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For refcode 1995AJ....110.1498P:
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1995AJ....110.1498P DEEP OPTICAL OBSERVATIONS OF COMPACT GROUPS OF GALAXIES RACHEL A. PILDIS AND JOEL N. BREGMAN Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1090 Electronic mail: pildisjbregman@astro.lsa.umich.edu JAMES M. SCHOMBERT Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125 Electronic mail: js@abyss.astrophysics.hq.nasa.gov Received 1995 June 5; revised 1995 June 29 ABSTRACT Compact groups of galaxies appear to be extremely dense, making them likely sites of intense galaxy interaction, while their small populations make them relatively simple to analyze. In order to search for optical interaction tracers such as diffuse light and galaxy tidal features in Hickson compact groups (HCGs), we carried out deep photometry in three filters on a sample of HCGs with ROSAT observations. Using a modeling procedure to subtract the light of bright early-type galaxies, we found shell systems and extended envelopes around many, but not all, of those galaxies. Only one group in our sample, HCG 94, has diffuse light in the group potential (with a luminosity of 7 L^*^); the other groups do not contain more than 113 L^*^ in diffuse light. With the exception of HCG 94 (which is the most x-ray-luminous HCG), we found no correlation between the presence of shells or other tidal features and the x-ray luminosity of a group. Better predictors of detectable group x-ray emission are a low spiral fraction and belonging to a larger galaxy condensation-neither of which are correlated with optical disturbances in the group galaxies. No elliptical galaxies that are extremely optically luminous but x-ray faint are found to have shells and very complex color structures. This is likely due to recent infall of gas-rich material into the galaxies, which would produce both the disruption of stellar orbits and a significant amount of star formation.
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