Vol 12, No 5 (2012) / Ge

Peculiar early-type galaxies with central star formation

Chong Ge, Qiu-Sheng Gu

Abstract

Early-type galaxies (ETGs) are very important for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. Recent observations suggest that ETGs are not simply old stellar spheroids as we previously thought. Widespread recent star formation, cool gas and dust have been detected in a substantial fraction of ETGs. We make use of the radial profiles of g − r color and the concentration index from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey database to pick out 31 peculiar ETGs with central blue cores. By analyzing the photometric and spectroscopic data, we suggest that the blue cores are caused by star formation activities rather than the central weak active galactic nucleus. From the results of stellar population synthesis, we find that the stellar population of the blue cores is relatively young, spreading from several Myr to less than one Gyr. In 14 galaxies with H I observations, we find that the average gas fraction of these galaxies is about 0.55. The bluer galaxies show a higher gas fraction, and the total star formation rate (SFR) correlates very well with the H I gas mass. The star formation history of these ETGs is affected by the environment, e.g. in the denser environment the H I gas is less and the total SFR is lower. We also discuss the origin of the central star formation of these early-type galaxies.

Keywords


galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD — galaxies: peculiar — galaxies: evolution

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