A Caltech Library Service

Near-Infrared Fundamental Plane of Elliptical Galaxies

Pahre, Michael A. and Djorgovski, S. G. and de Carvalho, R. R. (1995) Near-Infrared Fundamental Plane of Elliptical Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 453 (1). L17-L20. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/309740.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present results from a near-infrared K-band imaging survey of 59 elliptical galaxies in five nearby clusters. We measure photometric parameters for each galaxy using surface photometry and draw velocity dispersions from the literature. Three observables define a near-infrared fundamental plane (FP) of elliptical galaxies with R_e ∝ σ^(1.44±0.04)Σ_e^(−0.79±0.04). The scatter in the near-infrared relation is small at 16.5% in distance, which is equivalent to, or less than, the scatter of the optical FP. We suggest that the small deviation of the near-infrared FP relation from the optical FP is due to the reduction of metallicity effects in the near-infrared bandpass. While the small scatter of the optical FP could be consistent with compensating effects of age and metallicity, the similarly small scatter of the near-infrared FP is nearly independent of metallicity and hence places a strong constraint on possible age spreads among elliptical galaxies at every point along the FP. We suggest that the departure of the near-infrared FP from the pure virial form Re ∝ σ^2Σ_e^(−1), and the corresponding observed relation (M/L) ∝ M^(0.16 ± 0.01), may be explained by slight systematic departures of the structure and dynamics of elliptical galaxies from a homology.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Djorgovski, S. G.0000-0002-0603-3087
de Carvalho, R. R.0000-0002-1283-3363
Additional Information:© 1995 The American Astronomical Society. Received 1995 July 7; accepted 1995 August 22. This work was supported in part by the NSF PYI award AST-9157412 to S. G. D., and Greenstein and Kingsley Fellowships to M. A. P. Many thanks are due to the builders of the new near-infrared camera, in particular David Murphy, Eric Persson, and Anand Sivaramakrishnan. The construction of the camera was supported in part by generous donations from the Perkin Fund, the Jeanne Rich Foundation, and the North American Rockwell Corporation. We would like to thank Jeremy Mould for use of the Virgo Cluster data, and the director of Las Campanas Observatory for allocating time for infrared imaging of elliptical galaxies. We also thank J. Kennefick, C. Fassnacht, and J. Larkin for doing some of the observing for this project.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Jesse L. Greenstein FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Kingsley FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Jeanne Rich FoundationUNSPECIFIED
North American RockwellUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: clusters: general—galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD—galaxies: fundamental parameters—infrared: galaxies
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190730-150450958
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Michael A. Pahre et al 1995 ApJ 453 L17
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97532
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:31 Jul 2019 20:07
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page