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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Warm ionized gas in CALIFA early-type galaxies - 2D emission-line patterns and kinematics for 32 galaxies

J. M. Gomes, P. Papaderos, C. Kehrig, M. D. Lehnert, B. Ziegler, I. P. Breda, S. N. Reis,

The morphological, spectroscopic and kinematical properties of the warm interstellar medium (wim) in early-type galaxies (ETGs) hold key observational constraints to nuclear activity and the buildup history of these massive, quiescent systems. High-quality integral field spectroscopy (IFS) data with a wide spectral and spatial coverage, such as those from the CALIFA survey, offer an unprecedented opportunity for advancing our understanding of the wim in ETGs. This article centers on a 2D investigation of the wim component in 32 nearby (<~150Mpc) ETGs from CALIFA, complementing a previous 1D analysis of the same sample (Papaderos et al. 2013; P13). We include here Halpha intensity and equivalent width (EW) maps and radial profiles, diagnostic emission-line ratios, besides ionized-gas and stellar kinematics. This study is supplemented by au-ratio maps as an efficient means to quantify the role of photoionization by pAGB stars, as compared to other mechanisms (e.g., AGN, low-level star formation). Additionally, we extend the tentative classification proposed in P13 by the type i+, which is assigned to a subset of type i ETGs exhibiting ongoing low-level star-formation (SF) in their periphery. This finding along with faint traces of localized SF in the extranuclear component of several of our sample ETGs points to a non-negligible contribution by OB stars to the total ionizing budget. We also demonstrate that, at the typical emission-line detection threshold of ~2AA in previous studies, most of the extranuclear wim emission in an ETG may evade detection, which could in turn prompt its classification as an entirely gas-devoid system. This study adds further observational evidence for a considerable heterogeneity among ETGs with regard to the physical properties and 2D kinematics of the wim component, and underscores the importance of IFS studies over their entire optical extent.

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 588
March 2016

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