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Do galaxies form a spectroscopic sequence?

By Yago Ascasibar and Jorge Sanchez-Almeida

Abstract

We identify a spectroscopic sequence of galaxies, analogous to the Hubble sequence of morphological types, based on the Automatic Spectroscopic K-means (ASK) classification. Considering galaxy spectra as multidimensional vectors, the majority of the spectral classes are distributed along a well defined curve going from the earliest to the latest types, suggesting that the optical spectra of normal galaxies can be described in terms of a single affine parameter. Optically-bright active galaxies, however, appear as an independent, roughly orthogonal branch that intersects the main sequence exactly at the transition between early and late types.Comment: 10 pages, 11 figures, accepted by MNRA

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18869.x
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1104.1388
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