The ACS Fornax Cluster Survey. IV. Deprojection of the surface brightness profiles of early-type galaxies in the Virgo and Fornax Clusters: investigating the "core/power-law dichotomy"

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/726/1/31
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume726
Issue1
Article number31
Pages31-131-16; # of pages: 16
Subjectgalaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo, Fornax); galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD; galaxies: formation; galaxies: nuclei; galaxies: structure
AbstractAlthough early observations with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) pointed to a sharp dichotomy among early-type galaxies in terms of the logarithmic slope gamma' of their central surface brightness profiles, several studies in the past few years have called this finding into question. In particular, recent imaging surveys of 143 early-type galaxies belonging to the Virgo and Fornax Clusters using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board HST have not found a dichotomy in gamma', but instead a systematic progression from central luminosity deficit to excess relative to the inward extrapolation of the best-fitting global Sersic model. Given that earlier studies also found that the dichotomy persisted when analyzing the deprojected density profile slopes, we investigate the distribution of the three-dimensional luminosity density profiles of the ACS Virgo and Fornax Cluster Survey galaxies. Having fitted the surface brightness profiles with modified Sersic models, we then deproject the galaxies using an Abel integral and measure the inner slopes gamma(3D) of the resulting luminosity density profiles at various fractions of the effective radius R(e). We find no evidence of a dichotomy, but rather, a continuous variation in the central luminosity profiles as a function of galaxy magnitude. We introduce a parameter, Delta(3D), that measures the central deviation of the deprojected luminosity profiles from the global Sersic fit, showing that this parameter varies smoothly and systematically along the luminosity function.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19739596
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Record identifiere996a090-6891-4911-9cdb-033011b0b754
Record created2012-03-29
Record modified2016-07-18
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