335 research outputs found

    Galactic Winds and the Photo-chemical Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies: The Classic Model Revisited

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    We consider the simultaneous chemical, photometric, and gaseous thermal energy evolution of elliptical galaxies. The evolution of chemical abundances in the intracluster medium (ICM) is set by the differing timescales for gas ejection, via supernovae (SNe)-driven winds, from dwarf, normal, and giant ellipticals, and is monitored concurrently. Emphasis is placed upon the influence of, and sensitivity to, the underlying stellar initial mass function (IMF), star formation efficiency, supernovae Type Ia rates, supernovae remnant (SNR) dynamics, and the most recent advances in stellar nucleosynthesis. Unlike many previous studies, we adhere to a wide range of optical (e.g. colour-metallicity-luminosity relationship) and x-ray (e.g. recent ASCA ICM abundance measurements) observational constraints. IMFs biased toward high mass stars, at least during the early phases of star formation, are implicated in order to satisfy all the observational constraints.Comment: 18 pages, LaTeX, also available at http://msowww.anu.edu.au/~gibson/publications.html, MNRAS, in pres

    A Comparison of Three Elliptical Galaxy Photo-chemical Evolution Codes

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    Working within the classic supernovae-driven wind framework for elliptical galaxy evolution, we perform a systematic investigation into the discrepancies between the predictions of three contemporary codes -- Arimoto & Yoshii (1987, A&A, 173, 23), Bressan et al. (1994, ApJS, 94, 63), and Gibson (1996a, MNRAS, 278, 829; 1996b, MNRAS, submitted). By being primarily concerned with reproducing the present-day colour-metallicity-luminosity (CML) relations amongst ellipticals, the approaches taken in the theoretical modelling have managed to obscure many of the hidden differences between the codes. Targeting the timescale for the onset of the initial galactic wind t_GW as a primary ``difference'' indicator, we demonstrate exactly how and why each code is able to claim successful reproduction of the CML relations, despite possessing apparently incompatible input ingredients.Comment: 30 pages, LaTeX, 3 figures available from http://msowww.anu.edu.au/~gibson/publications.html, to be published in Sept 1996 ApJ, Part


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    We study the origin of iron and alpha-elements (O, Mg, Si) in clusters of galaxies. In particular, we discuss the [O/Fe] ratio and the iron mass-to-luminosity ratio in the intracluster medium (ICM) and their link to the chemical and dynamical evolution of elliptical and lenticular galaxies. We adopt a detailed model of galactic evolution incorporating the development of supernovae- driven galactic winds which pollute the ICM with enriched ejecta. We demonstrate \it quantitatively \rm the crucial dependence upon the assumed stellar initial mass function in determining the evolution of the mass and abundances ratios of heavy elements in typical model ICMs. We show that completely opposite behaviours of [alpha/Fe] ratios (\ie positive versus negative ratios) can be obtained by varying the initial mass function without altering the classic assumptions regarding type Ia supernovae progenitors or their nucleosynthesis. Our results indicate that models incorporating somewhat flatter-than-Salpeter initial mass functions (ie x approx 1, as opposed to x=1.35) are preferred, provided the intracluster medium iron mass-to-luminosity ratio, preliminary [alpha/Fe]>0 ASCA results, and present-day type Ia supernovae rates, are to be matched. A simple Virgo cluster simulation which adheres to these constraints shows that approx 70% of the measured ICM iron mass has its origin in type II supernovae, with the remainder being synthesized in type Ia systems.Comment: 25 pages of uuencoded compressed PostScript. 4 PostScript figures and 4 PostScript tables available from http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~bkg/gibson.html Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
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