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The ATLAS3D project – I. A volume-limited sample of 260 nearby early-type galaxies: science goals and selection criteria

Authors

  • Michele Cappellari,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
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  • Eric Emsellem,

    1. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
    2. Université Lyon 1, Observatoire de Lyon, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, F-69230 Saint-Genis Laval, France
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  • Davor Krajnović,

    1. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
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  • Richard M. McDermid,

    1. Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Centre, 670 N. A‘ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
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  • Nicholas Scott,

    1. Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
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  • G. A. Verdoes Kleijn,

    1. Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • Lisa M. Young,

    1. Physics Department, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
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  • Katherine Alatalo,

    1. Department of Astronomy, Campbell Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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  • R. Bacon,

    1. Université Lyon 1, Observatoire de Lyon, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, F-69230 Saint-Genis Laval, France
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  • Leo Blitz,

    1. Department of Astronomy, Campbell Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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  • Maxime Bois,

    1. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
    2. Université Lyon 1, Observatoire de Lyon, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, F-69230 Saint-Genis Laval, France
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  • Frédéric Bournaud,

    1. Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU/SAp CNRS Université Paris Diderot, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
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  • M. Bureau,

    1. Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
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  • Roger L. Davies,

    1. Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
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  • Timothy A. Davis,

    1. Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH
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  • P. T. de Zeeuw,

    1. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
    2. Sterrewacht Leiden, Leiden University, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands
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  • Pierre-Alain Duc,

    1. Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM-CNRS-Universit Paris Diderot, Dapnia/Service d’Astrophysique, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
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  • Sadegh Khochfar,

    1. Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, PO Box 1312, D-85478 Garching, Germany
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  • Harald Kuntschner,

    1. Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
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  • Pierre-Yves Lablanche,

    1. Université Lyon 1, Observatoire de Lyon, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon and Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, F-69230 Saint-Genis Laval, France
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  • Raffaella Morganti,

    1. Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, the Netherlands
    2. Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, the Netherlands
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  • Thorsten Naab,

    1. Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
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  • Tom Oosterloo,

    1. Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, Postbus 800, 9700 AV Groningen, the Netherlands
    2. Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, the Netherlands
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  • Marc Sarzi,

    1. Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts AL1 9AB
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  • Paolo Serra,

    1. Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), Postbus 2, 7990 AA Dwingeloo, the Netherlands
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  • Anne-Marie Weijmans

    Corresponding author
    1. Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada
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E-mail: cappellari@astro.ox.ac.uk

Dunlap fellow.

ABSTRACT

The ATLAS3D project is a multiwavelength survey combined with a theoretical modelling effort. The observations span from the radio to the millimetre and optical, and provide multicolour imaging, two-dimensional kinematics of the atomic (H i), molecular (CO) and ionized gas (Hβ, [O iii] and [N i]), together with the kinematics and population of the stars (Hβ, Fe5015 and Mg b), for a carefully selected, volume-limited (1.16 × 105 Mpc3) sample of 260 early-type (elliptical E and lenticular S0) galaxies (ETGs). The models include semi-analytic, N-body binary mergers and cosmological simulations of galaxy formation. Here we present the science goals for the project and introduce the galaxy sample and the selection criteria. The sample consists of nearby (D < 42 Mpc, |δ− 29°| < 35°, |b| > 15°) morphologically selected ETGs extracted from a parent sample of 871 galaxies (8 per cent E, 22 per cent S0 and 70 per cent spirals) brighter than MK < −21.5 mag (stellar mass M≳ 6 ×109 M). We analyse possible selection biases and we conclude that the parent sample is essentially complete and statistically representative of the nearby galaxy population. We present the size–luminosity relation for the spirals and ETGs and show that the ETGs in the ATLAS3D sample define a tight red sequence in a colour–magnitude diagram, with few objects in the transition from the blue cloud. We describe the strategy of the SAURON integral field observations and the extraction of the stellar kinematics with the ppxf method. We find typical 1σ errors of ΔV≈ 6 km s−1, Δσ≈ 7 km s−1, Δh3≈Δh4≈ 0.03 in the mean velocity, the velocity dispersion and Gauss–Hermite (GH) moments for galaxies with effective dispersion σe≳ 120 km s−1. For galaxies with lower σe (40 per cent of the sample) the GH moments are gradually penalized by ppxf towards zero to suppress the noise produced by the spectral undersampling and only V and σ can be measured. We give an overview of the characteristics of the other main data sets already available for our sample and of the ongoing modelling projects.

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