header graphic
************************

Abstract

************************


[*] Central Surface Brightness Profiles in Brightest Cluster Galaxies
Laine S., van der Marel R.P., Lauer T.R., Postman, M., O'Dea C.P., Owen F.N.
in Carnegie Observatories Astrophysics Series, Vol. 1: Coevolution of Black Holes and Galaxies, ed. L. C. Ho (Pasadena: Carnegie Observatories, http://www.ociw.edu/ociw/symposia/series/symposium1/proceedings.html), 2003


We present results from an HST WFPC2 I-band imaging study of the centers of 81 brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). The images show a rich variety of morphological features. We were able to derive surface brightness profiles for 60 galaxies. Of those, 88% have well-resolved cores. The remaining twelve percent have ``power-law'' profiles. Therefore, the central structure of even the brightest galaxies shows a bimodality. A correlation between the power-law BCGs and the so-called alpha parameter, related to the slope of the surface brightness profile at a large radius, suggests a scenario in which elliptical galaxies evolve from power-law profiles to core profiles through accretion and merging. This is consistent with theoretical scenarios which invoke the formation of massive black hole binaries during merger events.

Arrow Return to my bibliography.              Home Return to my home page.

Last modified March 30, 2003.
Roeland van der Marel, marel@stsci.edu.
Copyright Notice.