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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 131, 265-286

Stellar disks and embedded bars in early-type galaxies

I. 2-D photometric decomposition of 28 southern early-type galaxies

C. Scorza1,2[*] - R. Bender3[*] - C. Winkelmann3 - M. Capaccioli4 - D.F. Macchetto5

Send offprint request: C. Scorza

1 - Landessternwarte, Königstuhl, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 - Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia CIDA, Apartado 264, Merida 5101-A, Venezuela
3 - Universitätssternwarte, Scheinerstr. 1, D-81679 München, Germany
4 - Osservatorio Astronomico Capodimonti, salita Moiariello 16, I-80131 Napoli, Italy and Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Universita' Federico II, I-80100 Napoli, Italy
5 - Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, U.S.A.

Received December 23, 1997; accepted March 2, 1998


We present photometric disk-bulge decompositions of 28 southern early-type galaxies with types T<-3 in either the RC3 or ESO-Lauberts & Valentijn catalogues. The decomposition method applied here is based on that developed by Scorza & Bender (1995) but the improved version allows for arbitrary surface brightness profiles of the disk models. We find three types of objects in this sample: bulge-dominated systems, with fully embedded close to edge-on disks; disk-dominated close to edge-on objects and objects with barred disks being modestly inclined down to face-on. Like in Scorza & Bender (1995), the analysis made here indicates that the superposition of a thin disk and an elliptical bulge can give good account for the morphology of most of the galaxies. We find the disks to have a diversity of surface brightness profiles, the most frequent case being that of a disk with an exponential profile, which becomes steeper at small radii. After disk subtraction, the bulges follow more closely the r1/4 law. Five of the galaxies show signatures of embedded bar components. These have flat surface brightness profiles at small radii and rectangular shape, which are typical features of barred early-type galaxies. We find that the properties of the galaxies, most notably the disk-to-total ratio, correlates only modestly with the original classification of the galaxies.

Key words: galaxies: elliplicals and lenticular -- galaxies: structure -- galaxies: photometry

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