Volume 461, Number 1, January I 2007
|Page(s)||103 - 113|
|Published online||26 September 2006|
Properties of dust in early-type galaxies
School of Physical Sciences, S.R.T.M. University, Nanded 431 606, India e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 School of Studies in Physics, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur 492 010, India e-mail: email@example.com
3 Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore 560 034, India e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Inter University Centre for Astronomy & Astrophysics (IUCAA), Post Bag 4, Ganeshkhind, Pune 411 007, India e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 16 August 2006
We report optical extinction properties of dust for a sample of 26 early-type galaxies based on the analysis of their multicolour CCD observations. The wavelength dependence of dust extinction for these galaxies is determined and the extinction curves are found to run parallel to the Galactic extinction curve, which implies that the properties of dust in the extragalactic environment are quite similar to those of the Milky Way. For the sample galaxies, value of the parameter RV, the ratio of total extinction in V band to selective extinction in B and V bands, lies in the range 2.03-3.46 with an average of 3.02, compared to its canonical value of 3.1 for the Milky Way. A dependence of RV on dust morphology of the host galaxy is also noticed in the sense that galaxies with a well defined dust lane show tendency to have smaller RV values compared to the galaxies with disturbed dust morphology. The dust content of these galaxies estimated using total optical extinction is found to lie in the range 104 to , an order of magnitude smaller than those derived from IRAS flux densities, indicating that a significant fraction of dust intermixed with stars remains undetected by the optical method. We examine the relationship between dust mass derived from IRAS flux and the X-ray luminosity of the host galaxies.The issue of the origin of dust in early-type galaxies is also discussed.
Key words: galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD / galaxies: ISM / ISM : dust, extinction
© ESO, 2006
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