Abundance gradients in elliptical galaxies

L. Angeletti, P. Giannone
2003 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
Abundance gradients predicted by dissipative models of galaxy formation are studied with the aid of mass models of spherical galaxies obeying the Sersic R 1/n law in projection. The link between metallicity and stellar binding energies and angular momenta is derived from the "concentration model" by Lynden-Bell (1975) with the addition of a terminal wind and an age spread among the stellar populations of individual ellipticals. By using the calibration of the Mg 2 index as a function of
more » ... function of metallicity and age from Single-burst Stellar Populations models, the radial profiles of Mg 2 are computed for a variety of models to illustrate the general predictions of the present approach. We also matched the observed radial profiles of Mg 2 in a sample of 11 ellipticals. We find that observations are reproduced reasonably well in our adopted approximation and require a considerable degree of dissipation and a metal yield above the solar value. A terminal wind or an age spread make it easier to fit the Mg 2 profiles of the ellipticals with shallow Mg 2 profiles in the innermost regions. However, model results (with or without an age spread) show that the exact determination of the free parameters suffers from degeneracy of their effects. Moreover, model results also suffer from the poorly known effects of non-solar abundance ratios on index Mg 2 . Other spectral indices, besides Mg 2 , and broad-band colours observed in elliptical galaxies can be examined in the same way with the present scheme; their study is postponed to a further investigation.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20030164 fatcat:f3dofl3z7jaazb7qzbclyehv3m