A complete data base of kinematical data for early-type galaxies

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  • IL NUOVO CIMENTO VOL. 13 C, N. 2 Marzo-Aprile 1990

    A Complete Data Base of Kinematical Data for Early-Type Galaxies (*) (**).


    Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte ~ Via Moiariello 16, 1-80131 Napoli

    (ricevuto il 31 Dicembre 1988)

    Summary. -- As a result of an exhaustive bibliographical search covering the period 1975-1988, a complete catalogue of kinematical data for early-type galaxies (ellipticals and lenticulars) has been compiled. The catalogue contains all data both in tabular and in plotted form--appeared in specialized literature before December 1988 and includes central velocity dispersions, rotation curves, and velocity dispersion profiles for 846, 174 and 108 objects, respectively. The catalogue is also available on magnetic tape---made available to the astronomical community through the Strasbourg Data Center--and will be updated yearly.

    PACS 95.80 - Catalogues.

    I. - Introduction.

    Since the discovery that the shape of elliptical galaxies could not be accounted for by their rotation [1, 2], a great deal of observational and theoretical work has been devoted to the study of the dynamics of the stellar component (for a review see e.g. [3-5] and references therein) and of the dust lanes and rings [6] which are of the greatest interest, because they can give additional independent informa- tion on the potential of the host galaxy [7].

    The renewed interest of the astronomical community in early-type galaxies, together with unexpected improvements in measuring and reduction techniques, lead to a mass production of kinematical data such as central velocity

    (*) Paper presented at the 4th Cosmic Physics National Conference, Capri, September 11-14, 1988. (**) To speed up publication, the proofs were not sent to the authors and were supervised by the Scientific Committee.



    dispersions, rotation curves and velocity dispersion profiles, for both the stellar and the gaseous components.

    Previous compilations of kinematical data (e.g.[8-10]) were confined to the central velocity dispersions alone, because they were aimed at the determination of the Faber-Jackson relation[ll] for a large sample of ellipticals.

    One of the main problems in the compilation of a large data base is the homogeneity of the data presented, which is needed for the statistical compari- son with theoretical models.

    One of the possible approaches to guarantee the homogeneity of the data is the one followed in [12], which, unfortunately, does not allow to use the vast bulk of data available in the literature.

    Aim of our work was to give a complete data base of the kinematical properties of early-type galaxies, and to analyze the dependence of the data on various observational parameters (e.g. instruments and reduction techniques, etc.). This will permit to use a large set of data for the analysis of the kinematics of ellipticals and to compare them with the theoretical models available.

    2. - The cata logue .

    The catalogue includes 1865 central velocity dispersions, 615 rotation curves, and 359 velocity dispersion profiles for 846, 174, and 108 objects, respectively.

    The data were extracted directly from the original reference. In many cases where rotation curves and velocity dispersion profiles appeared only as plots, the data and the errors were converted in tabular form by using the program GRETA [13].

    Errors due to misaliguments of the axis and to changes in the scales due to bad reproduction were corrected for, but these data--marked by an asterisk in the catalogue--must still be looked as less precise.

    The catalogue is divided into two parts: the first part containing the main catalogue, the second part containing all the velocity dispersion profiles and the rotation curves in tabular form.

    The structure of the main catalogue is the following:

    column 1: galaxy identification: N for NGC, I for IC, A for Anonymous. Close pairs are classified according to Turner [14]. AB as in Strom et al. [15], CR as in Strom et al. [16].

    column 2: source of data.

    column 3: type of data. CVD for central velocity dispersion, RC for rotation curve, VDP for velocity dispersion profile, VMA for maximum rotation velocity.

    column 4: type of type of line, A absorption, E emission.

    column 5: identification of the line(s).


    column 6: telescope, detector and spectrograph as coded in table la-c.

    column 7: reduction method: V for visual[17,18]; CC for cross correlation [19 20]; FQ for Fourier quotient [20, 21]; PS power spectrum [11]; AC autocorrelation [20]; FD Fourier difference [22]; SC scanner [23].

    column 8: position angle.

    column 9: value of central velocity dispersion and of estimated error. In the case of RC or VDP, the entry gives the reference to a numerical table reported in the second part of the catalogue. An asterisk following the name of the file means that the data have been converted from plots (see text).

    column 10: dispersion of the spectra in A mm -1.

    column 11: vertical scale in arcsec/mm.

    column 12: slit width in arcsec.

    column 13: morphological type from RC2.

    column 14: D(0) from RC2.

    column 15: notes.

    The catalogue exists also in a magnetic-tape version, which will be updated yearly, and will be made available to the astronomical community through the Strasbourg Data Center.

    An atlas of velocity dispersion profiles and rotation curves is also available [24], along with a complete bibliography including all observational and theoretical papers on the dynamics of early-type galaxies appeared before December, 1988 [25].

    We are particularly grateful to Profs. F. Bertola and M. Capaccioli for helpful suggestions during the compilation of this catalogue.


    [1] F. BERTOLA: Proceeding XV Meeting Astr. Soc. Italia, p. 199 (1972). [2] F. BERTOLA and M. CAPACCIOLI: Astrophys. J., 200, 439 (1975). [3] J. BINNEY: Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys., 20, 399 (1982). [4] T. DE ZEEUW: IAU Symposium, n. 127, edited by T. DE ZEEUW (Reidel,

    Dordrecht, 1987). [5] D. O. RICHSTONE: IAU Symposium, n. 127, edited by T. DE ZEEUW (Reidel,

    Dordrecht, 1987), p. 261. [6] F. BERTOLA and G. GALLETTA: Astrophy. J. Lett., 226, Ll15 (1978).


    [7] F. BERTOLA, D. BETTONI, J. DANZIGER and T. DE ZEEUW: submitted to Astrophys. J.

    [8] G. DE VANCOULEURS and D. W. OLSON: Astrophys. J., 256, 346 (1982). [9] E. DAVOUST, G. PATUREL and I. VAUGLIN: Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 61,

    273 (1985). [10] B. C. WHITMORE, D. B. MCELROY and J. L. TONRY: Astrophys. J. Suppl., 59, 1

    (1985). [11] S. M. FABER and R. E. JACKSON: Astrophys. J., 204, 668 (1976). [12] A. DRESSLER, D. LYNDEN-BELL, D. BURSTEIN, R. DAVIES, S. M. FABER and R.

    J. TERLEVICH: Astrophys. J., 313, 42 (1987). [13] G. BUSARELLO, G. LONGO and G. TORRE: OAC internal report n. 8 (1988). [14] E. TURNER: Astrophys. J., 208, 20 (1976). [15] S. E. STROM and K. M. STROM: Astrophys. J., 83, 1983 (1978). [16] S. E. STROM and K. M. STROM: Astrophys. J., 83, 732 (1978). [17] E. M. BURBIDGE, G. R. BURBIDGE and R. A. FISH: Astrophys. J., 133, 393 (1961). [18] D. C. MORTON and R. A. CHEVALIER: Astrophys. J., 174, 489 (1972). [19] J. L. TONRY and M. DAVIS: Astrophys. J., 246, 680 (1981). [20] N. LARSEN, P. NORGAARD-NIELSEN, P. KJAERGAARD and R. J. DICKENS:

    Astron. Astrophys., 117, 257 (1983). [21] W. SARGENT, P. L. SCHECHER, A. BOKSEMBERG and K. SHORTIDGE: Astrophys.

    J . , 212, 326 (1977). [22] A. DRESSLER: Astrophys. J., 231, 659 (1979). [23] G. DE VAUCOULEURS: IAU Symposium, n. 58, 1 (1974). [24] G. BUSARELLO, F. DI MARTINO and G. LONGO: Atti deU'Accademia di Scienze

    Lettere e Arti in Napoli (Liguori, 1989). [25] G. LONGO, F. DI MARTINO and G. BUSARELLO: Atti deU'Accademia di Scienze

    Lettere e Arti in Napoli, in press (1988).


    Vengono deseritte le caratteristiche di un data base di dati cinematici per galassie ellittiche e lenticolari. I1 catalogo contiene tutti i dati apparsi in letteratura dal 1975 al 1988 e eomprende dispersioni di velocita centrali, curve di rotazione e profili di dispersione di velocitfi per 846, 174 e 108 oggetti rispettivamente. Oltre ai dati sono state incluse anche informazioni sugli strumenti e sui metodi di riduzione usati. I1 catalogo, neUa versione su nastro magnetico, sarfi reso disponibile alla comunit~ astronomica attraverso il Centro Dati di Strasburgo e sarfi aggiornato annualmente.

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