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HI content in galaxies in loose groups
Gas deficiency in cluster spirals is well known and ram-pressurestripping is considered the main gas removal mechanism. In some compactgroups too gas deficiency is reported. However, gas deficiency in loosegroups is not yet well established. Lower dispersion of the membervelocities and the lower density of the intragroup medium in small loosegroups favour tidal stripping as the main gas removal process in them.Recent releases of data from the HI Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) andcatalogues of nearby loose groups with associated diffuse X-ray emissionhave allowed us to test this notion. In this paper, we address thefollowing questions: (i) do galaxies in groups with diffuse X-rayemission statistically have lower gas content compared to the ones ingroups without diffuse X-ray emission? (ii) does HI deficiency vary withthe X-ray luminosity, LX, of the loose group in a systematicway? We find that (i) galaxies in groups with diffuse X-ray emission, onaverage, are HI deficient, and have lost more gas compared to those ingroups without X-ray emission; the latter are found not to havesignificant HI deficiency; (ii) no systematic dependence of the HIdeficiency with LX is found. Ram-pressure-assisted tidalstripping and evaporation by thermal conduction are the two possiblemechanisms to account for this excess gas loss.

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.

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.

Star formation history in early-type galaxies - I. The line absorption indices diagnostics
To unravel the formation mechanism and the evolutionary history ofelliptical galaxies (EGs) is one of the goals of modern astrophysics. Ina simplified picture of the issue, the question to be answered iswhether they have formed by hierarchical merging of pre-existingsubstructures (maybe disc galaxies) made of stars and gas, with eachmerging event probably accompanied by strong star formation, orconversely, whether they originated from the early aggregation of lumpsof gas turned into stars in the remote past via a burst-like episodeever since followed by quiescence so as to mimic a sort of monolithicprocess. Even if the two alternatives seem to oppose each other,actually they may both contribute to shaping the final properties of EGsas seen today. Are there distinct signatures of the underlying dominantprocess in the observational data? To this aim we have examined the lineabsorption indices on the Lick system of the normal, field EGs of Tragerand the interacting EGs (pair- and shell-objects) of Longhetti et al.The data show that both normal, field and interacting galaxies have thesame scattered but smooth distribution in the Hβ versus [MgFe]plane even if the interacting ones show a more pronounced tail towardhigh Hβ values. This may suggest that a common physical cause is atthe origin of their distribution. There are two straightforwardinterpretations of increasing complexity. (i) EGs span true large rangesof ages and metallicities. A young age is the signature of theaggregation mechanism, each event accompanied by metal enrichment. Thissimple scheme cannot, however, explain other spectro-photometricproperties of EGs and has to be discarded. (ii) The bulk population ofstars is old but subsequent episodes of star formation scatter the EGsin the diagnostic planes. However, this scheme would predict anoutstanding clump at low Hβ values, contrary to what is observed.The model can be cured by supposing that the primary star formationactivity lasted for a significant fraction of the Hubble time (5<=T<= 13 Gyr) accompanied by global metal enrichment. The`younger' galaxies are more metal-rich. The later burst of starformation should be small otherwise too many high-Hβ objects wouldbe observed. Therefore, the distribution of normal, pair- andshell-galaxies in the Hβ versus [MgFe] plane is due to global metalenrichment. Even though the above schemes provide a formal explanation,they seem to be too demanding because of the many ad hoc ingredientsthat have to be introduced. Furthermore, they neglect theobservationally grounded hint that the stellar content of EGs is likelyto be enhanced in α-elements with [α/Fe] ranging from 0.1 to0.4 dex. Here we propose a new scheme, in which the bulk dispersion ofgalaxies in the Hβ versus [MgFe] plane is caused by a differentmean degree of enhancement. In this model, neither the large age rangesnor the universal enrichment law for the old component are required andthe observed distribution along Hβ is naturally recovered.Furthermore, later bursts of stellar activity are a rare event,involving only those galaxies with very high Hβ (roughly >2.5).Finally, simulations of the scatter in broad-band colours of EGs seem toconfirm that the bulk stars have formed in the remote past, and thatmergers and companion star formation in a recent past are not likely,unless the intensity of the secondary activity is very small.

Companions to Isolated Elliptical Galaxies: Revisiting the Bothun-Sullivan Sample
We investigate the number of physical companion galaxies for a sample ofrelatively isolated elliptical galaxies. The NASA/IPAC ExtragalacticDatabase (NED) has been used to reinvestigate the incidence of satellitegalaxies for a sample of 34 elliptical galaxies, first investigated byBothun & Sullivan using a visual inspection of Palomar Sky Surveyprints out to a projected search radius of 75 kpc. We have repeatedtheir original investigation using data cataloged in NED. Nine of theseelliptical galaxies appear to be members of galaxy clusters; theremaining sample of 25 galaxies reveals an average of +1.0+/-0.5apparent companions per galaxy within a projected search radius of 75kpc, in excess of two equal-area comparison regions displaced by 150-300kpc. This is significantly larger than the +0.12+/-0.42companions/galaxy found by Bothun & Sullivan for the identicalsample. Making use of published radial velocities, mostly availablesince the completion of the Bothun-Sullivan study, identifies thephysical companions and gives a somewhat lower estimate of +0.4companions per elliptical galaxy. This is still 3 times larger than theoriginal statistical study, but given the incomplete and heterogeneousnature of the survey redshifts in NED, it still yields a firm lowerlimit on the number (and identity) of physical companions. An expansionof the search radius out to 300 kpc, again restricted to sampling onlythose objects with known redshifts in NED, gives another lower limit of4.5 physical companions per galaxy. (Excluding five elliptical galaxiesin the Fornax Cluster, this average drops to 3.5 companions perelliptical.) These physical companions are individually identified andlisted, and the ensemble-averaged radial density distribution of theseassociated galaxies is presented. For the ensemble, the radial densitydistribution is found to have a falloff consistent withρ~R-0.5 out to approximately 150 kpc. For non-FornaxCluster companions the falloff continues out to the 300 kpc limit of thesurvey. The velocity dispersion of these companions is found to reach amaximum of 350 km s-1 at around 120 kpc, after which theyfall at a rate consistent with Keplerian falloff. This falloff may thenindicate the detection of a cut-off in the mass-density distribution inthe elliptical galaxies' dark matter halo at ~100 kpc.

Peculiarities and populations in elliptical galaxies. I. An old question revisited
Morphological 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 ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/423/833

Near-infrared imaging of ellipticals: surface brightness profiles and photometry
We 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.

Star Formation Histories of Early-Type Galaxies. I. Higher Order Balmer Lines as Age Indicators
We have obtained blue integrated spectra of 175 nearby early-typegalaxies, covering a wide range in galaxy velocity dispersion andemphasizing those with σ<100 km s-1. Galaxies havebeen observed both in the Virgo Cluster and in lower densityenvironments. The main goals are the evaluation of higher order Balmerlines as age indicators and differences in stellar populations as afunction of mass, environment, and morphology. In this first paper, ouremphasis is on presenting the methods used to characterize the behaviorof the Balmer lines through evolutionary population synthesis models.Lower σ galaxies exhibit a substantially greater intrinsicscatter, in a variety of line-strength indicators, than do higherσ galaxies, with the large intrinsic scatter setting in below aσ of 100 km s-1. Moreover, a greater contrast inscatter is present in the Balmer lines than in the lines of metalfeatures. Evolutionary synthesis modeling of the observed spectralindexes indicates that the strong Balmer lines found primarily among thelow-σ galaxies are caused by young age, rather than by lowmetallicity. Thus we find a trend between the population age and thecentral velocity dispersion, such that low-σ galaxies have youngerluminosity-weighted mean ages. We have repeated this analysis usingseveral different Balmer lines and find consistent results from onespectral indicator to another.

Redshift-Distance Survey of Early-Type Galaxies: Circular-Aperture Photometry
We 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 galaxies
We 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 ( or via\http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/405/5

A catalogue and analysis of local galaxy ages and metallicities
We 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 Environments
The prints of the Palomar Sky Survey, luminosity classifications, andradial velocities were used to assign all northern Shapley-Ames galaxiesto either (1) field, (2) group, or (3) cluster environments. Thisinformation for 930 galaxies shows no evidence for a dependence of barfrequency on galaxy environment. This suggests that the formation of abar in a disk galaxy is mainly determined by the properties of theparent galaxy, rather than by the characteristics of its environment.

Line-strength indices and velocity dispersions for 148 early-type galaxies in different environments
We have derived high quality line-strength indices and velocitydispersions for a sample of 148 early-type galaxies in differentenvironments. The wavelength region covered by the observations (lambda=~ 4600 to 6600 Å) includes the Lick/IDS indices Hβ,Mg1, Mg2, Mgb, Fe5015, Fe5270, Fe5335, Fe5406,Fe5709, Fe5782, NaD, TiO1 and TiO2. The data areintended to address possible differences of the stellar populations ofearly-type galaxies in low- and high-density environments. This paperdescribes the sample properties, explains the data reduction andpresents the complete list of all the measurements. Most galaxies of thesample (85%) had no previous measurements of any Lick/IDS indices andfor 30% of the galaxies we present first-time determinations of theirvelocity dispersions. Special care is taken to identify galaxies withemission lines. We found that 62 per cent of the galaxies in the samplehave emission lines, as measured by the equivalent width of the [OIII]5007Å line, EW[OIII] > 0.3 Å. Tables 5 and 6 are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/ A+A/395/431. They are also available via ftp atftp.mpe.mpg.de in the directory people/dthomas/Beuing02 or via WWW atftp://ftp.mpe.mpg.de/people/dthomas/Beuing02.

Near-infrared surface photometry of early-type galaxies
CCD 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.

An elliptical galaxy luminosity function and velocity dispersion sample of relevance for gravitational lensing statistics
We have selected 42 elliptical galaxies from the literature andestimated their velocity dispersions at the effective radius(σRe) and at 0.54 effective radii(σ0.54Re). We find by a dynamical analysisthat the normalized velocity dispersion of the dark halo of anelliptical galaxy σDM is roughlyσRe multiplied by a constant, which isalmost independent of the core radius or the anisotropy parameter ofeach galaxy. Our sample analysis suggests that σDM*lies in the range 178-198 km s-1. The power law relation wefind between the luminosity and the dark matter velocity dispersionmeasured in this way is(L/L*)=(σDM/σDM*)γ,where /γ is between 2 and 3. These results are of interest forstrong gravitational lensing statistics studies. In order to determinethe value of σDM*, we calculateMBT* in the same BT band in whichσDM* has been estimated. We select 131 ellipticalgalaxies as a complete sample set with apparent magnitudes BTbetween 9.26 and 12.19. We find that the luminosity function is wellfitted to the Schechter form, with parametersMBT*=-19.66+5.log10h+/-0.30,/α=0.15+/-0.55, and the normalization constantφ*=(1.34+/-0.30)×10-3h3Mpc-3, with the Hubble constant Ho=100 /h kms-1 Mpc-1. This normalization implies thatmorphology type E galaxies make up (10.8 /+/- 1.2) per cent of allgalaxies.

A catalogue and analysis of X-ray luminosities of early-type galaxies
We present a catalogue of X-ray luminosities for 401 early-typegalaxies, of which 136 are based on newly analysed ROSAT PSPC pointedobservations. The remaining luminosities are taken from the literatureand converted to a common energy band, spectral model and distancescale. Using this sample we fit the LX:LB relationfor early-type galaxies and find a best-fit slope for the catalogue of~2.2. We demonstrate the influence of group-dominant galaxies on the fitand present evidence that the relation is not well modelled by a singlepower-law fit. We also derive estimates of the contribution to galaxyX-ray luminosities from discrete-sources and conclude that they provideLdscr/LB~=29.5ergs-1LBsolar-1. Wecompare this result with luminosities from our catalogue. Lastly, weexamine the influence of environment on galaxy X-ray luminosity and onthe form of the LX:LB relation. We conclude thatalthough environment undoubtedly affects the X-ray properties ofindividual galaxies, particularly those in the centres of groups andclusters, it does not change the nature of whole populations.

A synthesis of data from fundamental plane and surface brightness fluctuation surveys
We perform a series of comparisons between distance-independentphotometric and spectroscopic properties used in the surface brightnessfluctuation (SBF) and fundamental plane (FP) methods of early-typegalaxy distance estimation. The data are taken from two recent surveys:the SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances and the Streaming Motions of AbellClusters (SMAC) FP survey. We derive a relation between(V-I)0 colour and Mg2 index using nearly 200galaxies and discuss implications for Galactic extinction estimates andearly-type galaxy stellar populations. We find that the reddenings fromSchlegel et al. for galaxies with E(B-V)>~0.2mag appear to beoverestimated by 5-10 per cent, but we do not find significant evidencefor large-scale dipole errors in the extinction map. In comparison withstellar population models having solar elemental abundance ratios, thegalaxies in our sample are generally too blue at a given Mg2;we ascribe this to the well-known enhancement of the α-elements inluminous early-type galaxies. We confirm a tight relation betweenstellar velocity dispersion σ and the SBF `fluctuation count'parameter N, which is a luminosity-weighted measure of the total numberof stars in a galaxy. The correlation between N and σ is eventighter than that between Mg2 and σ. Finally, we deriveFP photometric parameters for 280 galaxies from the SBF survey data set.Comparisons with external sources allow us to estimate the errors onthese parameters and derive the correction necessary to bring them on tothe SMAC system. The data are used in a forthcoming paper, whichcompares the distances derived from the FP and SBF methods.

Cold gas in elliptical galaxies
We 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 relation
We 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.

The SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances. IV. SBF Magnitudes, Colors, and Distances
We report data for I-band surface brightness fluctuation (SBF)magnitudes, (V-I) colors, and distance moduli for 300 galaxies. Thesurvey contains E, S0, and early-type spiral galaxies in the proportionsof 49:42:9 and is essentially complete for E galaxies to Hubblevelocities of 2000 km s-1, with a substantial sampling of Egalaxies out to 4000 km s-1. The median error in distancemodulus is 0.22 mag. We also present two new results from the survey.(1) We compare the mean peculiar flow velocity (bulk flow) implied byour distances with predictions of typical cold dark matter transferfunctions as a function of scale, and we find very good agreement withcold, dark matter cosmologies if the transfer function scale parameterΓ and the power spectrum normalization σ8 arerelated by σ8Γ-0.5~2+/-0.5. Deriveddirectly from velocities, this result is independent of the distributionof galaxies or models for biasing. This modest bulk flow contradictsreports of large-scale, large-amplitude flows in the ~200 Mpc diametervolume surrounding our survey volume. (2) We present adistance-independent measure of absolute galaxy luminosity, N and showhow it correlates with galaxy properties such as color and velocitydispersion, demonstrating its utility for measuring galaxy distancesthrough large and unknown extinction. Observations in part from theMichigan-Dartmouth-MIT (MDM) Observatory.

Compact Groups of Galaxies: Evolution of the Stellar Population
We present a study focusing on the nature of compact groups (CGs)through the study of their elliptical (E) galaxies. Parametersdescribing the internal dynamics and the stellar populations of thegalaxies are compared with their counterparts in other environments. Oursample has 24 bright E galaxies located in the core of Hickson CGs and11 bright `bona fide' Es, located in the field or very loose groups.Their spectra were obtained with the 2.1 m Telescope at KPNO and have a4.1 Å resolution over the wavelength range 3500-7000 Å. Wehave found that, from the dynamical point of view, E galaxies in CGs areessentially similar to those in dense clusters. Moreover, the stellarpopulations of Es in CGs seem to be older and less metal rich than thosein the field, behaviour which has also been observed by Rose et al.(1994).

The Fundamental Plane of Elliptical Galaxies in Compact Groups
We present a study focusing on the nature of compact groups through thestudy of their elliptical galaxies. We determine velocity dispersions(σ) for 18 bright elliptical galaxies located in the core ofHickson compact groups and a control sample of 12 bright bona fideelliptical galaxies located in the field or very loose groups. Severaltests are carried out to avoid sources of systematic effects in σmeasurements. We use these velocity dispersions to compare the positionsof 11 compact group galaxies in the fundamental plane with those of alarge and homogeneous sample of elliptical galaxies. We find that littleor no significant difference exists, as far as the fundamental plane isconcerned, between elliptical galaxies in compact groups and theircounterparts in other environments.

Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of Groups
In 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 Cold and Hot Gas Content of Fine-Structure E and S0 Galaxies
We investigate trends of the cold and hot gas content of early-typegalaxies with the presence of optical morphological peculiarities, asmeasured by the fine-structure index Σ. H I mapping observationsfrom the literature are used to track the cold gas content, and archivalROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter data are used to quantifythe hot gas content. We find that E and S0 galaxies with a highincidence of optical peculiarities are exclusively X-ray underluminousand, therefore, deficient in hot gas. In contrast, more relaxed galaxieswith little or no signs of optical peculiarities span a wide range ofX-ray luminosities. That is, the X-ray excess anticorrelates withΣ. There appears to be no similar trend of cold gas content witheither fine-structure index or X-ray content. The fact that onlyapparently relaxed E and S0 galaxies are strong X-ray emitters isconsistent with the hypothesis that after strong disturbances, such as amerger, hot gas halos build up over a timescale of several gigayears.This is consistent with the expected mass loss from stars.

The Stellar Population Histories of Early-Type Galaxies. II. Controlling Parameters of the Stellar Populations
This 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 older``base'' 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 Parameters
This 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 Reddening
Accurate 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 galaxies
Galaxy 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.

X-ray luminosities for a magnitude-limited sample of early-type galaxies from the ROSAT All-Sky Survey
For a magnitude-limited optical sample (B_T <= 13.5 mag) ofearly-type galaxies, we have derived X-ray luminosities from the ROSATAll-Sky Survey. The results are 101 detections and 192 useful upperlimits in the range from 10^36 to 10^44 erg s^-1. For most of thegalaxies no X-ray data have been available until now. On the basis ofthis sample with its full sky coverage, we find no galaxy with anunusually low flux from discrete emitters. Below log (L_B) ~ 9.2L_⊗ the X-ray emission is compatible with being entirely due todiscrete sources. Above log (L_B) ~ 11.2 L_osolar no galaxy with onlydiscrete emission is found. We further confirm earlier findings that L_xis strongly correlated with L_B. Over the entire data range the slope isfound to be 2.23 (+/- 0.12). We also find a luminosity dependence ofthis correlation. Below log L_x = 40.5 erg s^-1 it is consistent with aslope of 1, as expected from discrete emission. Above this value theslope is close to 2, as expected from gaseous emission. Comparing thedistribution of X-ray luminosities with the models of Ciotti et al.leads to the conclusion that the vast majority of early-type galaxiesare in the wind or outflow phase. Some of the galaxies may have alreadyexperienced the transition to the inflow phase. They show X-rayluminosities in excess of the value predicted by cooling flow modelswith the largest plausible standard supernova rates. A possibleexplanation for these super X-ray-luminous galaxies is suggested by thesmooth transition in the L_x--L_B plane from galaxies to clusters ofgalaxies. Gas connected to the group environment might cause the X-rayoverluminosity.

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Right ascension:01h39m06.40s
Aparent dimensions:2.692′ × 2.239′

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NGC 2000.0NGC 636

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