AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 4. Evolution of Galaxies, Galaxy Surveys
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[4.06] Probing the evolution of field elliptical galaxies at intermediate redshift with the Fundamental Plane.

T. Treu (Scuola Normale Superiore; STScI), M. Stiavelli (Scuola Normale Superiore; STScI; ESA), G. Bertin (Scuola Normale Superiore), M. Carollo (JHU), S. Casertano (STScI; ESA), P. M{\o}ller (ESO)

The Fundamental Plane (FP) and other empirical scaling laws such as the Kormendy relation are a powerful tool to investigate the evolution and formation of elliptical galaxies. Recently, it has become possible to measure velocity dispersions and structural parameters of ellipticals at intermediate redshift, and thus to study directly the evolution of the FP at significant lookback times. However, all the studies published so far focus on cluster galaxies where the evolution of the galaxies is entangled with the evolution of clusters and cluster population. We present here measurements of the Fundamental Plane parameters for a sample of field elliptical galaxies at redshift z=0.2-0.4. The photometric parameters are derived from HST imaging while the velocity dispersion is measured from ESO 3.6m spectra. The results are discussed in terms of the evolution of field ellipticals, and compared to the cluster results, investigating the evolutionary effects of the environment.

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