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2012ApJS..198....2K - Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser., 198, 2 (2012/January-0)

A revised parallel-sequence morphological classification of galaxies: structure and formation of S0 and spheroidal galaxies.


Abstract (from CDS):

We update van den Bergh's parallel-sequence galaxy classification in which S0 galaxies form a sequence S0a-S0b-S0c that parallels the sequence Sa-Sb-Sc of spiral galaxies. The ratio B/T of bulge-to-total light defines the position of a galaxy in this tuning-fork diagram. Our classification makes one major improvement. We extend the S0a-S0b-S0c sequence to spheroidal ("Sph") galaxies that are positioned in parallel to irregular galaxies in a similarly extended Sa-Sb-Sc-Im sequence. This provides a natural "home" for spheroidals, which previously were omitted from galaxy classification schemes or inappropriately combined with ellipticals. To motivate our juxtaposition of Sph and Im galaxies, we present photometry and bulge-disk decompositions of four rare, late-type S0s that bridge the gap between the more common S0b and Sph galaxies. NGC 4762 is an edge-on SB0bc galaxy with a very small classical-bulge-to-total ratio of B/T = 0.13±0.02. NGC 4452 is an edge-on SB0 galaxy with an even tinier pseudobulge-to-total ratio of PB/T = 0.017±0.004. It is therefore an SB0c. VCC 2048, whose published classification is S0, contains an edge-on disk, but its "bulge" plots in the structural parameter sequence of spheroidals. It is therefore a disky Sph. And NGC 4638 is similarly a "missing link" between S0s and Sphs–it has a tiny bulge and an edge-on disk embedded in an Sph halo. In the Appendix, we present photometry and bulge-disk decompositions of all Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys Virgo Cluster Survey S0s that do not have published decompositions. We use these data to update the structural parameter correlations of Sph, S+Im, and E galaxies. We show that Sph galaxies of increasing luminosity form a continuous sequence with the disks (but not bulges) of S0c-S0b-S0a galaxies. Remarkably, the Sph-S0-disk sequence is almost identical to that of Im galaxies and spiral galaxy disks. We review published observations for galaxy transformation processes, particularly ram-pressure stripping of cold gas. We suggest that Sph galaxies are transformed, "red and dead" Scd-Im galaxies in the same way that many S0 galaxies are transformed, red and dead Sa-Sc spiral galaxies.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: formation - galaxies: photometry - galaxies: structure

Simbad objects: 88

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