Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published September 1989 | public
Journal Article

Surface Photometry and the Structure of Elliptical Galaxies


This paper reviews surface photometry of bulges and elliptical galaxies. Work prior to 1982 is discussed by Kormendy (1982a; hereafter K82). Since then, the subject has gone through a revolution. CCD detectors have come into common use, providing photometry accurate enough to measure new classes of subtle properties of ellipticals. Together with improvements in seeing, CCDs have allowed the resolution and study of galaxy cores and nuclei (Section 2). Newly discovered structural details, such as dust, shells, and dynamical subsystems, show the importance of accretion events in galaxy evolution (Sections 3-6). Better measurements of parameter scaling laws have led to improved constraints on galaxy formation (Section 8). Finally, CCDs provide accurate measurements of departures from elliptical isophotes (Section 9) and color gradients (Section 10). These observations are currently producing a quantum jump in our understanding of elliptical galaxies. Some of the present subjects are discussed in more detail in recent reviews by Kormendy (1987a; hereafter K87), Okamura (1988), and Nieto (1988). Techniques are discussed by de Vaucouleurs (1979, 1984), Nieto (1982), Capaccioli & de Vaucouleurs (1983), Capaccioli (1985, 1987, 1988a,b), Okamura (1988), and Djorgovski & Dickinson (1989). Compilations of photometry references for individual galaxies are found in Davoust & Pence (1982) and Pence & Davoust (1985). Unless otherwise noted, we assume that the Hubble constant is H_0 = 50 km s^(-1) Mpc^(-1).

Additional Information

© 1989 Annual Reviews. We are most grateful to R. Bender, R. Davies, R. de Carvalho, G. Illingworth, J.-L. Nieto, R. Peletier, F. Schweizer, A. Toomre, and especially T. de Zeeuw for very helpful discussions, comments on the manuscript, or data in advance of publication. Also, it is a pleasure to thank the many people who sent us preprints, including those on subjects that were ultimately not covered because of space limitations. During this work, SD was supported by Caltech and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Additional details

September 15, 2023
October 23, 2023