The central regions of early-type galaxies

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The ACS Virgo and Fornax cluster surveys present homogeneous HST/ACS observations of 143 early-type galaxies and their globular cluster systems in the Virgo and Fornax clusters. I briefly describe these surveys and present some of their recent results on the properties of the central regions of galaxies. In particular, we have shown that on nuclear scales, galaxies are found to exhibit a gradual progression from a light “deficit” (cores) to a light “excess” (stellar nuclei), while on larger scales the brightness profiles of galaxies are accurately described by Sérsic models. Our observations suggest that a generic by-product of galaxy formation might be the creation of a central massive object — either a supermassive black hole or a compact stellar nucleus — that contains a mean fraction ∼0.2% of the total galactic mass.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAstrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
EditorsF. Duccio Macchetto
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9789048134007
ISBN (Print)9780387727677, 9780387876207, 9781402055720, 9781402069321, 9781402088674, 9781402091896, 9781441981608, 9781441983688, 9783540758259, 9783642033230, 9783642103216, 9783642103513, 9783642113406, 9783642172502, 9789048133994, 9789048133994, 9789048134984
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event41st Symposium of the European Space Agency : The Impact of HST on European Astronomy, 2007 - Noordwijk, Netherlands
Duration: 29 May 20071 Jun 2007

Publication series

NameAstrophysics and Space Science Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1570-6591
ISSN (Electronic)1570-6605


Conference41st Symposium of the European Space Agency : The Impact of HST on European Astronomy, 2007


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