Article

Mid-Infrared Observation of Mass Loss in Elliptical Galaxies

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.73). 12/2008; 571(1):272. DOI: 10.1086/339844
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Early-type galaxies exhibit thermal and molecular resonance emission from dust that is shed and heated through stellar mass loss as a subset of the population moves through the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase of evolution. Because this emission can give direct insight into stellar evolution in addition to galactic stellar mass loss and interstellar medium injection rates, we conducted a program to search for this signature emission with CAM on the Infrared Space Observatory. We obtained 6-15 μm imaging observations in six narrow bands for nine elliptical galaxies; every galaxy is detected in every band. For wavelengths shorter than 9 μm, the spectra are well matched by a blackbody originating from the K and M stars that dominate the integrated light of elliptical galaxies. At wavelengths between 9 and 15 μm, however, the galaxies display excess emission relative to the stellar photospheric radiation. Additional data taken with the fine-resolution circular variable filter on one source clearly shows broad emission from 9 to 15 μm, peaking around 10 μm. This result is consistent with the known broad silicate feature at 9.7 μm originating in the circumstellar envelopes of AGB stars. This emission is compared with studies of Galactic and Large Magellanic Cloud AGB stars to derive cumulative mass-loss rates. In general, these mass-loss rates agree with the expected ~0.8 M☉ yr-1 value predicted by stellar evolutionary models. Both the photospheric and circumstellar envelope emission follow a de Vaucouleurs R1/4 law, supporting the conclusion that the mid-infrared excess emission originates in the stellar component of the galaxies and acts as a tracer of AGB mass loss and mass injection into the interstellar medium.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
56 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigate the X-ray properties of four isolated elliptical galaxies, selected from the Updated Zwicky Catalog according to strict isolation criteria. Isolated galaxies are not influenced by the group/cluster environment, and their X-ray emission can be studied independently of the often overwhelming contribution of the hot intergalactic medium. They are therefore suited to studying the X-ray characteristics relative to their intrinsic properties. We analyzed our own XMM-Newton and archival Chandra data in detail for three objects, and derived, when possible, the spatial and spectral characteristics of each source. An upper limit for the fourth one was obtained from archival ASCA data. We compared their characteristics with those of other 23 isolated objects for which X-ray and optical data are available in the literature. We explored possible theoretical explanations to interpret our results. In spite of our attempt to select very homogeneous objects, both in terms of optical properties and environmental characteristics, we find a wide range in X-ray luminosities and LX/LB ratios for the four objects: two of them show a hot gaseous halo, whereas no gas is detected in the other two, to a factor >10 in luminosity. In fact, we find a large spread in the LX/LB for all galaxies considered, suggesting that the presence of hot gas is not easily related to the optical luminosity or to the mass, even in isolated systems. Younger objects tend to be less luminous in X-rays than older systems. However, it appears that older objects could span a wide range in luminosities.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2009; · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stellar feedback in galactic bulges plays an essential role in shaping the evolution of galaxies. To quantify this role and facilitate comparisons with X-ray observations, we conduct 3D hydrodynamical simulations with the adaptive mesh refinement code, FLASH, to investigate the physical properties of hot gas inside a galactic bulge, similar to that of our Galaxy or M31. We assume that the dynamical and thermal properties of the hot gas are dominated by mechanical energy input from SNe, primarily Type Ia, and mass injection from evolved stars as well as iron enrichment from SNe. We study the bulge-wide outflow as well as the SN heating on scales down to ~4 pc. An embedding scheme that is devised to plant individual SNR seeds, allows to examine, for the first time, the effect of sporadic SNe on the density, temperature, and iron ejecta distribution of the hot gas as well as the resultant X-ray morphology and spectrum. We find that the SNe produce a bulge wind with highly filamentary density structures and patchy ejecta. Compared with a 1D spherical wind model, the non-uniformity of simulated gas density, temperature, and metallicity substantially alters the spectral shape and increases the diffuse X-ray luminosity. The differential emission measure as a function of temperature of the simulated gas exhibits a log-normal distribution, with a peak value much lower than that of the corresponding 1D model. The bulk of the X-ray emission comes from the relatively low temperature and low abundance gas shells associated with SN blastwaves. SN ejecta are not well mixed with the ambient medium, at least in the bulge region. These results, at least partly, account for the apparent lack of evidence for iron enrichment in the soft X-ray-emitting gas in galactic bulges and intermediate-mass elliptical galaxies.[...] Comment: 37 pages, 19 figures, submitted to MNRAS; comments are welcome
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2009; · 5.52 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, we examine the interaction between the intracluster medium and central radio source in the poor cluster AWM 4. In the Chandra observation a small cool core or galactic corona is resolved coincident with the radio core. This corona is capable of fuelling the active nucleus, but must be inefficiently heated by jet interactions or conduction, possibly precluding a feedback relationship between the radio source and cluster. A lack of clearly detected X-ray cavities suggests that the radio lobes are only partially filled by relativistic plasma. We estimate a filling factor of phi=0.21 (3 sigma upper limit phi<0.42) for the better constrained east lobe. We consider the particle population in the jets and lobes, and find that the standard equipartition assumptions predict pressures and ages which agree poorly with X-ray estimates. Including an electron population extending to low Lorentz factors either reduces (gamma_min=100) or removes (gamma_min=10) the pressure imbalance between the lobes and their environment. Pressure balance can also be achieved by entrainment of thermal gas, probably in the first few kiloparsecs of the radio jets. We estimate the mechanical power output of the radio galaxy, and find it to be marginally capable of balancing radiative cooling. Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 18 pages, 9 postscript figures.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2010; 407(1):321-338. · 5.52 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
17 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014