Astrophys. J., 707, 890-902 (2009/December-3)
Spitzer observations of passive and star-forming early-type galaxies: an infrared color-color sequence.
TEMI P., BRIGHENTI F. and MATHEWS W.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We describe the infrared properties of a large sample of early-type galaxies, comparing data from the Spitzer archive with Ks-band emission from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. While most representations of this data result in correlations with large scatter, we find a remarkably tight relation among colors formed by ratios of luminosities in Spitzer-Multiband Imaging Photometer bands (24, 70, and 160 µm) and the Ks band. Remarkably, this correlation among E and S0 galaxies follows that of nearby normal galaxies of all morphological types. In particular, the tight infrared color-color correlation for S0 galaxies alone follows that of the entire Hubble sequence of normal galaxies, roughly in order of galaxy type from ellipticals to spirals to irregulars. The specific star formation rate (SFR) of S0 galaxies estimated from the 24 µm luminosity increases with decreasing K-band luminosity (or stellar mass) from essentially zero, as with most massive ellipticals, to rates typical of irregular galaxies. Moreover, the luminosities of the many infrared-luminous S0 galaxies can significantly exceed those of the most luminous (presumably post-merger) E galaxies. SFRs in the most infrared-luminous S0 galaxies approach 1-10 solar masses per year. Consistently, with this picture we find that while most early-type galaxies populate an infrared red sequence, about 24% of the objects (mostly S0s) are in an infrared blue cloud together with late-type galaxies. For those early-type galaxies also observed at radio frequencies, we find that the far-infrared luminosities correlate with the mass of neutral and molecular hydrogen, but the scatter is large. This scatter suggests that the star formation may be intermittent or that similar S0 galaxies with cold gaseous disks of nearly equal mass can have varying radial column density distributions that alter the local and global SFRs.
galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - galaxies: ISM - infrared: galaxies - infrared: ISM
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/707/890): table1.dat>
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