AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 40 Galaxies
Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[40.10] BVR Imaging of Extremely Isolated Early-Type Galaxies

P.M. Marcum, C.E. Aars, M.N. Fanelli ()

We have conducted a BVR imaging survey of nine extremely isolated early-type galaxies. Our objective is to understand their origins and evolutionary histories by searching for certain photometric and morphological signatures which would implicate that these objects are the remnants of merged galaxy groups.

Our analysis reveals that these galaxies are underluminous by at least a magnitude as compared to objects recognized as "fossil groups" in the literature. Two of our objects are clearly late-stage merger remnants, as indicated by faint tidal tails, multiple nuclei and very blue colors. Two other objects also have blue colors indicating star formation within the past ~2Gyr, but otherwise have morphological properties normal for spheroidal systems. Our potentially most exciting discovery is that two other objects are strong candidates for "primordial" elliptical galaxies formed early in cosmic time via protogalactic gravitational collapse in isolation.

We acknowledge the McDonald Observatory, which is operated by the University of Texas at Austin, for use of their facilities. Support was provided through NASA grant NAG5-7040 and the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research Program.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://enterprise.is.tcu.edu/~pmarcum. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: p.marcum@tcu.edu

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