The Gas Content of Early-Type Galaxies

  • Hugo Van Woerden
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 70)


This paper reviews recent observations of neutral hydrogen in elliptical and lenticular galaxies.

Of about 50 ellipticals observed, most have hydrogen masses MH < 0.5 × 109 M and hydrogen/luminosity ratios MH/LB < 0.05; for the giant N 4472, these limits are a factor 10 lower. In NGC 4278, several independent observers report a hydrogen mass of about 0. 7 x 109 M, or MH/LB ∿ 0.05.

Among some 150 lenticulars observed, more than 30 have been reliably detected in tne hydrogen line. Values of MH and MH/LB both range over at least two orders of magnitude. Some SO galaxies are as rich in gas as late spirals and magellanic irregulars. There is no clear cut correlation of gas-richness with any optical property, although blue colours and peculiar morphology both are indicators of gas-richness.

In most early-type galaxies, the amount of gas observed is much smaller than expected from mass loss by cooling stars; galactic winds, intergalactic ram pressure, or formation of new stars may be responsible for this.


Young Star Elliptical Galaxy Neutral Hydrogen Monthly Notice Virgo Cluster 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Balick, B., Faber, S.M., Gallagher, J.S.: 1976, Astrophys. J. 209, 710ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Balkowski, C., Bottinelli, L., Gouguenheim, L., Heidmann, J.: 1972, Astron. Astrophys. 21, 303ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Bieging, J.H. and Biermann, P.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys. in pressGoogle Scholar
  4. Bottinelli, L., Chamaraux, P., Gouguenheim, L., Lauqué, R.: 1970, Astron. Astrophys. 6, 453ADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Bottinelli, L. and Gouguenheim, L.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys. 54, 641ADSGoogle Scholar
  6. Bottinelli, L., Gouguenheim, L., Heidmann, J.: 1973, Astron. Astrophys. 25, 451ADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Danks, A.C., Laustsen, S., Van Woerden, H.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys., in preparationGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies, R.D., Gottesman, S.T., Reddish, V.C., Verschuur, G.L.: 1963, Observatory 83, 245ADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Davies, R.D., Lewis, B.M.: 1973, Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 165, 231ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. De Vaucouleurs, G.: 1959, Hdb. Physik 53, 275Google Scholar
  11. De Vaucouleurs, G. and De Vaucouleurs, A.: 1964, Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies (Austin: Univ. Texas Press)Google Scholar
  12. De Vaucouleurs, G., De Vaucouleurs, A., Corwin, H.G.: 1976, “Second Reference Catalogue of Bright Galaxies” (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press)Google Scholar
  13. Dieter, N.H.: 1962, Astron. J. 67, 222ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Disney, M.J., Rodgers, A.W., Pottasch, S.R.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys., in pressGoogle Scholar
  15. Epstein, E.E.: 1964, Astron. J. 69, 490ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Faber, S.M. and Gallagher, J.S.: 1976, Astrophys. J. 204, 365ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gallagher, J.S.: 1972, Astron. J. 77, 568ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gallagher, J. S., Faber, S. M., Balick, B.: 1975, Astrophys. J. 202, 7ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gallagher, J.S., Knapp, G.R., Faber, S.M., Balick, B.: 1977, Astrophys. J. 215, 463ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gardner, F.F. and Whiteoak, J.B.: 1976, Proc. Astron. Soc. Australia 3, 63ADSGoogle Scholar
  21. Gouguenheim, L.: 1969, Astron. Astrophys. 3, 281ADSGoogle Scholar
  22. Guibert, J.: 1973, Astron. Astrophys. 29, 335ADSGoogle Scholar
  23. Hawarden, T.G., Van Woerden, H., Mebold, U., Goss, W.M., Peterson, B.A.: 1977, Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc., in pressGoogle Scholar
  24. Heeschen, D.S.: 1957, Astrophys. J. l26, 471ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heeschen, D.S.: 1968, Astrophys. J. (Letters) 151, L35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Heidmann, J.: 1961, Bull. Astr. Inst. Netherlands 15, 314ADSGoogle Scholar
  27. Huchtmeier, W.K. and Bohnenstengel, H.D.: 1975, Astron. Astrophys. 44, 479ADSGoogle Scholar
  28. Huchtmeier, W.K., Tammann, G.A., Wendker, H.J.: 1975, Astron. Astrophys 42, 205ADSGoogle Scholar
  29. Huchtmeier, W.K., Tammann, G.A., Wendker, H.J.: 1976, Astron. Astrophys 46, 381ADSGoogle Scholar
  30. Huchtmeier, W.K., Tammann, G.A., Wendker, H.J.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys 57, 313ADSGoogle Scholar
  31. Knapp, G.R., Gallagher, J.S., Faber, S.M., Balick, B.: 1977a, Astron. J. 82, 106ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Knapp, G.R. and Kerr, F.J.: 1974, Astron. J. 79, 667ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Knapp, G.R., Kerr, F.J., Williams, B.A.: 1977b, in preparationGoogle Scholar
  34. Krumm, N. and Salpeter, E.: 1976, Astrophys. J. (Letters) 208, L7ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lewis, B.M.: 1970, Observatory 90, 264ADSGoogle Scholar
  36. Lewis, B.M. and Davies, R.D.: 1973, Monthly Notices Roy. Astron. Soc. 165, 213ADSGoogle Scholar
  37. Mayall, N.U.: 1958, in “Comparison of the Large-Scale Structure of the Galactic System with that of other Stellar Systems” (ed. N.G. Roman), IAU Symp. 5, 23Google Scholar
  38. Mebold, U., Goss, W.M., Van Woerden, H., Hawarden, T.G., Siegman, B.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys., in preparationGoogle Scholar
  39. Osterbrock, D.E.: 1960, Astrophys. J. 132, 325ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peterson, S.D., Shostak, G.S.: 1974, Astron. J. 79, 767ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roberts, M.S.: 1970, Astrophys. J. (Letters) 161, L9ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roberts, M.S.: 1976, in “Galaxies and the Universe” (eds. A.R. Sandage, M. Sandage and J. Kristian), Stars and Stellar Systems Vol. 9, 309 (Univ. Chicago Press)Google Scholar
  43. Robinson, B.J. and Koehler, J.A.: 1965, Nature 208, 993ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rood, H.J. and Dickel, J.R.: 1976, Astrophys. J. 205, 346ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sandage, A.R., Freeman, K.C., Stokes, N.R.: 1970, Astrophys. J. 160, 831ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shostak, G.S.: 1977, Astron. Astrophys., in preparationGoogle Scholar
  47. Shostak, G.S., Roberts, M.S., Peterson, S.:1975, Astron. J. 80, 581ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spinrad, H. and Peimbert, M.: 1976, in “Galaxies and the Universe” (eds. A.R. Sandage, M. Sandage and J. Kristian), Stars and Stellar Systems Vol. 9, 37 (Univ. Chicago Press)Google Scholar
  49. Van den Bergh, S.:1976a, Astrophys. J. 206, 883ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Van den Bergh, S.: 1976b, Astron. J. 81, 795 and 895ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Van Woerden, H., Goss, W.M., Mebold, U., Siegman, B., Hawarden, T.G.:1976 Proc. Astron. Soc. Australia 3, 68Google Scholar
  52. Van Woerden, H., Mebold, U., Hawarden, T.G., Goss, W.M., Siegman, B.:1977 Astron. Astrophys., in preparationGoogle Scholar
  53. Volders, L.M.J.S. and Van de Hülst, H.C.: 1959, in “Paris Symposium on Radio Astronomy” (ed. R.N. Bracewell), IAU Symp. 9, 423 (Stanford, Univ. Press)Google Scholar
  54. Wentzel, D.G. and Van Woerden, H.: 1959, Bull. Astr. Inst. Netherlands 14, 335ADSGoogle Scholar
  55. Whiteoak, J.B. and Gardner, F.F.: 1971, Astrophys. Letters 8, 57ADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Van Woerden
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Kapteyn Astronomical InstituteUniversity of GroningenNetherlands
  2. 2.Division of RadiophysicsCSIROSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations