On the Unification of Dwarf and Giant Elliptical Galaxies

  • Alister W. Graham
  • Rafael Guzman
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 319)

Abstract

The near orthogonal distributions of dwarf elliptical (dE) and giant elliptical (E) galaxies in the µ e M and µ e −log R e diagrams have been interpreted as evidence for two distinct galaxy formation processes. However, continuous, linear relationships across the alleged dE/E boundary at M B = −18 mag — such as the relationships between central surface brightness (µ 0) and: a) galaxy magnitude (M); and b) light-profile shape (n) — suggest a similar initial formation mechanism. Here we explain how these latter two trends in fact necessitate a different behavior for dE and E galaxies, exactly as observed, in diagrams involving µ e (and also <µ>e). Together with other linear trends across the alleged dE/E boundary, such as those between luminosity and color, metallicity, and velocity dispersion, it appears that the dEs form a continuous extension to the E galaxies. The presence of partially depleted cores in luminous (M B < −20.5 mag) Es does however signify the action of a different physical process at the centers (<~300 pc) of these galaxies.

Keywords

Dust Prep 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alister W. Graham
    • 1
  • Rafael Guzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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