Morphology and kinematics of the ionised gas in early-type galaxies

Jesús Falcón-Barroso*, Marc Sarzi, Roland Bacon, Martin Bureau, Michele Cappellari, Roger L. Davies, Eric Emsellem, Kambiz Fathi, Davor Krajnović, Harald Kuntschner, Richard M. McDermid, Reynier F. Peletier, Tim de Zeeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We present results of our ongoing study of the morphology and kinematics of the ionised gas in 48 representative nearby elliptical and lenticular galaxies using the SAURON integral-field spectrograph on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope. Making use of a recently developed technique, emission is detected in 75% of the galaxies. The ionised-gas distributions display varied morphologies, ranging from regular gas disks to filamentary structures. Additionally, the emission-line kinematic maps show, in general, regular motions with smooth variations in kinematic position angle. In most of the galaxies, the ionised-gas kinematics is decoupled from the stellar counterpart, but only some of them present signatures of recent accretion of gaseous material. The presence of dust is very common in our sample and is usually accompanied by gas emission. Our analysis of the [OIII]/Hβ emission-line ratios, both across the whole sample as well as within the individual galaxies, suggests that there is no unique mechanism triggering the ionisation of the gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number10-12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • cD
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: individual (NGC 2768, NGC 2974, NGC 4278, NGC 4526)
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics


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