AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 46 Origins of Stellar Populations in Spheroids
Invited, Monday, January 10, 2005, 3:40-5:10pm, Town and Country

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[46.01] Stellar Populations of Elliptical Galaxies

S.K. Yi (University of Oxford)

For their relatively smooth morphology and monotonic spectral energy distributions, elliptical galaxies are often assumed to be uniform as stellar populations. They are believed to be among the oldest and most metal-rich in the universe; an interesting combination of stellar properties. Thus, their evolution, in mass, light, and chemical abundance, has been a subject of heated debates. Many studies attempt to unveil the formation history of elliptical galaxies by analysing their integrated lights obtained by state-of-the-art facilities. Population synthesis models are the most popular tool but are very often used as a blackbox. We briefly discuss the current level of accuracy of such models. Then we present the results of our recent investigations on the elliptical galaxy stellar popualtions using new ground and space data. One of the highlights is that a strong evidence of recent star formation has been found from the ultraviolet and optical spectra of many nearby early-type galaxies. We discuss their implications to the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.