AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 202 Galaxies and their Components
Oral, Thursday, 2:00-3:30pm, January 12, 2006, Virginia

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[202.03] The Hot Gas in Elliptical Galaxies: A Comprehensive View from Chandra

S. Diehl (Ohio University)

We present results from a morphological and spectral analysis of the hot interstellar gas in elliptical galaxies. We reanalyze archival Chandra\/ data for 70 normal early-type systems, removing the contributions of resolved and unresolved point sources to reveal the X-ray morphology of the hot gas. We find a strong correlation between the half-light radius RX, the average surface brightness IX within RX, and the gas temperature TX. These global parameters define an X-ray Gas Fundamental Plane (XGFP) of the form TX \propto RX0.28 IX0.22. The intrinsic width is only 0.07\,dex,comparable to the stellar fundamental plane (SFP). The XGFP is not a simple consequence of the virial theorem or hydrostatic equilibrium,and it is essentially independent of the SFP. The XGFP represents a new constraint on the hydrodynamical evolution of elliptical galaxies. To quantify further the gas morphology, we develop a new optimal adaptive binning technique. We use the binned gas maps to derive X-ray gas isophotal profiles and analyze the degree of asymmetry and disturbance. A comparison with optical surface photometry suggests that the hot gas in elliptical galaxies is not in hydrostatic equilibrium. We present correlations between morphology and radio power, which demonstrate the importance of AGN activity in heating and redistributing the hot gas in elliptical galaxies.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: diehl@helios.phy.ohiou.edu

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