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For refcode 1996MNRAS.280..167J:
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Copyright by Royal Astronomical Society. 1996MNRAS.280..167J The Fundamental Plane for cluster E and S0 galaxies Inger Jorgensen, Marijn Franx, and Per Kjaergaard Copenhagen University Observatory, Oster Voldgade 3, DK-1350 Copenhagen, Denmark McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin, RLM 15.308, Austin, TX 78712, USA (Postal address for IJ) Kapteyn Institute, PO Box 800, 9700A V Groningen, The Netherlands (Postal address for MF) Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Accepted 1995 November 16. Received 1995 October 30; in original form 1995 July 17 ABSTRACT We have analysed the shape of the Fundamental Plane (FP) for a sample of 226 E and S0 galaxies in 10 clusters of galaxies. We find that the distribution of galaxies is well approximated by a plane of the form log r_e_ = 1.24 log {sigma}-0.82 log<I>_e_ + {gamma} for photometry obtained in Gunn r. This result is in good agreement with previous determinations. The FP has a scatter of 0.084 in log r_e_. For galaxies with velocity dispersion larger than 100 km s^-1^ the scatter is 0.073. If the FP is used for distance determinations this scatter is equivalent to 17 per cent uncertainties on distances to single galaxies. We find that the slope of the FP is not significantly different from cluster to cluster. Selection effects and measurement errors can introduce biases in the derived slope. The residuals of the FP correlate weakly with the velocity dispersion and the surface brightness. Some of the coefficients used in the literature give rather strong correlations between the residuals and absolute magnitudes. This implies that galaxies need to be selected in a homogeneous way to avoid biases of derived distances on the level of 5-10 per cent or smaller. The FP has significant intrinsic scatter. No other structural parameters like ellipticity or isophotal shape can reduce the scatter significantly. This is in contradiction to simple models, which predict that the presence of discs in E and S0 galaxies can introduce scatter in the FP. It remains unknown what the source of scatter is. It is therefore unknown whether this source produces systematic errors in distance determinations. The Mg_2_-{sigma} relation for the cluster galaxies differs slightly from cluster to cluster. Galaxies in clusters with lower velocity dispersions have systematically lower Mg_2_. The effect can be caused by both age and metallicity variations. With the current stellar population models, the best agreement with our results regarding the FP is if the offsets are mainly caused by differences in metallicity. Most of the distances that we derive from the FP imply small peculiar motions (<1000 km s^-1^). The zero point of the FP must therefore be quite stable. Only for one cluster, located 28^deg^ from the direction towards the `Great Attractor', do we find a peculiar motion of 1300 km s^-1^. This motion is reduced to 890 km s^-1^ if we use the FP corrected for the offset of the Mg_2_-{sigma} relation. This confirms earlier suggestions that the residuals from the Mg_2_-{sigma} relation can be used to flag galaxies with deviant populations, and possibly to correct the distance determinations for the deviations. Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts - galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD - galaxies: fundamental parameters - galaxies: stellar content.
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