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An HST Survey of Cores of Early-Type Galaxies1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 May 2016

John Kormendy
Affiliation:
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822
Yong-Ik Byun
Affiliation:
Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822
E. A. Ajhar
Affiliation:
Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, P. O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726
Tod R. Lauer
Affiliation:
Kitt Peak National Observatory, National Optical Astronomy Observatories, P. O. Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726
Alan Dressler
Affiliation:
Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara St., Pasadena, CA 91101
S. M. Faber
Affiliation:
UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Carl Grillmair
Affiliation:
UCO/Lick Observatory, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Karl Gebhardt
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomy, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Douglas Richstone
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomy, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Scott Tremaine
Affiliation:
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George St., Toronto M5S 1A7, Canada

Abstract

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Photometry of the central parts of bulges and elliptical galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) confirms and extends ground-based results. Most giant ellipticals have cuspy cores: at the “break radius” rb (formerly the core radius rc), the steep outer surface brightness profile turns down to a shallow inner power law I(r) ∝ r–γ, 0 ≤ γ ≲ 0.25. The corresponding slope of the deprojected profile is derived; the flattest cores allow box orbits to survive. Cores continue to satisfy fundamental plane parameter correlations like those found from the ground. In particular, HST confirms that the luminosity sequence of elliptical galaxies (from cDs to M 32) is physically unrelated to spheroidal galaxies like Fornax. The latter are closely related to late-type dwarfs. Low-luminosity ellipticals do not show cores: 0.5 ≲ γ ≲ 1.3. The most important new result is that global and core properties both show signs of a dichotomy between (i) low-luminosity ellipticals that rotate rapidly, that are nearly isotropic and oblate-spheroidal, that have disky-distorted isophotes, and that are coreless and (ii) giant ellipticals that are essentially nonrotating, anisotropic, and moderately triaxial, that are boxy-distorted, and that have cuspy cores.

Type
Small Stellar Systems and Galaxy Cores
Copyright
Copyright © Kluwer 1996 

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