Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 432, 832-847 (2013/June-2)
The outer halo of the nearest giant elliptical: a VLT/VIMOS survey of the resolved stellar populations in Centaurus a to 85kpc.
CRNOJEVIC D., FERGUSON A.M.N., IRWIN M.J., BERNARD E.J., ARIMOTO N., JABLONKA P. and KOBAYASHI C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first survey of resolved stellar populations in the remote outer halo of our nearest giant elliptical (gE), Centaurus A (D = 3.8Mpc). Using the VIsible Multi Object Spectrograph (VIMOS)/Very Large Telescope (VLT) optical camera, we obtained deep photometry for four fields along the major and minor axes at projected elliptical radii of ∼ 30-85kpc (corresponding to ∼ 5-14Reff). We use resolved star counts to map the spatial and colour distribution of red giant branch (RGB) stars down to ∼ 2 mag below the RGB tip. We detect an extended halo out to the furthermost elliptical radius probed ( ∼ 85kpc or ∼ 14Reff), demonstrating the vast extent of this system. We detect a localized substructure in these parts, visible in both (old) RGB and (intermediate-age) luminous asymptotic giant branch stars, and there is some evidence that the outer halo becomes more elliptical and has a shallower surface brightness profile. We derive photometric metallicity distribution functions for halo RGB stars and find relatively high median metallicity values (<[Fe/H]>med ∼ -0.9 to -1.0dex) that change very little with radius over the extent of our survey. Radial metallicity gradients are measured to be ~ -0.002-0.004dexkpc-1, and the fraction of metal-poor stars (defined as [Fe/H] < -1.0) is ~40-50percent at all radii. We discuss these findings in the context of galaxy formation models for the buildup of gE haloes.
© 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)
galaxies: evolution - galaxies: individual: Cen A - galaxies: photometry - galaxies: stellar content
View the references in ADS
To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:2013MNRAS.432..832C and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu