CRAL-Observatoire de Lyon, CNRS: UMR 142, 69561 St-Genis-Laval Cedex, France
2 OMP, CNRS: UMR 5572, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Corresponding author: Ph. Prugniel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 24 October 2000
We have measured , Fe 5270 and Fe 5335 spectrophotometric indices (LICK system) in the bulge of 89 galaxies, mostly spirals from the Héraudeau ([CITE]) sample. The indices are reduced to a null velocity dispersion and normalized to an aperture of 0.2 h-1 kpc. The mean errors are 0.009 mag on , and 0.3 Åon the iron indices. These measurements almost double the amount of similar data already available on spiral galaxies. Our data confirm the existence of the relation between and , the central stellar velocity dispersion; we find an even tighter relation between and , the maximum rotational velocity of the galaxy, deduced from Hi observations. For the most massive bulges, these correlations may be interpreted as a mass-metallicity relation. However, the presence of young stellar populations, traced by the detection of [OIII] λ 5007 Åemission, provides clear evidence that age effects do play a role. Since the contribution of the young population is anti-correlated to the mass of the galaxy, it continues the vs. relation toward the low- region and globally increases its slope. We also present evidence for a new positive correlation between Fe indices and , and for a significant correlation between the line-strength indices and the total or disk luminosity. We propose to model the whole sequence of bulges within the following framework: bulges are composed of a primary population formed prior to the disk, during the initial collapse, and of a secondary population formed during its evolution. The whole family of bulges can be classified into three classes: (A) the bulges dominated by young populations are generally small, have ionized gas, low velocity dispersion and low line strengths; (B) the bulges dominated by the primary population lie along the mass-metallicity sequence defined for elliptical galaxies; and (C) the bulges where the secondary population is significant are less Mg-over-abundant than (B)-type bulges and deviate from the vs. relation of elliptical galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: general / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: evolution
© ESO, 2001