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For refcode 1995AJ....110.2027v:
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1995AJ....110.2027v DUST IN THE CORES OF EARLY-TYPE GALAXIES P. G. VAN DOKKUM AND M. FRANX Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, P.O. Box 800, NL-9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands Electronic mail: Dokkum@astro.rvg.nl franx@astro.rvg.nl Received 1995 June 12; revised 1995 July 14 ABSTRACT The dust properties of all early-type galaxies imaged with the Planetary Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope in cycles I-III are examined. Dust is detected in 31 out of 64 galaxies, although the sample is biased against the detection of dust. From the distribution of observed axis ratios of the dust features it is inferred that 78% +/- 16% of early-type galaxies contain nuclear dust. The detection rate in radio galaxies is higher (72% +/- 16%) than in radio-quiet galaxies (33%+/-9%). In radio galaxies with double radio structure, the dust is usually found perpendicular to the radio axis. Dust masses range from 10^3^-10^7^ solar masses. From the dependence of the misalignment angle (the angle between dust major axis and galaxy major axis) on size and appearance of the dust, it is found that dust features with semimajor-axis size a_d_ > 250 pc are generally not settled. If it is assumed that dust lanes with a_d_ <250 pc are in equilibrium in the galaxy potential, the observed distribution of misalignment angles can only be explained if elliptical galaxies have a mean triaxiality <T> >= 0.4. The best fit is obtained for <T> = 0.8, higher than values derived through other methods. This difference cannot be explained by a dependence of <T> on radius. Therefore, it seems dust is not always completely relaxed, even on the smallest scales. Furthermore, the rotation axis of the dust does not generally coincide with that of the stars. This seems to suggest that the dust is acquired from outside, and has some way of losing its angular momentum efficiently.
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