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Spatial kinematics of Brightest Cluster Galaxies and their close companions from Integral Field Unit spectroscopy
Brough, S.; Tran, K.-V.; Sharp, R. G.; von der Linden, A.; Couch, Warrick J.
AA(Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia), AB(George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA; Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland), AC(Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia), AD(Kavli Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), Stanford University, 452 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA), AE(Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Volume 414, Issue 1, pp. L80-L84. (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
galaxies: clusters: general, galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
Abstract Copyright:
© 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS
Bibliographic Code:


We present Integral Field Unit (IFU) spectroscopy of four brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) at z ˜ 0.1. Three of the BCGs have close companions within a projected radius of 20 kpc and one has no companion within that radius. We calculate the dynamical masses of the BCGs and their companions to be ?. We estimate the probability that the companions of the BCGs are bound using the observed masses and velocity offsets. We show that the lowest mass companion (1:4) is not bound while the two nearly equal mass (1:1.45 and 1:1.25) companions are likely to merge with their host BCGs in 0.35 Gyr in major, dry mergers. We conclude that some BCGs continue to grow from major merging even at z ˜ 0. We analyse the stellar kinematics of these systems using the lambdaR parameter developed by the SAURON team. This offers a new and unique means to measure the stellar angular momentum of BCGs and make a direct comparison to other early-type galaxies. The BCGs and their companions have similar ellipticities to those of other early-type galaxies but are more massive. We find that not all these massive galaxies have low ? as one might expect. One of the four BCGs and the two massive companions are found to be fast-rotating galaxies with high angular momentum, thereby providing a new test for models of galaxy evolution and the formation of intracluster light. Based on VLT service mode observations (Programme 381.B-0728) gathered at the European Southern Observatory, Chile.
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