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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-06-26 T21:26:51 PDT
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For refcode 2007ApJ...671.1456C:
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2007ApJ...671.1456C The ACS Fornax Cluster Survey. II. The Central Brightness Profiles of Early-Type Galaxies: A Characteristic Radius on Nuclear Scales and the Transition from Central Luminosity Deficit to Excess Cote, Patrick; Ferrarese, Laura; Jordan, Andres; Blakeslee, John P.; Chen, Chin-Wei; Infante, Leopoldo; Merritt, David; Mei, Simona; Peng, Eric W.; Tonry, John L.; West, Andrew A.; West, Michael J. Abstract. We analyze brightness profiles for 143 early-type galaxies in the Virgo and Fornax Clusters, observed with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. Sersic models are found to provide accurate representations of the global profiles with a notable exception: the observed profiles deviate systematically inside a characteristic "break" radius of R_b_~0.02^+0.025^_-0.01_R_e_, where R_e_ is the effective radius of the galaxy. The sense of the deviation is such that bright galaxies (M_B_<~-20) typically show central light deficits with respect to the inward extrapolation of the Sersic model, while the great majority of low- and intermediate-luminosity galaxies (-19.5<~M_B_<~-15) show central light excesses; galaxies of intermediate luminosities (-20<~M_B_<~-19.5) are generally well fitted by Sersic models over all radii. We show that the slope, {gamma}', of the central surface brightness profiles, when measured at fixed fractions of R_e_, varies smoothly as a function of galaxy luminosity in a manner that depends sensitively on the choice of measurement radius. We find no evidence for a core/power-law dichotomy, and show that a recent claim of strong bimodality in {gamma}' is likely an artifact of the biased galaxy selection function used in that study. To provide a more robust characterization of the inner regions of galaxies, we introduce a parameter {DELTA}_0.02_=log(L_g_/L_S_)-where L_g_ and L_S_ are the integrated luminosities inside 0.02R_e_ of the observed profile and of the inward extrapolation of the outer Sersic model-to describe the central luminosity deficit ({DELTA}_0.02_<0) or excess ({DELTA}_0.02_>0). We find that {DELTA}_0.02_ varies smoothly over the range of ~720 in luminosity spanned by the sample galaxies, with again no evidence for a dichotomy. We argue that the central light excesses in M_B_>~-19 galaxies may be the analogs of the dense central cores predicted by some numerical simulations to form via gas inflows. Key words: Galaxies: Clusters: Individual: Name: Virgo, Galaxies: Clusters: Individual: Name: Fornax, Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD, Galaxies: Nuclei, Galaxies: Structure
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