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Metallicity Gradients in the Halos of Elliptical Galaxies

  • Jenny E. Greene (a1), Chung-Pei Ma (a2), Andrew Goulding (a1), Nicholas J. McConnell (a3), John P. Blakeslee (a3), Timothy Davis (a4) and Jens Thomas (a5)...

Abstract

We discuss the stellar halos of massive elliptical galaxies, as revealed by our ambitious integral-field spectroscopic survey MASSIVE. We show that metallicity drops smoothly as a function of radius out to ~ 2.5 Re, while the [α/Fe] abundance ratios stay flat. The stars in the outskirts likely formed rapidly (to explain the high ratio of alpha to Fe) but in a relatively shallow potential (to explain the low metallicities). This is consistent with expectations for a two-phase growth of massive galaxies, in which the second phase involves accretion of small satellites. We also show some preliminary study of the gas content of these most MASSIVE galaxies.

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