The Stellar Ages of Elliptical Galaxies
- Cite this article as:
- Faber, S., Trager, S., Gonzalez, J. et al. Astrophysics and Space Science (1999) 267: 273. doi:10.1023/A:1002793624307
- 28 Downloads
Integrated broad-band colors and metallic lines cannot discriminate clearly between the effects of age and Z in old stellar populations. Such data are more sensitive to Z than to age. The Hβ feature provides a way to break this degeneracy. New measurements indicate that the mean stellar ages of typical E galaxy nuclei are fairly young, ranging from 2 to ∼12 Gyr. The outer parts of E galaxies are both older and more metal-poor than nuclei, consistent with the formation of E galaxies via mergers and starbursts. Age effects contribute strongly to the classic color-line strength sequence of E galaxies.