Early-type galaxies at large galactocentric radii - II. Metallicity gradients and the [Z/H]-mass, [alpha/Fe]-mass relations
Forbes, Duncan A.
Couch, Warrick J.
Hau, George K. T.
We present the results of a study of stellar population properties at large galactocentric radii of 14 low-mass early-type galaxies in the Fornax and Virgo clusters. We derive radial profiles of age, total metallicity [Z/H] and [alpha/Fe] abundance ratios out to similar to 1-3 effective radii by using nearly all of the Lick/IDS absorption-line indices in comparison to recent single stellar population models. We extend our study to higher galaxy mass via a novel literature compilation of 37 early-type galaxies, which provides stellar population properties out to one effective radius. We find that metallicity gradients correlate with galactic mass, and the relationship shows a sharp change in slope at a dynamical mass of similar to 3.5 x 10(10) M-circle dot. The central and mean values of the stellar population parameters (measured in r <= r(e)/8 and at r = r(e), respectively) define positive mass trends. We suggest that the low metallicities, almost solar [alpha/Fe] ratios and the tight mass-metallicity gradient relation displayed by the low-mass galaxies are indicative of an early star-forming collapse with extended (i.e. >= 1 Gyr), low-efficiency star formation, and mass-dependent galactic outflows of metal-enriched gas. The flattening of metallicity gradients in high-mass galaxies and the broad scatter of the relationship are attributed to merger events. The high metallicities and supersolar abundances shown by these galaxies imply a rapid, high efficiency star formation. The observed [Z/H]-mass and [alpha/Fe]-mass relationships can be interpreted as a natural outcome of an early star-forming collapse. However, we find that hierarchical galaxy formation models implementing mass-dependent star formation efficiency, varying initial mass function, energy feedback via active galactic nucleus and the effects due to merger-induced starbursts can also reproduce both our observed relationships.
Published inMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
MetadataShow full item record
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The H alpha galaxy survey. I. The galaxy sample, H alpha narrow-band observations and star formation parameters for 334 galaxies James, P.A.; Shane, N.S.; Beckman, J.E.; Cardwell, A.; Collins, C.A.; Etherton, J.; de Jong, R.S.; Fathi, K.; Knapen, J.; Peletier, R.F.; Percival, S.M.; Pollacco, D.L.; Seigar, M.S.; Stedman, S. (2004)We discuss the selection and observations of a large sample of nearby galaxies, which we are using to quantify the star formation activity in the local Universe. The sample consists of 334 galaxies across all Hubble types ...
On the Key Processes that Drive Galaxy Evolution: the Role of Galaxy Mergers, Accretion, Local Environment and Feedback in Shaping the Present-Day Universe Martin, Garreth (2019-07-17)The study of galaxy evolution is a fundamental discipline in modern astrophysics, dealing with how and why galaxies of all types evolve over time. The diversity of present-day galaxies is a reflection of the processes ...
Banfield, J. K.; Andernach, H.; Kapinska, A. D.; Rudnick, L.; Hardcastle, M. J.; Cotter, G.; Vaughan, S.; Jones, T. W.; Heywood, I.; Wing, J. D.; Wong, O. I.; Matorny, T.; Terentev, I. A.; Lopez-Sanchez, A. R.; Norris, R. P.; Seymour, N.; Shabala, S. S.; Willett, K. W. (2016-08-11)We have discovered a previously unreported poor cluster of galaxies (RGZ-CL J0823.2+0333) through an unusual giant wide-angle tail radio galaxy found in the Radio Galaxy Zoo project. We obtained a spectroscopic redshift ...