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# NGC 1453

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 The Ages of Elliptical Galaxies from Infrared Spectral Energy DistributionsThe 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. Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. III. Dating the last star formation eventUsing 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. Nearby early-type galaxies with ionized gas. II. Line-strength indices for 18 additional galaxiesWe previously presented a data-set of line-strength indices for 50early-type galaxies in the nearby Universe. The galaxy sample is biasedtoward galaxies showing emission lines, located in environmentscorresponding to a broad range of local galaxy densities, althoughpredominantly in low density environments. The present addendum enlargesthe above data-set of line-strength indices by analyzing 18 additionalearly-type galaxies (three galaxies, NGC 3607, NGC 5077 and NGC 5898were presented in the previous set). We measured 25 line-strengthindices, defined by the Lick IDS "standard" system (Trager et al. 1998,ApJS, 116, 1; Worthey & Ottaviani 1997, ApJS, 111, 377), for 7luminosity weighted apertures and 4 gradients of each galaxy. Thisaddendum presents the line-strength data-set and compares it with theavailable data in the literature. 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. The Ages of Elliptical Galaxies from Mid-Infrared EmissionThe mid-infrared (10-20 μm) luminosity of elliptical galaxies isdominated by the integrated emission from circumstellar dust in redgiant stars. As a single stellar population evolves, the rate of dustymass loss from red giant stars decreases with time, so the mid-infraredluminosity should also decline with stellar age. To seek such acorrelation, we have used archival Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)observations to determine surface brightness profiles and central fluxesat 15 μm in 17 early-type galaxies for which stellar ages have beendetermined from optical spectral indices. The radial surface brightnessdistributions at 15 μm generally follow the stellar de Vaucouleursprofile, as expected. We find that the surface brightness ratioμ15μm/μIband is systematically higher inelliptical galaxies with ages <~5 Gyr and in galaxies that exhibitevidence of recent mergers. Within the accuracy of our observations,μ15μm/μIband shows no age dependence forages >~5 Gyr. The corresponding flux ratiosF15μm/FIband within apertures scaled to theeffective radius (Re/8) are proportional to theμ15μm/μIband ratios at larger galacticradii, indicating that no 15 μm emission is detected from centraldust clouds visible in optical images in some of our sample galaxies.Emission at 15 μm is observed in noncentral massive clouds of dustand cold gas in NGC 1316, an elliptical galaxy that is thought to havehad a recent merger. Recent Spitzer Space Telescope data also indicatethe presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission at 8μm. Several ellipticals have extended regions of 15 μm emissionthat have no obvious counterparts at other frequencies. The Epochs of Early-Type Galaxy Formation as a Function of EnvironmentThe 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. Nearby early-type galaxies with ionized gas. I. Line-strength indices of the underlying stellar populationWith the aim of building a data-set of spectral properties of wellstudied early-type galaxies showing emission lines, we presentintermediate resolution spectra of 50 galaxies in the nearby Universe.The sample, which covers several of the E and S0 morphologicalsub-classes, is biased toward objects that might be expected to haveongoing and recent star formation, at least in small amounts, because ofthe presence of the emission lines. The emission is expected to comefrom the combination of active galactic nuclei and star formationregions within the galaxies. Sample galaxies are located in environmentscorresponding to a broad range of local galaxy densities, althoughpredominantly in low density environments. Our long-slit spectra coverthe 3700-7250 Å wavelength range with a spectral resolution of≈7.6 Å at 5550 Å. The specific aim of this paper, and ourfirst step in the investigation, is to map the underlying galaxy stellarpopulation by measuring, along the slit positioned along the galaxymajor axis, line-strength indices at several, homogeneousgalacto-centric distances. For each object we extracted 7luminosity-weighted apertures (with radii 1.5´´,2.5´´, 10´´, r_e/10, r_e/8, r_e/4 and r_e/2)corrected for the galaxy ellipticity and 4 gradients (0 ≤ r ≤r_e/16, r_e/16 ≤ r ≤ r_e/8, r_e/8 ≤ r ≤ r_e/4 and r_e/4≤ r ≤ r_e/2). For each aperture and gradient we measured 25line-strength indices: 21 of the set defined by the Lick-IDS“standard” system (Trager et al. [CITE], ApJS, 116, 1) and 4introduced by Worthey & Ottaviani ([CITE], ApJS, 111, 377).Line-strength indices have been transformed to the Lick-IDS system.Indices derived then include Hβ, Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, MgFe, Fe5270,Fe5335 commonly used in classic index-index diagrams. The paperintroduces the sample, presents the observations, describes the datareduction procedures, the extraction of apertures and gradients, thedetermination and correction of the line-strength indices, the procedureadopted to transform them into the Lick-IDS System and the proceduresadopted for the emission correction. We finally discuss the comparisonsbetween our dataset and line-strength indices available in theliterature. A significant fraction, about 60%, of galaxies in thepresent sample has one previous measurement in the Lick-IDS system butbasically restricted within the r_e/8 region. Line-strength measuresobtained both from apertures and gradients outside this area and withinthe r_e/8 region, with the present radial mapping, are completely new.Full appendix and Figs. 8 to 13 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Full Tables 6, 7, 9 and 10 are only availableat the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/433/497 Based onobservations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla,Chile (Programs Nr. 60.A-0647 and 61.A-0406). 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 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. Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Spectroscopic DataWe present central velocity dispersions and Mg2 line indicesfor an all-sky sample of ~1178 elliptical and S0 galaxies, of which 984had no previous measures. This sample contains the largest set ofhomogeneous spectroscopic data for a uniform sample of ellipticalgalaxies in the nearby universe. These galaxies were observed as part ofthe ENEAR project, designed to study the peculiar motions and internalproperties of the local early-type galaxies. Using 523 repeatedobservations of 317 galaxies obtained during different runs, the dataare brought to a common zero point. These multiple observations, takenduring the many runs and different instrumental setups employed for thisproject, are used to derive statistical corrections to the data and arefound to be relatively small, typically <~5% of the velocitydispersion and 0.01 mag in the Mg2 line strength. Typicalerrors are about 8% in velocity dispersion and 0.01 mag inMg2, in good agreement with values published elsewhere. 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 A catalogue and analysis of local galaxy ages and metallicitiesWe have assembled a catalogue of relative ages, metallicities andabundance ratios for about 150 local galaxies in field, group andcluster environments. The galaxies span morphological types from cD andellipticals, to late-type spirals. Ages and metallicities were estimatedfrom high-quality published spectral line indices using Worthey &Ottaviani (1997) single stellar population evolutionary models. Theidentification of galaxy age as a fourth parameter in the fundamentalplane (Forbes, Ponman & Brown 1998) is confirmed by our largersample of ages. We investigate trends between age and metallicity, andwith other physical parameters of the galaxies, such as ellipticity,luminosity and kinematic anisotropy. We demonstrate the existence of agalaxy age-metallicity relation similar to that seen for local galacticdisc stars, whereby young galaxies have high metallicity, while oldgalaxies span a large range in metallicities. We also investigate theinfluence of environment and morphology on the galaxy age andmetallicity, especially the predictions made by semi-analytichierarchical clustering models (HCM). We confirm that non-clusterellipticals are indeed younger on average than cluster ellipticals aspredicted by the HCM models. However we also find a trend for the moreluminous galaxies to have a higher [Mg/Fe] ratio than the lowerluminosity galaxies, which is opposite to the expectation from HCMmodels. 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. Near-infrared surface photometry of early-type galaxiesCCD infrared (JHKs) photometry was performed on a sample of10 elliptical and 2 lenticular galaxies. Isophotal parameters,brightness profiles, integrated colors and color gradients arepresented. Color gradients found are very weak, showing bluer colorstowards the outer regions. The colors of the sample galaxies arecompatible with stellar populations like those found in metal-richclusters of the Galaxy; objects NGC 7192, NGC 7562 and NGC 7619 arecompatible with less metal-rich populations. The brightness profile ofmost galaxies is well described by the r1/4 law. The profilesof NGC 1600 and NGC 720 are described by Sérsic's law with n ~1.5 and n ~ 1.8 respectively. The infrared effective radius of theobjects studied is typically one half of its counterpart in the B band,which can be an indication that the stellar population that dominatesthe infrared emission is more concentrated in the central regions. Weshow that the sample satisfies the Fundamental Plane relation ofelliptical galaxies in the infrared, with an rms scatter of 0.20 for Jand H and 0.23 for Ks. Survey of the ISM in early-type galaxies. IV. The hot dust componentWe present mid-IR photometric properties for a sample of 28 early-typegalaxies observed at 6.75, 9.63 and 15 mu m with the ISOCAM instrumenton board the ISO satellite. We find total mid-IR luminosities in therange (3-42) x 108 Lsun. The spectral energydistributions (SED) of the galaxies were derived using the mid-IR datatogether with previously published UV, optical and near-IR data. TheseSEDs clearly show a mid-IR emission coming from dust heated at T =~ 260K. Dust grains properties are inferred from the mid-IR colors. Themasses of the hot dust component are in the range 10-400Msun. The relationship between the masses derived from mid-IRobservations and those derived from visual extinction are discussed. Thepossible common heating source for the gas and dust is investigatedthrough the correlations between Hα and mid-IR luminosities. Basedon observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESAmember states (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands and the UK) and with participation of ISAS and NASA. Cold gas in elliptical galaxiesWe explore the evolution of the cold gas (molecular and neutralhydrogen) of elliptical galaxies and merger remnants ordered into a timesequence on the basis of spectroscopic age estimates. We find that thefraction of cold gas in early merger remnants decreases significantlyfor ~1-2Gyr, but subsequent evolution toward evolved elliptical systemssees very little change. This trend can be attributed to an initial gasdepletion by strong star formation, which subsequently declines toquiescent rates. This explanation is consistent with the merger picturefor the formation of elliptical galaxies. We also explore the relationbetween the HI-to-H2 mass ratio and spectroscopic galaxy age,but find no evidence for a statistically significant trend. Thissuggests little net HI-to-H2 conversion for the systems inthe present sample. Structural evolution in elliptical galaxies: the age-shape relationWe test the hypothesis that the apparent axial ratio of an ellipticalgalaxy is correlated with the age of its stellar population. We findthat old ellipticals (with estimated ages t>7.5Gyr) are rounder onaverage than younger ellipticals. The statistical significance of thisshape difference is greatest at small radii; a Kolmogorov-Smirnov testcomparing the axial ratios of the two populations at R=Re/16yields a statistical significance greater than 99.96 per cent. Therelation between age and apparent shape is linked to the core/power-lawsurface brightness profile dichotomy. Core ellipticals have olderstellar populations, on average, than power-law ellipticals and arerounder in their inner regions. Our findings are consistent with ascenario in which power-law ellipticals are formed in gas-rich mergers,while core ellipticals form in dissipationless mergers, with coresformed and maintained by the influence of a binary black hole. 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 Stellar Population Histories of Early-Type Galaxies. II. Controlling Parameters of the Stellar PopulationsThis paper analyzes single stellar population (SSP)-equivalentparameters for 50 local elliptical galaxies as a function of theirstructural parameters. The galaxy sample is drawn from the high-qualityspectroscopic surveys of González (1993) and Kuntschner (1998).The basic data are central values of SSP-equivalent ages, t,metallicities, [Z/H], and enhancement'' ratios, [E/Fe], derived inPaper I, together with global structural parameters including velocitydispersions, radii, surface brightnesses, masses, and luminosities. Thegalaxies fill a two-dimensional plane in the four-dimensional space of[Z/H], logt, logσ, and [E/Fe]. SSP age, t, and velocitydispersion, σ, can be taken as the two independent parameters thatspecify a galaxy's location in this hyperplane.'' The hyperplane canbe decomposed into two subrelations: (1) a Z-plane,'' in which [Z/H]is a linear function of logσ and logt and (2) a relation between[E/Fe] and σ in which [E/Fe] is larger in high-σ galaxies.Velocity dispersion is the only structural parameter that is found tomodulate the stellar populations; adding other structural variables suchas Ie or re does not predict [Z/H] or [E/Fe] moreaccurately. Cluster and field ellipticals follow the same hyperplane,but their (σ,t) distributions within it differ. Most Fornax andVirgo cluster galaxies are old, with a only a small sprinkling ofgalaxies to younger ages. The field ellipticals span a larger range inSSP age, with a tendency for lower σ galaxies to be younger. Thepresent sample thus suggests that the distribution of local ellipticalsin the (σ,t) plane may depend on environment. Since the(σ,t) distribution affects all two-dimensional projectionsinvolving SSP parameters, many of the familiar scaling laws attributedto ellipticals may also depend on environment. Some evidence for this isseen in the current sample. For example, only Fornax ellipticals showthe classic mass-metallicity relation, whereas other subsamples do not.The tight Mg-σ relations of these ellipticals can be understood astwo-dimensional projections of the metallicity hyperplane showing itedge-on. At fixed σ, young age tends to be offset by high [Z/H],preserving Mg nearly constant. The tightness of the Mg-σ relationsdoes not necessarily imply a narrow range of ages at fixed σ.Although SSP parameters are heavily weighted by young stars, modelingthem still places tight constraints on the total star formation historyof elliptical galaxies. The relation between [E/Fe] and σ isconsistent with a higher effective yield of Type II SNe elements athigher σ. This might occur if the IMF is enhanced in massive starsat high σ, or if more SNe II-enriched gas is retained by deepergalactic potential wells. Either way, modulating Type II yields versusσ seems to fit the data better than modulating Type Ia yields. TheZ-plane is harder to explain and may be a powerful clue to starformation in elliptical galaxies if it proves to be general. Presentdata favor a frosting'' model in which low apparent SSP ages areproduced by adding a small frosting of younger stars to an olderbase'' population (assuming no change in σ). If the frostingabundances are close to or slightly greater than the base population,simple two-component models run along lines of constant σ in theZ-plane, as required. This favors star formation from well-mixedpre-enriched gas rather than unmixed low-metallicity gas from anaccreted object. The Stellar Population Histories of Local Early-Type Galaxies. I. Population ParametersThis paper commences a series of investigations into the stellarpopulations of local elliptical galaxies as determined from theirintegrated spectra. The goal of the series is to determine the starformation and chemical evolution histories of present-day ellipticalgalaxies. The primary galaxy sample analyzed is that of González,which consists of 39 elliptical galaxies drawn primarily from the localfield and nearby groups, plus the bulge of Messier 31. Single-burststellar population (SSP)-equivalent ages, metallicities, and abundanceratios are derived from Hβ, Mg b, and line strengthsusing an extension of the Worthey models that incorporates nonsolarline-strength response functions'' by Tripicco & Bell. Thesefunctions account for changes in the Lick/IDS indices caused by nonsolarabundance ratios, allowing us to correct the Worthey models for theenhancements of Mg and other α-like elements relative to theFe-peak elements. SSP-equivalent ages of the González ellipticalgalaxies are found to vary widely, 1.5 Gyr<~t<~18 Gyr, whilemetallicities [Z/H] and enhancement ratios [E/Fe] are strongly peakedaround <[Z/H]>=+0.26 and <[E/Fe]>=+0.20 (in an aperture ofradius re/8). The enhancement ratios [E/Fe] are milder thanprevious estimates because of the application of nonsolar abundancecorrections to both Mg b and for the first time. While [E/Fe]is usually greater than zero, it is not the `E'' elements that areactually enhanced but rather the Fe-peak elements that are depressed;this serves not only to weaken but also to strengthen Mg b,accounting for the overall generally mild enhancements. Based on indexstrengths from the Lick/IDS galaxy library (Trager et al.), C is notdepressed with Fe but rather seems to be on a par with other elementssuch as Mg in the E group. Gradients in stellar populations withingalaxies are found to be mild, with SSP-equivalent age increasing by25%, metallicity decreasing by <[Z/H]>=0.20 dex, and [E/Fe]remaining nearly constant out to an aperture of radius re/2for nearly all systems. Our ages have an overall zero-point uncertaintyof at least ~25% because of uncertainties in the stellar evolutionprescription, the oxygen abundance, the effect of [E/Fe]≠0 on theisochrones, and other unknowns. However, the relative age rankings ofstellar populations should be largely unaffected by these errors. Inparticular, the large spread in ages appears to be real and cannot beexplained by contamination of Hβ by blue stragglers orhot horizontal-branch stars, or by fill-in of Hβ byemission. Correlations between these derived SSP-equivalent parametersand other galaxy observables will be discussed in future papers. Star formation history of early-type galaxies in low density environments. IV. What do we learn from nuclear line-strength indices?In this paper we analyze the line-strength indices in the Lick-systemmeasured by Longhetti et al. (1998a, b) for a sample of 51 early-typegalaxies located in low density environments (LDE) and showingsignatures of fine structures and/or interactions. The sample contains21 shell-galaxies and 30 members of interacting pairs. Firstly weperform a preliminary comparison between three different sources ofcalibrations of the line strength indices, namely Buzzoni et al. (1992,1994), Worthey (1992), Worthey et al. (1994) and Idiart et al. (1995),derived from stars with different effective temperature, gravity, andmetallicity. Looking at the three indices in common, i.e. Mg2, Fe5270,and Hβ , the calibrations by Buzzoni et al. (1992, 1994), Worthey(1992) and Worthey et al. (1994) lead to mutually consistent results.The calibration of Hβ by Idiart et al. (1995) can be compared withthe previous ones only for a limited range of ages, in which goodagreement is found. Mg2 and Mgb indices predicted by the Idiart's et al.(1995) fitting functions result to be systematically lower than thoseobtained from using Worthey (1992) calibrations. Secondly, we discussthe properties of the galaxies in our sample by comparing them both withtheoretical Single Stellar Populations (SSPs) and the normal galaxies ofthe González (1993: G93) sample. The analysis is performed bymeans of several diagnostic planes. In the sigma , Mg2, Fe5270 andFe5335 space, normal, shell- and pair-galaxies have a differentbehavior. First of all, normal and pair-galaxies follow the universalsigma vs. Mg2 relation, whereas shell-galaxies lie above it; secondlythe Fe versus Mg2 relation of normal, shell- and pair-galaxies isflatter than the theoretical expectation. This fact hints forenhancement of alpha -elements with respect to solar partition ingalaxies with strong Fe indices and/or high velocity dispersion, massand luminosity in turn. In the sigma vs. Hβ plane normal galaxiesseem to follow a nice relation suggesting that objects with shallowgravitational potential have strong Hβ values (youth signature?),whereas shell- and pair-galaxies scatter all over the plane. A group ofgalaxies with deep gravitational potential and strong Hβ is found.Is this a signature of recent star formation? In the Hβ vs. [MgFe]plane, which is perhaps best suited to infer the age of the stellarpopulations, the peculiar galaxies in our sample show nearly the samedistribution of the normal galaxies in the G93 sample. There is howevera number of peculiar galaxies with much stronger Hβ . Does thismean that the scatter in the Hβ vs. [MgFe] plane, of normal, shell-and pair-galaxies has a common origin, perhaps a secondary episode ofstar formation? We suggest that, owing to their apparent youth, shell-and pair-galaxies should have experienced at least one interaction eventafter their formation. The explanation comes natural for shell- andpair-galaxies where the signatures of interactions are evident. It ismore intrigued in normal galaxies (perhaps other causes may concur).Noteworthy, the distribution in the Hβ vs. [MgFe] plane of normal,shell- and pair-galaxies is confined within a narrow strip that runssignificantly steeper than the path followed by aging SSPs. This featureis explained as due to metal enrichment always accompanying starformation. Shell-galaxies encompass the whole range of ages inferredfrom the Hβ vs. [MgFe] plane, indicating that among them recent andold interaction/acquisition events are equally probable. If shells areformed at the same time at which the rejuvenating event took place,shells ought to be long lasting phenomena. [MgFe] = sqrt { xMgb}, = (Fe5270 + Fe5335)/2 } 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 On the relationship between age and dynamics in elliptical galaxiesGalaxy age estimates (mostly from spectroscopy of the central regions)are now available for many early-type galaxies. In a previous paper weshowed that the offset of galaxies from the fundamental plane depends ongalaxy age. Here, using the same sample of 88 galaxies, we examine thescatter about the Faber-Jackson (FJ) relation, and find that theposition of a galaxy relative to this relation depends on its age. Inparticular, younger ellipticals are systematically brighter inMB and/or have a lower central velocitydispersion (σ0). The mean relation corresponds togalaxies that are ~10Gyr old. We attempt to reproduce the observed trendof the FJ residuals with age using two simple models. The first assumesthat galaxy age is tracing the last major star formation event in anelliptical galaxy. We assume that this starburst was instantaneous,centrally located and involved 10per cent of the galaxy by mass. Thefading of this burst changes the MBcomponent of the FJ residuals, with time. Such a model was verysuccessful at reproducing the B-V and Mg2 evolution reportedin our previous paper, but is unable to reproduce the strength of the FJtrend. A second model is required to describe age-correlated changes ingalaxy dynamics. Following expectations from cosmological simulations,we assume that σ0, for a galaxy of a given mass, scaleswith the epoch of galaxy formation, i.e. with the mean density of theUniverse. Hence recently formed ellipticals have systematically lowervelocity dispersions than do old ellipticals. We find that a combinationof these two models provides a good match to the change in FJ residualswith galaxy age. This suggests that young ellipticals will have subtlydifferent dynamical properties from old ellipticals. We also find thatthere is not a strong relationship between the age of a galaxy and itsluminosity for our sample. This suggests that the tilt of thefundamental plane is not totally driven by age. Gradients of Absorption-Line Strengths in Elliptical GalaxiesWe have restudied line-strength gradients of 80 elliptical galaxies.Typical metallicity gradients of elliptical galaxies areΔ[Fe/H]/Δlogr~=-0.3, which is flatter than the gradientspredicted by monolithic collapse simulations. The metallicity gradientsdo not correlate with any physical properties of galaxies, includingcentral and mean metallicities, central velocity dispersionsσ0, absolute B magnitudes MB, absoluteeffective radii Re, and dynamical masses of galaxies. Byusing the metallicity gradients, we have calculated mean stellarmetallicities for individual ellipticals. Typical mean stellarmetallicities are <[Fe/H]>~=-0.3 and range from<[Fe/H]>~=-0.8 to +0.3, which is contrary to what Gonzalez &Gorgas claimed; the mean metallicities of ellipticals are not universal.The mean metallicities correlate well with σ0 anddynamical masses, though relations for MB and Reinclude significant scatters. We find fundamental planes defined bysurface brightnesses SBe, <[Fe/H]>, and Re(or MB), the scatters of which are much smaller than those ofthe <[Fe/H]>-Re (or <[Fe/H]>-MB)relations. The <[Fe/H]>-logσ0 relation is nearlyparallel to the [Fe/H]0-logσ0 relation butsystematically lower by 0.3 dex; thus the mean metallicities are aboutone-half of the central values. The metallicity-mass relation or,equivalently, the color-magnitude relation of ellipticals holds not onlyfor the central parts of galaxies but also for entire galaxies. Assumingthat Mg2 and Fe1 give [Mg/H] and [Fe/H],respectively, we find <[Mg/Fe]>~=+0.2 in most of ellipticalgalaxies. <[Mg/Fe]> shows no correlation with galaxy mass tracerssuch as σ0, in contrast to what was claimed for thecentral [Mg/Fe]. This can be most naturally explained if the starformation had stopped in elliptical galaxies before the bulk of Type Iasupernovae began to occur. Elliptical galaxies can have significantlydifferent metallicity gradients and <[Fe/H]>, even if they havethe same galaxy mass. This may result from galaxy mergers, but noevidence is found from presently available data to support the sameorigin for metallicity gradients, the scatters around themetallicity-mass relation, and dynamical disturbances. This may suggestthat the scatters have their origin at the formation epoch of galaxies. Far-Infrared Emission from E and E/S0 GalaxiesEarly-type galaxies are filled with hot X-ray-emitting gas, but thestudy of the less plentiful cold gaseous component has been morechallenging. Studies of cold material through IRAS 60 and 100 mu mobservations indicated that half of ordinary E and E/S0 galaxies weredetected above the 3 sigma level, indicating that cold gas is common,although no correlation was found between the optical and far-infraredfluxes. Most detections were near the instrumental threshold, and givenan improved understanding of detection confidence, we reconsider the 60and 100 mu m detection rate. After excluding active galactic nuclei,peculiar systems, and background contamination, only 15 nonpeculiar Eand E/S0 galaxies from the RSA catalog are detected above the 98%confidence level, about 12% of the sample. An unusually high percentageof these 15 galaxies possess cold gas (H I CO) and optical emissionlines (H alpha ), supporting the presence of gas cooler than 104 K. The60-100 mu m flux ratios imply a median dust temperature for the sampleof 30 K, with a range of 23-28 K. These detections define the upperenvelope of the optical to far-infrared relationship,F_{{fir}}~F^{0.24+/-0.08}B , showing that optically brightobjects are also brighter in the infrared, although with considerabledispersion. A luminosity correlation is present wthL_{{fir}}~L^{1.65+/-0.28}B , but the dust temperature isuncorrelated with luminosity. The dust masses inferred from thefar-infrared measurements are 1 order of magnitude greater than thosefrom extinction observations, except for the recent merger candidate NGC4125, where they are equal. We suggest that the ratio of thefar-infrared dust mass to the extinction dust mass may be an indicatorof the time since the last spiral-spiral merger. These results arecompared to the model in which most of the dust comes from stellar massloss and the heating is primarily by stellar photons. Models thatcontain large dust grains composed of amorphous carbon plus silicatescome close to reproducing the typical 60-100 mu m flux ratios, thefar-infrared luminosity, and the Lfir-LB relationship. The Ages of Disturbed Field Elliptical Galaxies. II. Central PropertiesThe formation of elliptical galaxies via the merger of gas-rich diskshas received considerable attention in recent years, with many studiesstrongly supporting the merger hypothesis. When investigated in detail,the dynamics of a major merger that produces a high phase-space densityof material (e.g., the center of an elliptical galaxy) invariablyproduces the ubiquitous signature of a centrally concentrated burst ofstar formation. We have searched for this central burst of starformation in a sample of field elliptical galaxies that exhibitmorphological fine structure thought to be indicative of merging. Out ofthis sample of 32 galaxies, we find only two galaxies, NGC 3610 and NGC5322, with sufficiently red central near-IR colors to be consistent withthe asymptotic giant branch light reflective of the central burst ofstar formation a few gigayears ago. Using NGC 3610 and 5322 as casestudies, we discuss possible astrophysical links between global andcentral properties and their implied constraints on elliptical galaxyformation and evolution. In particular, we conclude that the availableevidence argues against mergers of disk galaxies within the last 3-4 Gyras being the primary formation mechanism for morphologically disturbedfield elliptical galaxies. The Ages of Disturbed Field Elliptical Galaxies. I. Global PropertiesNear-infrared images of elliptical galaxies with morphologicalsignatures of recent merger activity have been obtained. If this mergeractivity stimulated significant and distributed star formation withinthe region defined by R < 1.5R_e, then JHK photometry in this regionshould detect the presence of an intermediate-age stellar populationassociated with this event. Our observations, however, show that thesegalaxies occupy the same locus of points in the J - H versus H - K planeas elliptical galaxies with no signs of recent merger activity. Thisstrongly constrains the global fractional amount of intermediate-age(1-3 Gyr) stellar mass to be no more than 10%-15%, and in most cases thedata are consistent with all the stellar mass being old (T > 10 Gyr)and metal-rich ([Fe/H] >= -0.3). We argue that any recent mergeractivity was, therefore, not accompanied by a significant episode ofdistributed star formation within the region defined by R < 1.5R_eand that the bluer UBV colors often observed in this region for some ofthese galaxies are due to the accretion of lower mass companions orrelative abundance differences. The possibility of a stronglycentralized starburst resulting from the merger, instead of a moredistributed star-forming episode, is fully discussed in Paper II of thisseries, in which similar tight constraints on this activity will bediscussed. The Southern Sky Redshift SurveyWe report redshifts, magnitudes, and morphological classifications for5369 galaxies with m_B <= 15.5 and for 57 galaxies fainter than thislimit, in two regions covering a total of 1.70 sr in the southerncelestial hemisphere. The galaxy catalog is drawn primarily from thelist of nonstellar objects identified in the Hubble Space TelescopeGuide Star Catalog (GSC). The galaxies have positions accurate to ~1"and magnitudes with an rms scatter of ~0.3 mag. We compute magnitudes(m_SSRS2) from the relation between instrumental GSC magnitudes and thephotometry by Lauberts & Valentijn. From a comparison with CCDphotometry, we find that our system is homogeneous across the sky andcorresponds to magnitudes measured at the isophotal level ~26 magarcsec^-2. The precision of the radial velocities is ~40 km s^-1, andthe redshift survey is more than 99% complete to the m_SSRS2 = 15.5 maglimit. This sample is in the direction opposite that of the CfA2; incombination the two surveys provide an important database for studies ofthe properties of galaxies and their large-scale distribution in thenearby universe. Based on observations obtained at Cerro TololoInter-American Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories,operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation;Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between theConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas de laRepública Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata,Córdoba, and San Juan; the European Southern Observatory, LaSilla, Chile, partially under the bilateral ESO-ObservatórioNacional agreement; Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory;Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica, Brazil; and the SouthAfrican Astronomical Observatory.
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