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We present the deepest colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) of M32 to date, obtained from deep (F435W, F555W) photometry of HST ACS/HRC images. Due to the high resolution of our images, the small photometric errors, and the completeness level of our data we obtain the most detailed resolved photometric study of M32 to date. The CMD of M32 displays a wide colour distribution of red giant branch stars, mainly due to a metallicity spread, a strong red clump and bright asymptotic giant branch stars. The detection of a “blue plume” in M32 indicates the presence of a very young stellar population. There is not a noticeable presence of blue horizontal branch stars, suggesting that an old population with [Fe/H] < −1.5 does not significantly contribute to the light or mass of M32 in our observed fields.
We present preliminary measurements of the central black hole mass MBH, and stellar mass-to-light ratio M*/LR, in the Brightest Cluster Galaxy of Abell 2162 (A2162–BCG), using integral-field unit (IFU) data from OSIRIS on Keck 2 with laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS-AO). Our results demonstrate early success in an ongoing effort to obtain stellar dynamical measurements of MBH in nine BCGs using ground-based AO.
We observed two fields near M32 with the ACS/HRC (Program GO-10572, PI: T. Lauer) on board the Hubble Space Telescope, located at distances of about 1.8' and 5.4' (hereafter F1 and F2, respectively) from the center of M32. To obtain a very detailed and deep color-magnitude diagram (CMD) and to look for short period variability, we obtained time-series imaging of each field in 32-orbit-long exposures using the F435W (B) and F555W (V) filters, spanning a temporal range of 2 days per filter. We focus on our detection of variability on RR Lyrae variable stars, which represents the only way to obtain information about the presence of a very old population (larger than 10 Gyr) in M32 from optical data. Here we present results obtained from the detection of 31 RR Lyrae in these fields: 17 in F1 and 14 in F2. We claim we detected 7+4−3 RR Lyrae variables belonging to M32 in F1 thus indicating the presence of a metal-poor ancient population in M32.
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.
The core structure of elliptical galaxies is determined by two parameters: total luminosity L and central luminosity density ρC. Scatter in ρC at any L may imply dissipational formation of core structure; once this scatter is accounted for, however, the pure L dependence of the core parameters can be isolated and perhaps used as a metric distance indicator.
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