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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-05-23 T22:53:11 PDT
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For refcode 2003ApJ...583..712J:
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2003ApJ...583..712J Measuring Distances and Probing the Unresolved Stellar Populations of Galaxies Using Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations Joseph B. Jensen Gemini Observatory, 670 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720; jjensen@gemini.edu John L. Tonry and Brian J. Barris Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822; jt@avidya.ifa.hawaii.edu, barris@ifa.hawaii.edu Rodger I. Thompson Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; rthompson@as.arizona.edu Michael C. Liu Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822; mliu@ifa.hawaii.edu Marcia J. Rieke Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721; mrieke@as.arizona.edu Edward A. Ajhar Department of Physics, University of Miami, 1320 Campo Sano Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146; ajhar@physics.miami.edu and John P. Blakeslee Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-2686; jpb@pha.jhu.edu Received 2002 August 14; accepted 2002 October 7 ABSTRACT To empirically calibrate the IR surface brightness fluctuation (SBF) distance scale and probe the properties of unresolved stellar populations, we measured fluctuations in 65 galaxies using NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope. The early-type galaxies in this sample include elliptical and S0 galaxies and spiral bulges in a variety of environments. Absolute fluctuation magnitudes in the F160W (1.6 microns) filter (M^bar^_F160W_) were derived for each galaxy using previously measured I-band SBF and Cepheid variable star distances. F160W SBFs can be used to measure distances to early-type galaxies with a relative accuracy of ~10%, provided that the galaxy color is known to ~0.035 mag or better. Near-IR fluctuations can also reveal the properties of the most luminous stellar populations in galaxies. Comparison of F160W fluctuation magnitudes and optical colors to stellar population model predictions suggests that bluer elliptical and S0 galaxies have significantly younger populations than redder ones and may also be more metal-rich. There are no galaxies in this sample with fluctuation magnitudes consistent with old, metal-poor (t > 5 Gyr, [Fe/H] < -0.7) stellar population models. Composite stellar population models imply that bright fluctuations in the bluer galaxies may be the result of an episode of recent star formation in a fraction of the total mass of a galaxy. Age estimates from the F160W fluctuation magnitudes are consistent with those measured using the H{beta} Balmer-line index. The two types of measurements make use of completely different techniques and are sensitive to stars in different evolutionary phases. Both techniques reveal the presence of intermediate-age stars in the early-type galaxies of this sample. Subject headings: galaxies: distances and redshifts - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: stellar content
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