Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 509, A61-61 (2010/1-1)
The old and heavy bulge of M31. I. Kinematics and stellar populations.
SAGLIA R.P., FABRICIUS M., BENDER R., MONTALTO M., LEE C.-H., RIFFESER A., SEITZ S., MORGANTI L., GERHARD O. and HOPP U.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new optical long-slit data along six position angles of the bulge region of M31
. We derive accurate stellar and gas kinematics reaching 5 arcmin from the center, where the disk light contribution is always less than 30%, and out to 8 arcmin along the major axis, where the disk provides 55% of the total light. We show that the velocity dispersions of McElroy (1983ApJ...270..485M
) are severely underestimated (by up to 50km/s). As a consequence, previous dynamical models have underestimated the stellar mass of M31
's bulge by a factor of 2. As a further consequence, the light-weighted velocity dispersion of the galaxy grows to 166km/s and to 170km/s if rotation is also taken into account, thus reducing the discrepancy between the predicted and measured mass of the black hole at the center of M31
from a factor of 3 to a factor of 2. The kinematic position angle varies with distance, pointing to triaxiality, but a quantitative conclusion can be reached only after simultaneous proper dynamical modeling of the bulge and disk components is performed. We detect gas counterrotation near the bulge minor axis. We measure eight emission-corrected Lick indices. They are approximately constant on circles. Using simple stellar population models we derive the age, metallicity and α-element overabundance profiles. Except for the region in the inner arcsecs of the galaxy, the bulge of M31
is uniformly old (≥12Gyr, with many best-fit ages at the model grid limit of 15Gyr), slightly α-elements overabundant ([α/Fe]≃0.2) and of solar metallicity, in agreement with studies of the resolved stellar components. The predicted u-g, g-r and r-i Sloan color profiles match the dust-corrected observations reasonably well, within the known limitations of current simple stellar population models. The stellar populations have approximately radially constant mass-to-light ratios (M/LR
for a Kroupa IMF), which is in agreement with the stellar dynamical estimates based on our new velocity dispersions. In the inner arcsecs the luminosity-weighted age drops to 4-8Gyr, while the metallicity increases to above three times the solar value. Starting from 6 arcmin from the center along the major axis, the mean age drops to ≤8Gyr with slight supersolar metallicity (≃+0.1dex) and α-element overabundance (≃+0.2dex) for a mass-to-light ratio M/LR
. Diagnostic diagrams based on the [OIII]/Hβ and [NI]/Hβ emission line equivalent widths (EWs) ratios indicate that the gas is ionized by shocks outside 10 arcsec, but an AGN-like ionizing source could be present near the center. We speculate that a gas-rich minor merger happened some 100Myr ago, causing the observed minor axis gas counterrotation, the recent star formation event and possibly some nuclear activity.
galaxies: kinematics and dynamics - galaxies: individual: M31 - galaxies: stellar content
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/A+A/509/A61): table1.dat table2.dat table3.dat table4.dat>
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