The hot interstellar medium of normal elliptical galaxies. I. A Chandra gas gallery and comparison of X-ray and optical morphology.
DIEHL S. and STATLER T.S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present an X-ray analysis of 54 normal elliptical galaxies in the Chandra archive and isolate their hot gas component from the contaminating point-source emission, allowing us to conduct, for the first time, a morphological analysis on the gas alone. A comparison with optical images and photometry shows that the hot gas morphology has surprisingly little in common with the shape of the stellar distribution. We observe no correlation between optical and X-ray ellipticities in the inner regions where stellar mass dominates over dark matter. A shallow correlation would be expected if the gas had settled into hydrostatic equilibrium with the gravitational potential. Instead, observed X-ray ellipticities exceed optical ellipticities in many cases. We exclude rotation as the dominant factor to produce the gas ellipticities. The gas appears disturbed, and hydrostatic equilibrium is the exception rather than the rule. Nearly all hydrostatic models can be ruled out at 99% confidence, based on their inability to reproduce the optical-X-ray correlation and large X-ray ellipticities. Hydrostatic models not excluded are those in which dark matter either dominates over stellar mass inside the inner half-light radius or has a prominently cigar-shaped distribution, both of which can be ruled out on other grounds. We conclude that, even for rather X-ray-faint elliptical galaxies, the gas is at least so far out of equilibrium that it does not retain any information about the shape of the potential, and that X-ray-derived radial mass profiles may be in error by factors of order unity.
Galaxies: Cooling Flows - Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: ISM - X-Rays: Galaxies - X-Rays: ISM