Virgo Cluster and field dwarf ellipticals in 3D: I. On the variety of stellar kinematic and line-strength properties


We present the first large-scale stellar kinematic and line-strength maps for dwarf elliptical galaxies (9 in the Virgo Cluster and 3 in the field environment) obtained with the SAURON integral-field unit. No two galaxies in our sample are alike: we see that the level of rotation is not tied to flattening (we have, e.g. round rotators and flattened nonrotators); we observe kinematic twists in 1 Virgo and 1 field object; we discover large-scale kinematically-decoupled components in 2 field galaxies; we see varying gradients in line-strength maps, from nearly flat to strongly peaked in the center. The great variety of morphological, kinematic, and stellar population parameters seen in our data points to a formation scenario in which properties are shaped stochastically. A combined effect of ram-pressure stripping and galaxy harassment is the most probable explanation. We show the need for a comprehensive analysis of kinematic, dynamical, and stellar population properties which will enable us to place dwarf ellipticals and processes that govern their evolution in the wider context of galaxy formation

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