The cool interstellar medium in elliptical galaxies. II. Gas content in the volume-limited sample and results from the combined elliptical and lenticular surveys.
WELCH G.A., SAGE L.J. and YOUNG L.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
We report new observations of atomic and molecular gas in a volume-limited sample of elliptical galaxies. Combining the elliptical sample with an earlier and similar lenticular one, we show that cool gas detection rates are very similar among low-luminosity E and S0 galaxies but are much higher among luminous S0s. Using the combined sample we revisit the correlation between cool gas mass and blue luminosity which emerged from our lenticular survey, finding strong support for previous claims that the molecular gas in ellipticals and lenticulars has different origins. Unexpectedly, however, and contrary to earlier claims, the same is not true for atomic gas. We speculate that both the active galactic nucleus feedback and merger paradigms might offer explanations for differences in detection rates, and might also point toward an understanding of why the two gas phases could follow different evolutionary paths in Es and S0s. Finally, we present a new and puzzling discovery concerning the global mix of atomic and molecular gas in early-type galaxies. Atomic gas comprises a greater fraction of the cool interstellar medium in more gas-rich galaxies, a trend which can be plausibly explained. The puzzle is that galaxies tend to cluster around molecular-to-atomic gas mass ratios near either 0.05 or 0.5.
galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - galaxies: ISM