On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster

Alexandre Vazdekis, Harald Kuntschner, Roger L. Davies, Nobuo Arimoto, Osamu Nakamura, Reynier Peletier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We explore the origin of the color-magnitude relation (CMR) of early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio for six elliptical galaxies selected along the CMR. The data are analyzed using a new evolutionary stellar population synthesis model to generate galaxy spectra at the resolution given by their velocity dispersions. In particular, we use a new age indicator that is virtually free of the effects of metallicity. We find that the luminosity-weighted mean ages of Virgo ellipticals are greater than ∼8 Gyr and show no clear trend with galaxy luminosity. We also find a positive correlation of metallicity with luminosity, color, and velocity dispersion. We conclude that the CMR is driven primarily by a luminosity-metallicity correlation. However, not all elements increase equally with the total metallicity, and we speculate that the CMR may be driven by both a total metallicity increase and a systematic departure from solar abundance ratios of some elements along the CMR. A full understanding of the role played by the total metallicity, abundance ratios, and age in generating the CMR requires the analysis of spectra of very high quality, such as those reported here, for a larger number of galaxies in Virgo and other clusters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume551
Issue number2 PART 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Apr 20
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

metallicity
color
luminosity
galaxies
elliptical galaxies
signal-to-noise ratio
signal to noise ratios
trends
synthesis

Keywords

  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo)
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: stellar content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Vazdekis, A., Kuntschner, H., Davies, R. L., Arimoto, N., Nakamura, O., & Peletier, R. (2001). On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster. Astrophysical Journal, 551(2 PART 2). https://doi.org/10.1086/320019

On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster. / Vazdekis, Alexandre; Kuntschner, Harald; Davies, Roger L.; Arimoto, Nobuo; Nakamura, Osamu; Peletier, Reynier.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 551, No. 2 PART 2, 20.04.2001.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vazdekis, A, Kuntschner, H, Davies, RL, Arimoto, N, Nakamura, O & Peletier, R 2001, 'On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 551, no. 2 PART 2. https://doi.org/10.1086/320019
Vazdekis A, Kuntschner H, Davies RL, Arimoto N, Nakamura O, Peletier R. On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster. Astrophysical Journal. 2001 Apr 20;551(2 PART 2). https://doi.org/10.1086/320019
Vazdekis, Alexandre ; Kuntschner, Harald ; Davies, Roger L. ; Arimoto, Nobuo ; Nakamura, Osamu ; Peletier, Reynier. / On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2001 ; Vol. 551, No. 2 PART 2.
@article{ee829126f0e44e16b941329fcbc40a36,
title = "On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster",
abstract = "We explore the origin of the color-magnitude relation (CMR) of early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio for six elliptical galaxies selected along the CMR. The data are analyzed using a new evolutionary stellar population synthesis model to generate galaxy spectra at the resolution given by their velocity dispersions. In particular, we use a new age indicator that is virtually free of the effects of metallicity. We find that the luminosity-weighted mean ages of Virgo ellipticals are greater than ∼8 Gyr and show no clear trend with galaxy luminosity. We also find a positive correlation of metallicity with luminosity, color, and velocity dispersion. We conclude that the CMR is driven primarily by a luminosity-metallicity correlation. However, not all elements increase equally with the total metallicity, and we speculate that the CMR may be driven by both a total metallicity increase and a systematic departure from solar abundance ratios of some elements along the CMR. A full understanding of the role played by the total metallicity, abundance ratios, and age in generating the CMR requires the analysis of spectra of very high quality, such as those reported here, for a larger number of galaxies in Virgo and other clusters.",
keywords = "Galaxies: abundances, Galaxies: clusters: general, Galaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo), Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: stellar content",
author = "Alexandre Vazdekis and Harald Kuntschner and Davies, {Roger L.} and Nobuo Arimoto and Osamu Nakamura and Reynier Peletier",
year = "2001",
month = "4",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1086/320019",
language = "English",
volume = "551",
journal = "Astrophysical Journal",
issn = "0004-637X",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "2 PART 2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the origin of the color-magnitude relation in the Virgo Cluster

AU - Vazdekis, Alexandre

AU - Kuntschner, Harald

AU - Davies, Roger L.

AU - Arimoto, Nobuo

AU - Nakamura, Osamu

AU - Peletier, Reynier

PY - 2001/4/20

Y1 - 2001/4/20

N2 - We explore the origin of the color-magnitude relation (CMR) of early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio for six elliptical galaxies selected along the CMR. The data are analyzed using a new evolutionary stellar population synthesis model to generate galaxy spectra at the resolution given by their velocity dispersions. In particular, we use a new age indicator that is virtually free of the effects of metallicity. We find that the luminosity-weighted mean ages of Virgo ellipticals are greater than ∼8 Gyr and show no clear trend with galaxy luminosity. We also find a positive correlation of metallicity with luminosity, color, and velocity dispersion. We conclude that the CMR is driven primarily by a luminosity-metallicity correlation. However, not all elements increase equally with the total metallicity, and we speculate that the CMR may be driven by both a total metallicity increase and a systematic departure from solar abundance ratios of some elements along the CMR. A full understanding of the role played by the total metallicity, abundance ratios, and age in generating the CMR requires the analysis of spectra of very high quality, such as those reported here, for a larger number of galaxies in Virgo and other clusters.

AB - We explore the origin of the color-magnitude relation (CMR) of early-type galaxies in the Virgo Cluster using spectra of very high signal-to-noise ratio for six elliptical galaxies selected along the CMR. The data are analyzed using a new evolutionary stellar population synthesis model to generate galaxy spectra at the resolution given by their velocity dispersions. In particular, we use a new age indicator that is virtually free of the effects of metallicity. We find that the luminosity-weighted mean ages of Virgo ellipticals are greater than ∼8 Gyr and show no clear trend with galaxy luminosity. We also find a positive correlation of metallicity with luminosity, color, and velocity dispersion. We conclude that the CMR is driven primarily by a luminosity-metallicity correlation. However, not all elements increase equally with the total metallicity, and we speculate that the CMR may be driven by both a total metallicity increase and a systematic departure from solar abundance ratios of some elements along the CMR. A full understanding of the role played by the total metallicity, abundance ratios, and age in generating the CMR requires the analysis of spectra of very high quality, such as those reported here, for a larger number of galaxies in Virgo and other clusters.

KW - Galaxies: abundances

KW - Galaxies: clusters: general

KW - Galaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo)

KW - Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD

KW - Galaxies: evolution

KW - Galaxies: stellar content

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035918113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035918113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/320019

DO - 10.1086/320019

M3 - Article

VL - 551

JO - Astrophysical Journal

JF - Astrophysical Journal

SN - 0004-637X

IS - 2 PART 2

ER -