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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 141, 449-468

Spatially resolved spectroscopy of Coma cluster early-type galaxies

I. The database[*]

D. Mehlert1,2[*][*][*] - R.P. Saglia1 - R. Bender1 - G. Wegner3

Send offprint request: D. Mehlert

1 - Universitätssternwarte München, 81679 München, Germany
2 - Present address: Landessternwarte Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 - Department of Physics and Astronomy, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3528, U.S.A.

Received March 8; accepted September 30, 1999


We present long slit spectra for a magnitude limited sample of 35 E and S0 galaxies of the Coma cluster. The high quality of the data allowed us to derive spatially resolved spectra for a substantial sample of Coma galaxies for the first time. From these spectra we obtained rotation curves, the velocity dispersion profiles and the H3 and H4 coefficients of the Hermite decomposition of the line of sight velocity distribution. Moreover, we derive the radial line index profiles of Mg, Fe and H$\beta $ line indices out to $R\approx 1 r_{\rm e} - 3 r_{\rm e}$ with high signal-to-noise ratio. We describe the galaxy sample, the observations and data reduction, and present the spectroscopic database. Ground-based photometry for a subsample of 8 galaxies is also presented.

The Coma cluster is one of the richest known clusters of galaxies, spanning about 4 decades in density. Hence it is the ideal place to study the structure of galaxies as a function of environmental density in order to constrain the theories of galaxy formation and evolution. Based on the spectroscopic database presented, we will discuss these issues in a series of future papers.

Key words: galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD; kinematics and dynamics; stellar content; abundances; formation

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