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A Tolman Surface Brightness Test for Universal Expansion and the Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies in Distant Clusters

Pahre, Michael A. and Djorgovski, S. G. and de Carvalho, R. R. (1996) A Tolman Surface Brightness Test for Universal Expansion and the Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies in Distant Clusters. Astrophysical Journal, 456 (2). L79-L82. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1086/309872.

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We use the intercept of the elliptical galaxy radius-surface brightness (SB) relation at a fixed metric radius as the standard condition for the Tolman SB test of the universal expansion. We use surface photometry in the optical and near-infrared of elliptical galaxies in Abell 2390 (z = 0.23) and Abell 851 (z = 0.41) and compare them to the Coma Cluster at z ≈ 0. The photometric data for each cluster are well described by the Kormendy relation r_e ∝ ∑_e^A, where A = -0.9 in the optical and A = -1.0 in the near-infrared. The scatter about this near-infrared relation is only 0.076 in log r_e at the highest redshift, which is much smaller than at low redshifts, suggesting a remarkable homogeneity of the cluster elliptical population at z = 0.41. We use the intercept of these fixed-slope correlations at R_e = 1 kpc (assuming H_0 = 75 km s^(-1) Mpc^(-1), Ω_0 = 0.2, and Λ_0 = 0, where the results are only weakly dependent on the cosmology) to construct the Tolman SB test for these three clusters. The data are fully consistent with universal expansion if we assume simple models of passive evolution for elliptical galaxies but are inconsistent with a nonexpanding geometry (the tired-light cosmology) at the 5 σ confidence level at z = 0.41. These results suggest luminosity evolution in the rest-frame Kband of 0.36 ± 0.14 mag from z = 0.41 to the present and are consistent with the elliptical galaxies' having formed at high redshift. The SB intercept in elliptical galaxy correlations is thus a powerful tool for investigating models of their evolution for significant look-back times.

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:© 1996 The American Astronomical Society. Received 1995 August 31; accepted 1995 November 3. Partially based on observations obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. Partially based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. Thanks are due to the builders of the near-infrared instrumentation at the Palomar 60 inch (D. Murphy, E. Persson, A. Sivaramakrishnan) and Keck (K. Matthews, B. T. Soifer, and collaborators) telescopes and to the expert assistance of the staffs of Palomar and Keck Observatories during our observations. I. Smail has kindly provided us with galaxy lists for Abell 2390, as well as assistance in the acquisition of the Abell 851 HST image. This work was supported in part by the NSF PYI award AST-9157412 to S. G. D., and the Greenstein Fellowship to M. A. P.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Jesse L. Greenstein FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:cosmology: observations—galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD—galaxies: evolution
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190730-153250341
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Official Citation:Michael A. Pahre et al 1996 ApJ 456 L79
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97533
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Aug 2019 15:08
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:32

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