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Stellar discs in massive galaxies

  • D. Krajnović (a1), K. Alatalo (a2), L. Blitz (a2), M. Bois (a3), F. Bournaud (a4), M. Bureau (a5), M. Cappellari (a5), R. L. Davies (a5), T. A. Davis (a1), P. T. de Zeeuw (a1) (a6), E. Emsellem (a1) (a7), S. Khochfar (a8), H. Kuntschner (a1), R. M. McDermid (a9), R. Morganti (a10), T. Naab (a11), M. Sarzi (a12), N. Scott (a13), P. Serra (a10), A. Weijmans (a14) and L. M. Young (a15)...

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Excluding those unsettled systems undergoing mergers, bright galaxies come in two flavours: with and without discs. In this work we look for photometric evidence for presence of discs and compare it with kinematic results of the ATLAS3D survey (Cappellari et al. 2011). We fit a Sérsic (1968) function to azimuthally averaged light profiles of ATLAS3D galaxies to derive single component fits and, subsequently, we fit a combination of the Sérsic function (free index n) and an exponential function (n=1) with the purpose of decomposing the light profiles into “bulge” and “disc” components (B+D model) of all non-barred sample galaxies. We compare the residuals of the B+D models with those of the single Sérsic fits and select the B+D model as preferred only when the improvement is substantial and there are no correlations within residuals. We find that the high angular momentum objects (fast rotators) are disc dominated systems with bulges of typically low n (when their light profiles can be decomposed) or are best represented with a single Sérsic function with a low Sérsic index (n<3). Single component systems with large Sérsic indices are characteristic of low angular momentum objects (slow rotators).

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References

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Cappellari, M., et al. 2011, MNRAS, 413, 813
Sérsic, J. L., 1968, Atlas de galaxias australes, Observatorio Astrónomico, Córdoba, Argentina
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