The stellar population and metallicity distribution of the Sombrero galaxy

Jeremy Mould*, Lee Spitler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Hubble Space Telescope studies of the resolved stellar population of elliptical galaxies have shown that the galaxies form by steady accretion of gas which is all the while forming stars and chemically evolving to a metallicity distribution that is as high as solar composition in the most massive objects that have been analyzed and much lower for low-mass ellipticals. In this paper, we study for the first time the stellar content of an early-type spiral galaxy, the massive disk galaxy, the Sombrero, and NGC 4594. We consider whether the metallicity distribution function (MDF) in the observed field matches that of elliptical galaxies of some luminosity, and what these data imply for the accretion and enrichment model that can be fitted to the MDF. The MDF of NGC 4594 is similar to that of the elliptical galaxy of similar luminosity, NGC 5128. The field we are probing is a combination of the galaxy's bulge and halo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: photometry


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