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OPTICAL-NEAR INFRARED COLOR GRADIENTS OF ELLIPTICAL GALAXIES AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL DEPENDENCE

  • KO JONGWAN (Astronomy Program, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • IM MYUNGSHIN (Astronomy Program, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 2005.06.01

Abstract

We have studied the environmental effect on optical-NIR color gradients of 273 nearby elliptical galaxies. Color gradient is a good tool to study the evolutionary history of elliptical galaxies, since the steepness of the color gradient reflects merging history of early types. When an elliptical galaxy goes through many merging events, the color gradient can be get less steep or reversed due to mixing of stars. One simple way to measure color gradient is to compare half-light radii in different bands. We have compared the optical and near infrared half-light radii of 273 early-type galaxies from Pahre (1999). Not surprisingly, we find that $r_e(V)s$ (half-light radii measured in V-band) are in general larger than $r_e(K)s$ (half-light radii measured in K-band). However, when divided into different environments, we find that elliptical galaxies in the denser environment have gentler color gradients than those in the less dense environment. Our finding suggests that elliptical galaxies in the dense environment have undergone many merging events and the mixing of stars through the merging have created the gentle color gradients.

Keywords

galaxies: clusters(Abell 2199 and Fornax) and field;galaxies: formation and evolution;galaxies: color gradients;galaxies: effective radii;galaxies: optical and infrared

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