- [*] 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.
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Last modified March 30, 2003.
Roeland van der Marel,