength maps show a reversed gradient.

Planetary nebulae as tracers of galaxy stellar populations
We address the general problem of the luminosity-specific planetarynebula (PN) number, better known as the `α' ratio, given byα=NPN/Lgal, and its relationship with theage and metallicity of the parent stellar population. Our analysisrelies on population synthesis models that account for simple stellarpopulations (SSPs), and more elaborate galaxy models covering the fullstar formation range of the different Hubble morphological types. Thistheoretical framework is compared with the updated census of the PNpopulation in Local Group (LG) galaxies and external ellipticals in theLeo group, and the Virgo and Fornax clusters.The main conclusions of our study can be summarized as follows. (i)According to the post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stellar core mass,PN lifetime in a SSP is constrained by three relevant regimes, driven bythe nuclear (Mcore>~ 0.57Msolar), dynamical(0.57Msolar>~Mcore>~ 0.55Msolar)and transition (0.55Msolar>~Mcore>~0.52Msolar) time-scales. The lower limit for Mcorealso sets the minimum mass for stars to reach the AGB thermal-pulsingphase and experience the PN event. (ii) Mass loss is the crucialmechanism to constrain the value of α, through the definition ofthe initial-to-final mass relation (IFMR). The Reimers mass-lossparametrization, calibrated on Pop II stars of Galactic globularclusters, poorly reproduces the observed value of α in late-typegalaxies, while a better fit is obtained using the empirical IFMRderived from white dwarf observations in the Galaxy open clusters. (iii) The inferred PN lifetime for LG spirals and irregulars exceeds10000yr, which suggests that Mcore<~ 0.65Msolarcores dominate, throughout. (iv) The relative PN deficiency inelliptical galaxies, and the observed trend of α with galaxyoptical colours, support the presence of a prevailing fraction oflow-mass cores (Mcore<~ 0.55Msolar) in the PNdistribution and a reduced visibility time-scale for the nebulae as aconsequence of the increased AGB transition time. The stellar componentwith Mcore<~ 0.52Msolar, which overrides the PNphase, could provide an enhanced contribution to hotter HB and post-HBevolution, as directly observed in M 32 and the bulge of M 31. Thisimplies that the most UV-enhanced ellipticals should also display thelowest values of α, as confirmed by the Virgo cluster early-typegalaxy population. (v) Any blue-straggler population, invoked asprogenitor of the Mcore>~ 0.7Msolar PNe inorder to preserve the constancy of the bright luminosity-functioncut-off magnitude in ellipticals, must be confined to a small fraction(a few per cent at most) of the whole galaxy PN population.

Correlations of near-infrared, optical and X-ray luminosity for early-type galaxies
The relation between X-ray luminosity and near-infrared (NIR) luminosityfor early-type galaxies has been examined. NIR luminosities shouldprovide a superior measure of stellar mass compared to opticalluminosities used in previous studies, especially if there issignificant star formation or dust present in the galaxies. However, weshow that the X-ray-NIR relations are remarkably consistent with theX-ray-optical relations. This indicates that the large scatter of therelations is dominated by scatter in the X-ray properties of early-typegalaxies, and is consistent with early-types consisting of old,quiescent stellar populations.We have investigated scatter in terms of environment, surface brightnessprofile, Mg2, Hβ, Hγ line strength indices,spectroscopic age and nuclear Hα emission. We found that galaxieswith high Mg2 index, low Hβ and Hγ indices or a`core' profile have a large scatter in LX, whereas galaxieswith low Mg2, high Hβ and Hγ indices or`power-law' profiles generally have LX < 1041erg s-1. There is no clear trend in the scatter withenvironment or nuclear Hα emission.

The SAURON project - V. Integral-field emission-line kinematics of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies
We present the emission-line fluxes and kinematics of 48 representativeelliptical and lenticular galaxies obtained with our custom-builtintegral-field spectrograph, SAURON, operating on the William HerschelTelescope. Hβ, [OIII]λλ4959,5007 and[NI]λλ5198,5200 emission lines were measured using a newprocedure that simultaneously fits both the stellar spectrum and theemission lines. Using this technique we can detect emission lines downto an equivalent width of 0.1 Å set by the current limitations indescribing galaxy spectra with synthetic and real stellar templates,rather than by the quality of our spectra. Gas velocities and velocitydispersions are typically accurate to within 14 and 20 kms-1, respectively, and at worse to within 25 and 40 kms-1. The errors on the flux of the [OIII] and Hβ linesare on average 10 and 20 per cent, respectively, and never exceed 30 percent. Emission is clearly detected in 75 per cent of our samplegalaxies, and comes in a variety of resolved spatial distributions andkinematic behaviours. A mild dependence on the Hubble type and galacticenvironment is observed, with higher detection rates in lenticulargalaxies and field objects. More significant is the fact that only 55per cent of the galaxies in the Virgo cluster exhibit clearly detectedemission. The ionized-gas kinematics is rarely consistent with simplecoplanar circular motions. However, the gas almost never displayscompletely irregular kinematics, generally showing coherent motions withsmooth variations in angular momentum. In the majority of the cases, thegas kinematics is decoupled from the stellar kinematics, and in half ofthe objects this decoupling implies a recent acquisition of gaseousmaterial. Over the entire sample however, the distribution of the meanmisalignment values between stellar and gaseous angular momenta isinconsistent with a purely external origin. The distribution ofkinematic misalignment values is found to be strongly dependent on theapparent flattening and the level of rotational support of galaxies,with flatter, fast rotating objects hosting preferentially corotatinggaseous and stellar systems. In a third of the cases, the distributionand kinematics of the gas underscore the presence of non-axisymmetricperturbations of the gravitational potential. Consistent with previousstudies, the presence of dust features is always accompanied by gasemission while the converse is not always true. A considerable range ofvalues for the [OIII]/Hβ ratio is found both across the sample andwithin single galaxies. Despite the limitations of this ratio as anemission-line diagnostic, this finding suggests either that a variety ofmechanisms is responsible for the gas excitation in E and S0 galaxies orthat the metallicity of the interstellar material is quiteheterogeneous.

The SAURON project - IV. The mass-to-light ratio, the virial mass estimator and the Fundamental Plane of elliptical and lenticular galaxies
We investigate the well-known correlations between the dynamicalmass-to-light ratio (M/L) and other global observables of elliptical (E)and lenticular (S0) galaxies. We construct two-integral Jeans andthree-integral Schwarzschild dynamical models for a sample of 25 E/S0galaxies with SAURON integral-field stellar kinematics to about oneeffective (half-light) radius Re. They have well-calibratedI-band Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 and large-field ground-basedphotometry, accurate surface brightness fluctuation distances, and theirobserved kinematics is consistent with an axisymmetric intrinsic shape.All these factors result in an unprecedented accuracy in the M/Lmeasurements. We find a tight correlation of the form (M/L) = (3.80 +/-0.14) ×(σe/200kms-1)0.84+/-0.07 betweenthe M/L (in the I band) measured from the dynamical models and theluminosity-weighted second moment σe of the LOSVDwithin Re. The observed rms scatter in M/L for our sample is18 per cent, while the inferred intrinsic scatter is ~13 per cent. The(M/L)-σe relation can be included in the remarkableseries of tight correlations between σe and othergalaxy global observables. The comparison of the observed correlationswith the predictions of the Fundamental Plane (FP), and with simplevirial estimates, shows that the `tilt' of the FP of early-typegalaxies, describing the deviation of the FP from the virial relation,is almost exclusively due to a real M/L variation, while structural andorbital non-homology have a negligible effect. When the photometricparameters are determined in the `classic' way, using growth curves, andthe σe is measured in a large aperture, the virial massappears to be a reliable estimator of the mass in the central regions ofgalaxies, and can be safely used where more `expensive' models are notfeasible (e.g. in high-redshift studies). In this case the best-fittingvirial relation has the form (M/L)vir= (5.0 +/- 0.1)×Reσ2e/(LG), in reasonableagreement with simple theoretical predictions. We find no differencebetween the M/L of the galaxies in clusters and in the field. Thecomparison of the dynamical M/L with the (M/L)pop inferredfrom the analysis of the stellar population, indicates a median darkmatter fraction in early-type galaxies of ~30 per cent of the total massinside one Re, in broad agreement with previous studies, andit also shows that the stellar initial mass function varies little amongdifferent galaxies. Our results suggest a variation in M/L at constant(M/L)pop, which seems to be linked to the galaxy dynamics. Wespeculate that fast-rotating galaxies have lower dark matter fractionsthan the slow-rotating and generally more-massive ones. If correct, thiswould suggest a connection between the galaxy assembly history and thedark matter halo structure. The tightness of our correlation providessome evidence against cuspy nuclear dark matter profiles in galaxies.

The Ages of Elliptical Galaxies from Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions
The mean ages of early-type galaxies obtained from the analysis ofoptical spectra give a mean age of 8 Gyr at z=0, with 40% being youngerthan 6 Gyr. Independent age determinations are possible by usinginfrared spectra (5-21 μm), which we have obtained with the InfraredSpectrograph on Spitzer. This age indicator is based on the collectivemass-loss rate of stars, in which mass loss from AGB stars produces asilicate emission feature at 9-12 μm. This feature decreases morerapidly than the shorter wavelength continuum as a stellar populationages, providing an age indicator. From observations of 30 nearbyearly-type galaxies, 29 show a spectral energy distribution dominated bystars, and one has significant emission from the ISM and is excluded.The infrared age indicators for the 29 galaxies show them all to be old,with a mean age of about 10 Gyr and a standard deviation of only a fewGyr. This is consistent with the ages inferred from the values ofM/LB, but is inconsistent with the ages derived from theoptical line indices, which can be much younger. All of these ageindicators are luminosity weighted and should be correlated, even ifmultiple-age components are considered. The inconsistency indicates thatthere is a significant problem with either the infrared and theM/LB ages, which agree, or with the ages inferred from theoptical absorption lines.

Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. II. Optical Study and Interpretation
Our X-ray study of the nuclear activity in a new sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, as well as in a larger sample from the literature,confirmed (Paper I) that the Bondi accretion rate of diffuse hot gas isnot a good indicator of the SMBH X-ray luminosity. Here we suggest thata more reliable estimate of the accretion rate must include the gasreleased by the stellar population inside the sphere of influence of theSMBH, in addition to the Bondi inflow of hot gas across that surface. Weuse optical surface brightness profiles to estimate the mass-loss ratefrom stars in the nuclear region: we show that for our sample ofgalaxies it is an order of magnitude higher (~10-4 to10-3 Msolar yr-1) than the Bondi inflowrate of hot gas, as estimated from Chandra (Paper I). Only by takinginto account both sources of fuel can we constrain the true accretionrate, the accretion efficiency, and the power budget. Radiativelyefficient accretion is ruled out, for quiescent SMBHs. For typicalradiatively inefficient flows, the observed X-ray luminosities of theSMBHs imply accretion fractions ~1%-10% (i.e., ~90%-99% of the availablegas does not reach the SMBH) for at least five of our six targetgalaxies and most of the other galaxies with known SMBH masses. Wediscuss the conditions for mass conservation inside the sphere ofinfluence, so that the total gas injection is balanced by accretion plusoutflows. We show that a fraction of the total accretion power(mechanical plus radiative) would be sufficient to sustain aself-regulating, slow outflow that removes from the nuclear region allthe gas that does not sink into the BH (``BH feedback''). The rest ofthe accretion power may be carried out in a jet or advected. We alsodiscuss scenarios that would lead to an intermittent nuclear activity.

Accretion and Nuclear Activity of Quiescent Supermassive Black Holes. I. X-Ray Study
We have studied the nuclear activity in a sample of six quiescentearly-type galaxies, with new Chandra data and archival HST opticalimages. Their nuclear sources have X-ray luminosities~1038-1039 ergs s-1(LX/LEdd~10-8 to 10-7) andcolors or spectra consistent with accreting supermassive black holes(SMBHs), except for the nucleus of NGC 4486B, which is softer thantypical AGN spectra. In a few cases, the X-ray morphology of the nuclearsources shows hints of marginally extended structures, in addition tothe surrounding diffuse thermal emission from hot gas, which isdetectable on scales >~1 kpc. In one case (NGC 5845), a dusty diskmay partially obstruct our direct view of the SMBH. We have estimatedthe temperature and density of the hot interstellar medium, which is onemajor source of fuel for the accreting SMBH; typical central densitiesare ne~(0.02+/-0.01) cm-3. Assuming that the hotgas is captured by the SMBH at the Bondi rate, we show that the observedX-ray luminosities are too faint to be consistent with standard diskaccretion, but brighter than predicted by radiatively inefficientsolutions (e.g., advection-dominated accretion flows [ADAFs]). In total,there are ~20 galaxies for which SMBH mass, hot gas density, and nuclearX-ray luminosity are simultaneously known. In some cases, the nuclearsources are brighter than predicted by the ADAF model; in other cases,they are consistent or fainter. We discuss the apparent lack ofcorrelations between Bondi rate and X-ray luminosity and suggest that,in order to understand the observed distribution, we need to know twoadditional parameters: the amount of gas supplied by the stellarpopulation inside the accretion radius, and the fraction (possibly<<1) of the total gas available that is accreted by the SMBH. Weleave a detailed study of these issues to a subsequent paper.

Type I Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies: Transition Stage from ULIRGs to QSOs
We examine whether the ultraluminous infrared galaxies that contain atype 1 Seyfert nucleus (a type I ULIRG) are in the transition stage fromULIRGs to quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). To investigate this issue, wecompare the black hole (BH) mass, the bulge luminosity, and thefar-infrared luminosity among type I ULIRGs, QSOs, and ellipticalgalaxies. As a result, we find the following results: (1) The type IULIRGs have systematically smaller BH masses in spite of the comparablebulge luminosity relative to QSOs and elliptical galaxies. (2) Thefar-infrared luminosity of most type I ULIRGs is larger than theEddington luminosity. We show that the above results do not changesignificantly for three type I ULIRGs for which we can estimate thevisual extinction from the column density. Also, for all eight type IULIRGs, we investigate the effect of uncertainties of BH massmeasurements and our sample bias to make sure that our results are notaltered even if we consider the above two effects. In addition, Anabukirecently revealed that their X-ray properties are similar to those ofthe narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies. These would indicate that activegalactic nuclei (AGNs) with a high mass accretion rate exist in type IULIRGs. On the basis of all of these findings, we conclude that it wouldbe a natural interpretation that type I ULIRGs are the early phase of BHgrowth, namely, the missing link between ULIRGs and QSOs. Moreover, bycomparing our results with a theoretical model of a coevolution scenarioof a QSO BH and a galactic bulge, we show clearly that this explanationcould be valid.

On the Correlations of Massive Black Holes with Their Host Galaxies
We address the correlations of black hole (BH) mass with four differenthost-galaxy properties from 11 existing data sets. For the purpose ofguiding theoretical understanding, we first try to quantify thetightness of the intrinsic correlations. We assume that all of therelations are power laws and perform linear regressions that aresymmetric in the two variables on the logarithms of the data points.Given the estimated measurement errors, we evaluate the probabilitydistribution of the residual variance in excess of that expected fromthe measurement errors. Our central result is that the current data setsdo not allow definite conclusions regarding the quality of the truecorrelations because the obtained probability distributions for theresidual variance overlap for most quantities. Velocity dispersion ascollected by Merritt & Ferrarese (σMF) and galaxylight concentration as measured by Graham and coworkers (CRe)are consistent with zero residual variance. Taken at face value, thismeans that these two correlations are better than the others, but thisconclusion is highly sensitive to the assumed measurement errors andwould be undone if the present estimated errors were too large. We thenconsider which of the relations offer the best inferences of BH masswhen there is no direct measurement available. As with the residualvariances, we find that the probability distribution of expecteduncertainty in inferred BH masses overlaps significantly for most of therelations. Photometric methods would then be preferred because the dataare easier to obtain, as long as bulge-disk decomposition or detailedmodeling of the photometric profile (as studied by Graham and coworkers)do not present problems. Determining which correlation offers the bestinferences requires reducing the uncertainty in the expected error inthe inferred BH masses (the ``error on the error''). This uncertainty iscurrently limited by uncertainty in the residual variance for all of therelations. The only quantities for which BH mass inferences are limitedby measurement error are σMF and CRe.Therefore, if these relations are truly better than the others, thennew, improved measurements should allow improved inferences of BHmasses. If they do not, the conclusion must be that the present lowresidual variances for these two relations result from overestimatederror bars.

Scaling Mass Profiles around Elliptical Galaxies Observed with Chandra and XMM-Newton
We investigated the dynamical structure of 53 elliptical galaxies usingthe Chandra archival X-ray data. In X-ray-luminous galaxies, temperatureincreases with radius and gas density is systematically higher at theoptical outskirts, indicating the presence of a significant amount ofthe group-scale hot gas. In contrast, X-ray-dim galaxies show a flat ordeclining temperature profile against radius and the gas density isrelatively lower at the optical outskirts. Thus, it is found thatX-ray-bright and faint elliptical galaxies are clearly distinguished bythe temperature and gas density profile. The mass profile is well scaledby a virial radius r200 rather than an optical half-radiusre, is quite similar at (0.001-0.03)r200 betweenX-ray-luminous and dim galaxies, and smoothly connects to those profilesof clusters of galaxies. At the inner region of(0.001-0.01)r200 or (0.1-1)re, the mass profilewell traces a stellar mass with a constant mass-to-light ratio ofM/LB=3-10 Msolar/Lsolar. TheM/LB ratio of X-ray-bright galaxies rises up steeply beyond0.01r200 and thus requires a presence of massive dark matterhalo. From the deprojection analysis combined with the XMM-Newton data,we found that X-ray-dim galaxies NGC 3923, NGC 720, and IC 1459 alsohave a high M/LB ratio of 20-30 at 20 kpc, comparable to thatof X-ray-luminous galaxies. Therefore, dark matter is indicated to becommon in elliptical galaxies; their dark matter distribution, as wellas that of galaxy clusters, almost follows the NFW profile.

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.

Surface-brightness fluctuations in stellar populations. IAC-star models for the optical and near-IR wavelengths
Aims.A new theoretical calibration of surface-brightness fluctuations(SBF) for single age, single metallicity stellar populations ispresented for the optical and near-IR broad-band filters, as well as forthe HST WFPC2 and ACS filters. Methods: .The IAC-star code isused. Two Padua and the Teramo stellar evolution libraries have beenconsidered. A set of single-burst stellar populations (SSP) with a widerange of ages (3 Gy-15 Gy) and metallicities (Z = 0.0001-0.03) have beencomputed using each one of the three considered stellar evolutionlibraries. For each SSP, color indexes and SBF magnitudes are given forthe filters U, B, V, R, I, J, H, K, {F218W}, {F336W}, {F439W}, {F450W},{F555W} and {F814W}, and for the first time, an uncertainty has beenestimated for the SBF theoretical calibration. Results: .Althoughsome differences might be addressed, the Padua and Teramo stellarevolution libraries provide comparable SBF results. A detailedcomparison of the present SBF calibrations with both previouscalibrations and observational data is also presented. Comparing thedifferent models with observational data, Padua based models reproducefairly well the optical data for globular clusters, while Teramo basedmodels fits both optical galaxies and globular clusters data, as well.In the near-IR wavelengths, the Teramo based models provide the only SBFtheoretical calibration to date able to properly reproduce theobservational data for superclusters, with intermediate-to-lowmetallicity. As a conclusion, Teramo based models work better than anyother calibration reproducing observational data for the near-IRwavelengths. Furthermore, the age-metallicity degeneracy is broken forlow metallicity (Z≤0.0037) stellar populations. Finally, a clearrelation between the B SBF absolute magnitude of a stellar populationand its metallicity is found for intermediate to old populations, so theB-band fluctuation magnitude is proposed as a metallicity tracer. Thepresent theoretical calibration shows that the analysis of SBF providesa very powerful tool in the study and characterization of unresolvedstellar populations.

Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. III. Dating the last star formation event
Using 6 colours and 4 Lick line-indices we derive two-component modelsof the populations of ellipticals, involving a "primary" and a"juvenile" population. The first component is defined by the regressionsof indices against the central velocity dispersion found in Papers I andII for the {Nop} sample of non-peculiar objects. The second one isapproximated by an SSP, and the modeling derives its age A, metallicityZ and fractional V-luminosity q_V, the fractional mass qMbeing found therefrom. The model is designed for "blueish" peculiargalaxies, i.e. the {Pec} sample and NGC 2865 family in the terminologyof Paper I. The morphological peculiarities and the population anomalyare then believed to involve the same event, i.e. a merger plusstarburst. It is possible to improve the models in a few cases byintroducing diffuse dust (as suggested by far IR data), and/or by takinginto account the fact that Lick- and colour indices do not relate toidentical galaxy volumes. In most of the cases, the mass ratio of youngstars qM seems too small for the product of a recent majormerger: the events under consideration might be minor mergers bringing"the final touch" to the build-up of the structure of the E-type object.The same modeling has been successfully applied to blueish galaxies ofthe {Nop} sample, without morphological peculiarities however, tosupport the occurence of a distinct perturbing event. A few reddishobjects of the {Pec} sample (NGC 3923 family) and of the {Nop} sampleare also modeled, in terms of an excess of high metallicity stars, ordiffuse dust, or both, but the results are inconclusive.

Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei: Past, Present and Future Research
This review discusses the current status of supermassive black holeresearch, as seen from a purely observational standpoint. Since theearly ‘90s, rapid technological advances, most notably the launchof the Hubble Space Telescope, the commissioning of the VLBA andimprovements in near-infrared speckle imaging techniques, have not onlygiven us incontrovertible proof of the existence of supermassive blackholes, but have unveiled fundamental connections between the mass of thecentral singularity and the global properties of the host galaxy. It isthanks to these observations that we are now, for the first time, in aposition to understand the origin, evolution and cosmic relevance ofthese fascinating objects.

The X-ray emission properties and the dichotomy in the central stellar cusp shapes of early-type galaxies
The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a dichotomy in the centralsurface brightness profiles of early-type galaxies, which havesubsequently been grouped into two families: core, boxy, anisotropicsystems; and cuspy (`power-law'), discy, rotating ones. Here weinvestigate whether a dichotomy is also present in the X-ray propertiesof the two families. We consider both their total soft emission(LSX,tot), which is a measure of the galactic hot gascontent, and their nuclear hard emission (LHX,nuc), mostlycoming from Chandra observations, which is a measure of the nuclearactivity. At any optical luminosity, the highest LSX,totvalues are reached by core galaxies; this is explained by their beingthe central dominant galaxies of groups, subclusters or clusters, inmany of the logLSX,tot (ergs-1) >~ 41.5 cases.The highest LHX,nuc values, similar to those of classicalactive galactic nuclei (AGNs), in this sample are hosted only by core orintermediate galaxies; at low luminosity AGN levels, LHX,nucis independent of the central stellar profile shape. The presence ofoptical nuclei (also found by HST) is unrelated to the level ofLHX,nuc, even though the highest LHX,nuc are allassociated with optical nuclei. The implications of these findings forgalaxy evolution and accretion modalities at the present epoch arediscussed.

Group, field and isolated early-type galaxies - II. Global trends from nuclear data
We 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 data
This 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.

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.

Close Binaries as the Progenitors of the Brightest Planetary Nebulae
We investigate the possible progenitors of the planetary nebulae (PNs)that populate the top 0.5 mag of the [O III] λ5007 planetarynebula luminosity function (PNLF). We show that the absolute luminosityof the PNLF cutoff demands that the central stars of these most luminousPNs be >~0.6 Msolar and that such high-mass PN cores mustexist in every galaxy. We also use the bolometric luminosity-specific PNnumber density to show that in early-type galaxies, [O III]-bright PNsare relatively rare, with only ~10% of stars evolving to these brightmagnitudes. We demonstrate that the combination of these two factsimplies that either all early-type systems contain a small, smoothlydistributed component of young (<~1 Gyr old) stars or that anothermechanism exists for creating high core mass PNs. We argue that binarystar evolution is this second mechanism and demonstrate that bluestragglers have the appropriate core properties and number density toexplain the observations. We discuss the implications of thisalternative mode of stellar evolution and speculate on how coalescedbinaries might affect the use of PNs for measuring a galaxy's starformation history and chemical evolution.

The Epochs of Early-Type Galaxy Formation as a Function of Environment
The aim of this paper is to set constraints on the epochs of early-typegalaxy formation through the ``archaeology'' of the stellar populationsin local galaxies. Using our models of absorption-line indices thataccount for variable abundance ratios, we derive ages, totalmetallicities, and element ratios of 124 early-type galaxies in high-and low-density environments. The data are analyzed by comparison withmock galaxy samples created through Monte Carlo simulations taking thetypical average observational errors into account, in order to eliminateartifacts caused by correlated errors. We find that all threeparameters, age, metallicity, and α/Fe ratio, are correlated withvelocity dispersion. We show that these results are robust againstrecent revisions of the local abundance pattern at high metallicities.To recover the observed scatter we need to assume an intrinsic scatterof about 20% in age, 0.08 dex in [Z/H], and 0.05 dex in [α/Fe].All low-mass objects withM*<~1010Msolar (σ<~130kms-1) show evidence for the presence of intermediate-agestellar populations with low α/Fe ratios. About 20% of theintermediate-mass objects with1010<~M*/Msolar<~1011[110<~σ/(kms-1)<~230 both elliptical andlenticular galaxies] must have either a young subpopulation or a bluehorizontal branch. On the basis of the above relationships, valid forthe bulk of the sample, we show that the Mg-σ relation is mainlydriven by metallicity, with similar contributions from the α/Feratio (23%) and age (17%). We further find evidence for an influence ofthe environment on the stellar population properties. Massive early-typegalaxies in low-density environments seem on average ~2 Gyr younger andslightly (~0.05-0.1 dex) more metal-rich than their counterparts inhigh-density environments. No offsets in the α/Fe ratios areinstead detected. With the aid of a simple chemical evolution model, wetranslate the derived ages and α/Fe ratios into star formationhistories. We show that most star formation activity in early-typegalaxies is expected to have happened between redshifts ~3 and 5 inhigh-density environments and between redshifts 1 and 2 in low-densityenvironments. We conclude that at least 50% of the total stellar massdensity must have already formed at z~1, in good agreement withobservational estimates of the total stellar mass density as a functionof redshift. Our results suggest that significant mass growth in theearly-type galaxy population below z~1 must be restricted to lessmassive objects, and a significant increase of the stellar mass densitybetween redshifts 1 and 2 should be present, caused mainly by the fieldgalaxy population. The results of this paper further imply the presenceof vigorous star formation episodes in massive objects at z~2-5 andevolved elliptical galaxies around z~1, both observationally identifiedas SCUBA galaxies and extremely red objects, respectively.

Origin of Radio Emission from Nearby Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei
We use the observational data in radio, optical, and X-ray wave bandsfor a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with measured black holemasses to explore the origin of radio emission from nearbylow-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs). The maximal luminosityof an advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) can be calculated for agiven black hole mass, as there is a critical accretion rate above whichthe ADAF is no longer present. We find that the radio luminosities arehigher than the maximal luminosities expected from the ADAF model formost sources in this sample. This implies that the radio emission ispredominantly from the jets in these sources. The radio emission from asmall fraction of the sources (15/60; referred to as radio-weak sources)in this sample can be explained by the ADAF model. However, comparingthe observed multiband emission data with the spectra calculated for theADAF or adiabatic inflow-outflow solution (ADIOS) cases, we find thatneither ADAF nor ADIOS models can reproduce the observed multibandemission simultaneously, with reasonable magnetic field strengths, forthese radio-weak sources. A variety of other possibilities arediscussed, and we suggest that the radio emission is probably dominatedby jet emission even in these radio-weak LLAGNs.

The Centers of Early-Type Galaxies with Hubble Space Telescope. V. New WFPC2 Photometry
We present observations of 77 early-type galaxies imaged with the PC1CCD of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2. ``Nuker-law'' parametricfits to the surface brightness profiles are used to classify the centralstructure into ``core'' or ``power-law'' forms. Core galaxies aretypically rounder than power-law galaxies. Nearly all power-law galaxieswith central ellipticities ɛ>=0.3 have stellar disks,implying that disks are present in power-law galaxies withɛ<0.3 but are not visible because of unfavorable geometry. Afew low-luminosity flattened core galaxies also have disks; these may betransition forms from power-law galaxies to more luminous core galaxies,which lack disks. Several core galaxies have strong isophote twistsinterior to their break radii, although power-law galaxies have interiortwists of similar physical significance when the photometricperturbations implied by the twists are evaluated. Central colorgradients are typically consistent with the envelope gradients; coregalaxies have somewhat weaker color gradients than power-law galaxies.Nuclei are found in 29% of the core galaxies and 60% of the power-lawgalaxies. Nuclei are typically bluer than the surrounding galaxy. Whilesome nuclei are associated with active galactic nuclei (AGNs), just asmany are not; conversely, not all galaxies known to have a low-level AGNexhibit detectable nuclei in the broadband filters. NGC 4073 and 4382are found to have central minima in their intrinsic starlightdistributions; NGC 4382 resembles the double nucleus of M31. In general,the peak brightness location is coincident with the photocenter of thecore to a typical physical scale of <1 pc. Five galaxies, however,have centers significantly displaced from their surrounding cores; thesemay be unresolved asymmetric double nuclei. Finally, as noted byprevious authors, central dust is visible in about half of the galaxies.The presence and strength of dust correlates with nuclear emission;thus, dust may outline gas that is falling into the central black hole.The prevalence of dust and its morphology suggest that dust clouds form,settle to the center, and disappear repeatedly on ~108 yrtimescales. We discuss the hypothesis that cores are created by thedecay of a massive black hole binary formed in a merger. Apart fromtheir brightness profiles, there are no strong differences between coregalaxies and power-law galaxies that demand this scenario; however, therounder shapes of core, their lack of disks, and their reduced colorgradients may be consistent with it.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated bythe Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated withGO and GTO proposals 5236, 5446, 5454, 5512, 5943, 5990, 5999, 6099,6386, 6554, 6587, 6633, 7468, 8683, and 9107.

DDO 88: A Galaxy-sized Hole in the Interstellar Medium
We present an H I and optical study of the gas-rich dwarf irregulargalaxy DDO 88. Although the global optical and H I parameters of DDO 88are normal for its morphological type, it hosts a large (3 kpc diameter)and unusually complete ring of enhanced H I emission. The normalappearance of this galaxy in the optical and the outer regions of the HI give no hint of the presence of the striking H I ring in the innerregions. The gas ring is located at approximately one-third of the totalH I radius and one-half the optically defined Holmberg radius, andcontains 30% of the total H I of the galaxy. The ring surrounds acentral depression in the H I distribution. If the H I ring and centraldepression in the gas were formed by the energy input from winds andsupernova explosions of massive stars formed in a starburst, as isthought often to be the case, the star-forming event would have formed0.1%-1% of the total stellar mass of the galaxy. However, the UBV colorsin the H I hole are not bluer than the rest of the galaxy, as would beexpected if an unusual star-forming event had taken place thererecently, although there is an old (~1-3 Gyr), red cluster near thecenter of the hole that is massive enough to have produced the hole inthe H I. An age estimate for the ring is uncertain, however, because itis not observed to be expanding. An expansion model produces a lowerestimate of 0.5 Gyr, but the presence of faint star formation regionsassociated with the ring indicates a much younger age. We also estimatethat the ring could have dispersed by now if it is older than 0.5 Gyr.This implies that the ring is younger than 0.5 Gyr. A younger age wouldindicate that the red cluster did not produce the hole and ring.Therefore, uncertainties prevent us from concluding that the cluster andthe H I hole are definitely related. If this ring and the depression inthe gas that it surrounds were not formed by stellar winds andsupernovae, this would indicate that some other, currently unidentified,mechanism is operating.

Near infra-red and optical colour gradients in E-type galaxies. Inferences on dust content
Colour gradients are considered for a sample of circa 50 E-type galaxiesin the Local Supercluster. The new data includes isophotal colourprofiles in J-H, J-K, V-J and V-K, measured using 2MASS frames mostlyfrom the Large Galaxies Atlas, V frames from previous work and Vprofiles from the literature. This is supplemented by U-B, B-V, B-R, V-Icolour gradients obtained anew from published photometric data. Colourgradients in E galaxies show remarkably large variations from object toobject and do not correlate with other properties. Metallicity gradientsare the primary cause as shown before. Age gradients with oppositeeffects are possibly needed to explain objects with small colourgradients. Some empirical evidence of such age effects has been foundfor a subset of objects with morphological peculiarities and youngerstars mixed. Dust has only modest effects on colour gradients, as shownby the fact that objects with zero IRAS 100 μ flux have the sameaverage values of the gradients, except in V-J and V-K, as those withnon zero flux (cf. Table 7). This last subsample however exhibits poorbut definite correlations between IRAS flux and gradients, which mightbe caused by the presence of a few relatively dusty galaxies in thesample. Given the absence of a correlation between any gradients andgalaxy velocity dispersion (and hence mass), the observations do notagree with the predictions of the monolithic scenario for the formationof E galaxies. Simulated datasets of “dummy” objectsmimicking the hierarchical scenario have been obtained, and used to testa technique for estimating the dust content of E-galaxies from thecomparison of the V-K (or V-J) colour gradients with the U-B (or B-V)ones: the contents of diffuse dust, gauged in terms of published models,are obtained for a dozen objects.

Are radio galaxies and quiescent galaxies different? Results from the analysis of HST brightness profiles
We present a study of the optical brightness profiles of early typegalaxies, using a number of samples of radio galaxies and opticallyselected elliptical galaxies. For the radio galaxy samples - B2 ofFanaroff-Riley type I and 3C of Fanaroff-Riley type II - we determined anumber of parameters that describe a "Nuker-law" profile, which werecompared with those already known for the optically selected objects. Wefind that radio active galaxies are always of the "core" type (i.e. aninner Nuker law slope γ < 0.3). However, there are core-typegalaxies which harbor no significant radio source and which areindistinguishable from the radio active galaxies. We do not find anyradio detected galaxy with a power law profile (γ > 0.5). Thisdifference is not due to any effect with absolute magnitude, since in aregion of overlap in magnitude the dichotomy between radio active andradio quiescent galaxies remains. We speculate that core-type objectsrepresent the galaxies that have been, are, or may become, radio activeat some stage in their lives; active and non-active core-type galaxiesare therefore identical in all respects except their eventualradio-activity: on HST scales we do not find any relationship betweenboxiness and radio-activity. There is a fundamental plane, defined bythe parameters of the core (break radius rb and breakbrightness μ_b), which is seen in the strong correlation betweenrb and μ_b. The break radius is also linearly proportionalto the optical Luminosity in the I band. Moreover, for the few galaxieswith an independently measured black hole mass, the break radius turnsout to be tightly correlated with MBH. The black hole masscorrelates even better with the combination of fundamental planeparameters rb and μ_b, which represents the centralvelocity dispersion.

The star formation history of the LSB galaxy UGC 5889
We present HST photometry of the LSB galaxy UGC 889 and derive itsrecent star formation history. In the last 200 Myr the star formationproceeded in modest bursts at a rate of the order of10-2-10-3 Mȯ/yr, with periods ofextremely low SFR or even quiescence. The rate derived from the presentstudy for the last 20 Myr is in agreement with the Hα emissionfrom the galaxy. The presence of a consistent population older than 200Myr is suggested by the data. However, observational errors andcompleteness correction prevent any firm conclusion on the oldest age.The total mass of stars is of the order of 5.5 × 107Mȯ. Even if the recent episodes of star formation haveheated the gas and carved a hole in the disk, blow-away of the gas isunlikely to occur.

Measuring shapes of galaxy images - II. Morphology of 2MASS galaxies
We 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.

Nuclear activity and the dynamics of elliptical galaxies
This Letter looks for any correlation between the internal dynamics ofelliptical galaxies and the relatively mild nuclear activity found inmany such systems. We show that there is such a relation in the sensethat the active ellipticals tend to be significantly less rotationallysupported than their inactive cousins. The correlation can partly berelated to the galaxies' luminosities: the brightest galaxies tend to bemore active and less rotationally supported. However, even at lowerluminosities the active and inactive galaxies seem to havesystematically different dynamics. This variation suggests that thereare significant large-scale structural differences between active andinactive elliptical galaxies, and hence that the existence of both typesof system cannot just be the result of random sporadic nuclear activity.

The SAURON project - III. Integral-field absorption-line kinematics of 48 elliptical and lenticular galaxies
We present the stellar kinematics of 48 representative elliptical andlenticular galaxies obtained with our custom-built integral-fieldspectrograph SAURON operating on the William Herschel Telescope. Thedata were homogeneously processed through a dedicated reduction andanalysis pipeline. All resulting SAURON data cubes were spatially binnedto a constant minimum signal-to-noise ratio. We have measured thestellar kinematics with an optimized (penalized pixel-fitting) routinewhich fits the spectra in pixel space, via the use of optimal templates,and prevents the presence of emission lines to affect the measurements.We have thus generated maps of the mean stellar velocity V, the velocitydispersion σ, and the Gauss-Hermite moments h3 andh4 of the line-of-sight velocity distributions. The mapsextend to approximately one effective radius. Many objects displaykinematic twists, kinematically decoupled components, central stellardiscs, and other peculiarities, the nature of which will be discussed infuture papers of this series.

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Right ascension:10h47m42.40s
Aparent dimensions:4.169′ × 2.188′

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NGC 2000.0NGC 3377

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