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Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 413–432 | Cite as

Giant elliptical galaxies: The Salpeter initial luminosity function and interstellar matter

  • A. J. Hillel
Article

Abstract

It is argued that a Salpeter initial luminosity function is consistent with the observed integral properties of giant elliptical galaxies if the gaseous material lost by evolving stars can be retained in the system for times of the order of 108 yr. One model which emerges is of a highly condensed system consisting mainly of metal-poor population II stars with an admixture (1.5%–15%) of super-metalrich stars born from the gaseous debris, which at the present time constitutes 0.05%–0.5% of the total mass. HighM/L ratios result from obscuration of the starlight, and the missing radiation reappears in the form of a strong I-R flux at wavelengths of the order of 100 μ. The difference in colour betweengE anddE galaxies is explained in terms of interstellar reddening, and strong interstellar metallic absorption lines are also expected. The model leads to a negligible evolutionary correction to the cosmological deceleration parameterq0. An alternative model, in which the stars arenot metal poor, has a more condensed, heavily obscured nucleus, surrounded by the unobscured central bulge of the Galaxy which provides most of the light. In this version a large evolutionary correction would be required.

Keywords

Colour Radiation Total Mass Alternative Model Absorption Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Hillel
    • 1
  1. 1.Schuster LaboratoryUniversity of ManchesterEngland

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