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Session 83 - Elliptical Galaxies.
Display session, Wednesday, January 17
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center
Non-solar abundance ratios in elliptical galaxies are readily detectable in a qualitative sense. The elements Mg, Na, and N appear overabundant compared to Ca and Fe. There is a probable variation of (Sc + V)/Ti. Abundance ratio effects are the single most serious barrier to the estimation of mean stellar ages: even more serious than the 35% model-to-model uncertainty. Isochrone grids allowing for the variation of many individual elements (He, O, C, and N at least, in addition to overall Z and alpha elements) are needed to quantitatively estimate the overabundances and mean ages of ellipticals. The tolerances for relative shifts in isochrone temperatures are tight: about 7 K if we hope for 5% accurate ages. The abundance pattern in elliptical galaxies matches neither the disk, nor the halo, nor the bulge our own Galaxy, although the bulge appears to provide the best match.
This research was funded by NASA through grant HF-1066.01-94A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555.
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