A fundamental line for elliptical galaxies

  1. Get@NRC: A fundamental line for elliptical galaxies (Opens in a new window)
DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/734/2/L31
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Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue2 PART 2
Article numberL31
AbstractRecent studies have shown that massive galaxies in the distant universe are surprisingly compact, with typical sizes about a factor of three smaller than equally massive galaxies in the nearby universe. It has been suggested that these massive galaxies grow into systems resembling nearby galaxies through a series of minor mergers. In this model the size growth of galaxies is an inherently stochastic process, and the resulting size-luminosity relationship is expected to have considerable environmentally dependent scatter. To test whether minor mergers can explain the size growth in massive galaxies, we have closely examined the scatter in the size-luminosity relation of nearby elliptical galaxies using a large new database of accurate visual galaxy classifications. We demonstrate that this scatter is much smaller than has been previously assumed, and may even be so small as to challenge the plausibility of the merger-driven hierarchical models for the formation of massive ellipticals. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA-IHA)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21271042
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Record identifier0c3652d1-0666-4b6f-9aaf-a934eb7d26d8
Record created2014-03-24
Record modified2016-07-18
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