Person: Gorgas García, Francisco Javier
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica
Astronomía y Astrofísica
Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
PublicationStellar population study in early-type galaxies: an approach from the K band(Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009-08) Mármol Queraltó, Esther; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Trager, S.C.; Peletier, R. F.; Kuntschner, H.; Silva, D. R.; Cenarro, A. J.; Vazdekis, A.; Gorgas García, Francisco JavierA full understanding of the physical properties of integrated stellar systems demands a multiwavelength approach since each spectral window shows us the contribution of different types of stars. However, most of the observational effort in stellar population studies has been focused on the optical range. Now, the new generation of instruments allow us to explore the K band, where RGB and AGB stars dominate the light of the integrated spectra. Here we present a K-band spectroscopic analysis of early-type galaxies in different environments. Our sample comprises 12 field early-type galaxies observed with ISAAC at VLT with medium resolution, and they are compared with 11 Fornax cluster galaxies previously reported by Silva et al. (2008). The clear differences found in the infrared DCO and NaI indices between field and Fornax galaxies are discussed, trying to solve the puzzle formed by the near-infrared and optical measurements. PublicationEffect of Environment on the Underlying Stellar Populations of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Coma Cluster(American Institute of Physics, 2009) Matkovic, A.; Guzmán, R.; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Gorgas García, Francisco JavierWe derive ages, metallicities and [alpha/Fe] ratios for dwarf early-type galaxies (dE/dS0) in the center and a region believed to be infalling into the Coma cluster. We find that a set of metallic indices cannot be described by linear relations with velocity dispersion (sigma), while another group of indices exhibits linear index-sigma relations. dE/dS0 galaxies in the core of the cluster are on average younger, and have lower metallicities and lower alpha-ratios (solar to sub-solar) than the more luminous elliptical galaxies. On the other hand, dEs/dSos in the infall region of Coma form a less homogeneous population. We find an unusually high fraction of dE/dS0s with high [alpha/Fe] ratios, suggesting short time scales for the star formation histories for these galaxies. Furthermore, the dE/dS0s with high alpha-ratios have a range of ages and metallicities implying multiple formation scenarios where some galaxies have experienced their short star formation bursts at more recent epochs. PublicationStellar populations of early-type galaxies in different environments - II. Ages and metallicities(EDP Sciencies, 2006-10) Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Cardiel López, Nicolás; González, J. J.This is the second paper of a series devoted to the study of the stellar content of early-type galaxies. The goal of the series is to set constraints on the evolutionary status of these objects Methods. We use a new set of models that include an improved stellar library (MILES) to derive simple stellar population (SSP)-equivalent parameters in a sample of 98 early-type galaxies. The sample contains galaxies in the field, poor groups, and galaxies in the Virgo and Coma clusters. Results. We find that low-density environment galaxies span a larger range in SSP age and metallicity than their counterparts in high density environments, with a tendency for lower sigma galaxies to be younger. Early-type galaxies in low-density environments appear on average similar to 1.5 Gyr younger and more metal rich than their counterparts in high density environments. The sample of low-density environment galaxies shows an age-metallicity relation in which younger galaxies are found to be more metal rich, but only when metallicity is measured with a Fe-sensitive index. Conversely, there is no age-metallicity relation when the metallicity is measured with a Mg sensitive index. The mass-metallicity relation is only appreciable for the low-density environment galaxies when the metallicity is measured with a Mg-sensitive index, and not when the metallicity is measured with other indicators. On the contrary, this relation exists for the high-density environment galaxies independent of the indicator used to measure the metallicity. Conclusions. This suggests a dependence of the mass-metallicity relation on the environment of the galaxies. Our data favour a scenario in which galaxies in low density environments have suffered a more extended star formation history than the galaxies in the Coma cluster, which appear to host more homogenous stellar populations. PublicationUsing spectroscopic data to disentangle stellar population properties(EDP Sciencies, 2003-10) Cardiel López, Nicolás; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Cenarro, A. J.; Pedraz, S.; Bruzual, G.; Klement, J.It is well known that, when analyzed in the light of current synthesis model predictions, variations in the physical properties of single stellar populations (e.g. age, metallicity, initial mass function, element abundance ratios) may have a similar effect in their integrated spectral energy distributions. The confusion is even worsened when more realistic scenarios, i.e. composite star formation histories, are considered. This is, in fact, one of the major problems when facing the study of stellar populations in star clusters and galaxies. Typically, the observational efforts have aimed to find the most appropriate spectroscopic indicators in order to avoid, as far as possible, degeneracies in the parameter space. However, from a practical point of view, the most suited observables are not, necessarily, those that provide more orthogonality in that parameter space, but those that give the best balance between parameter degeneracy and sensitivity to signal-to-noise ratio per Angstrom, S/N(Angstrom). In order to achieve the minimum combined total error in the derived physical parameters, this work discusses how the functional dependence of typical line-strength indices and colors on S/N(Angstrom) allows to define a suitability parameter which helps to obtain more realistic combinations of spectroscopic data. As an example, we discuss in more detail the problem of breaking the well known age-metallicity degeneracy in relatively old stellar populations, comparing the suitability of different spectroscopic diagrams for a simple stellar population of solar metallicity and of 12 Gyr in age. PublicationAn extension of the MILES library with derived T-eff, log g, [Fe/H], and [α/Fe](Oxford University Press., 2021-08) García Pérez, A.E.; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Vazdekis, A.; Allende Prieto, C.; Milone, A. de C.; Sansom, A.E.; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Flacon-Barroso, J.; Martín Navarro, I.; Cacho, R.Extragalactic astronomy and stellar astrophysics are intrinsically related. In fact, the determination of important galaxy properties such as stellar masses, star formation histories, or chemical abundances relies on the ability to model their stellar populations. One important ingredient of these models is stellar libraries. Empirical libraries must have a good coverage of T_(eff), [Z/H], and surface gravity, and have these parameters reliably determined. MILES is one of the most widely used empirical libraries. Here, we present an extension of this library with 205 new stars especially selected to cover important regions of the parameter space, including metal-poor stars down to [Fe/H] ∼ −1.0. We describe the observations and data reductions as well as a new determination of the stellar parameters, including [α/Fe] ratio. The new MILES library contains 1070 stars with homogeneous and reliable determination of [Fe/H], T_(eff), log g, and [α/Fe] ratio. PublicationA new stellar library in the region of the CO index at 2.3 mu m - New index definition and empirical fitting functions(EDP Sciencies, 2008-10) Mármol Queraltó, E.; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Cenarro, A. J.; Vazdekis, A.; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Pedraz, S.; Peletier, R. F.; Sánchez Blázquez, P.The analysis of unresolved stellar populations demands evolutionary synthesis models with realistic physical ingredients and extended wavelength coverage. Aims. We quantitatively describe the first CO bandhead at 2.3 mu m to allow stellar population models to provide improved predictions in this wavelength range. Methods. We observed a new stellar library with a better coverage of the stellar atmospheric parameter space than in earlier works. We performed a detailed analysis of the robustness of previous CO index definitions with spectral resolution, wavelength calibration, signal-to-noise ratio, and flux calibration. Results. We define a new line-strength index for the first CO bandhead at 2.3 mu m, DCO, better suited for stellar population studies than previous index definitions. We derive empirical fitting functions for the CO feature as a function of the stellar parameters (T(eff), log g and [Fe/H]), showing a detailed quantitative metallicity dependence. PublicationEvolutionary stellar population synthesis with MILES - I. The base models and a new line index system(Wiley, 2010-06-01) Vazdekis, A.; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Falcón Barroso, J.; Cenarro, A. J.; Beasley, M. A.; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Peletier, R. F.We present synthetic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for single-age, single-metallicity stellar populations (SSPs) covering the full optical spectral range at moderately high resolution [full width at half-maximum (FWHM) = 2.3 A]. These SEDs constitute our base models, as they combine scaled-solar isochrones with an empirical stellar spectral library [Medium resolution INT Library of Empirical Spectra (MILES)], which follows the chemical evolution pattern of the solar neighbourhood. The models rely as much as possible on empirical ingredients, not just on the stellar spectra, but also on extensive photometric libraries, which are used to determine the transformations from the theoretical parameters of the isochrones to observational quantities. The unprecedented stellar parameter coverage of the MILES stellar library allowed us to safely extend our optical SSP SED predictions from intermediate- to very-old-age regimes and the metallicity coverage of the SSPs from super-solar to [M/H] = -2.3. SSPs with such low metallicities are particularly useful for globular cluster studies. We have computed SSP SEDs for a suite of initial mass function shapes and slopes. We provide a quantitative analysis of the dependence of the synthesized SSP SEDs on the (in)complete coverage of the stellar parameter space in the input library that not only shows that our models are of higher quality than those of other works, but also in which range of SSP parameters our models are reliable. The SSP SEDs are a useful tool to perform the analysis of stellar populations in a very flexible manner. Observed spectra can be studied by means of full spectrum fitting or by using line indices. For the latter, we propose a new line index system to avoid the intrinsic uncertainties associated with the popular Lick/IDS system and provide more appropriate, uniform, spectral resolution. Apart from constant resolution as a function of wavelength, the system is also based on flux-calibrated spectra. Data can be analysed at three different resolutions: 5, 8.4 and 14 A (FWHM), which are appropriate for studying globular cluster, low- and intermediate-mass galaxies, and massive galaxies, respectively. Furthermore, we provide polynomials to transform current Lick/IDS line index measurements to the new system. We provide line index tables in the new system for various popular samples of Galactic globular clusters and galaxies. We apply the models to various stellar clusters and galaxies with high-quality spectra, for which independent studies are available, obtaining excellent results. Finally, we designed a web page from which not only these models and stellar libraries can be downloaded but which also provides a suite of on-line tools to facilitate the handling and transformation of the spectra. PublicationEvidence for intermediate-age stellar populations in early-type galaxies from K-band spectroscopy(IOP Publishing Ltd, 2009-11-10) Mármol Queraltó, E.; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Trager, S. C.; Peletier, R. F.; Kuntschner, H.; Silva, D. R.; Cenarro, A. J.; Vazdekis, A.; Gorgas García, Francisco JavierThe study of stellar populations in early-type galaxies in different environments is a powerful tool for constraining their star formation histories. This study has been traditionally restricted to the optical range, where dwarfs around the turn-off and stars at the base of the red giant branch dominate the integrated light at all ages. The near-infrared spectral range is especially interesting since in the presence of an intermediate-age population, asymptotic giant branch stars are the main contributors. In this Letter, we measure the near-infrared indices Na I and D(CO) for a sample of 12 early-type galaxies in low-density environments and compare them with the Fornax galaxy sample presented by Silva et al.. The analysis of these indices in combination with Lick/IDS indices in the optical range reveals that (1) the Na I index is a metallicity indicator as good as C4668 in the optical range, and (2) D(CO) is a tracer of intermediate-age stellar populations. We find that low-mass galaxies in low-density environments show higher Na I and D(CO) than those located in the Fornax cluster, which points toward a late stage of star formation for the galaxies in less dense environments, in agreement with results from other studies using independent methods. PublicationGaseous-phase metallicities and stellar populations in the centres of barred galaxies(Wiley, 2014-08-11) Cacho Martínez, Raúl; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Perez, I.Numerical simulations predict that bars represent a very important agent for triggering gas inflows, which in turn could lead to central star formation. Bars thus are thought to contribute to the formation of the bulge. This process changes both the gaseous-phase and the stellar-phase metallicities in the centres of galaxies. With the aim of quantifying the importance of this process, we present a comparative study of the gaseous-phase and stellar-phase metallicities in the centres of members of a sample of barred and unbarred galaxies from SDSS. We do not find a significant difference in the metallicity (neither gaseous nor stellar) between barred and unbarred galaxies, but we find different trends in the metallicities of early- and late-type galaxies, with larger differences in the metallicity in the early-type subsample. Our results contradict some previous research in this field, but we find a possible origin of the discrepancies between previous works and our results. PublicationEvidence of fast rotation in dwarf elliptical galaxies(Wiley, 2002-05) Pedraz, S.; Gorgas García, Francisco Javier; Cardiel López, Nicolás; Sánchez Blázquez, P.; Guzmán, R.In this letter we investigate the kinematical properties of early-type dwarfs by significantly enlarging the scarce observational sample so far available. We present rotation curves and mean velocity dispersions for four bright dwarf ellipticals and two dwarf lenticular galaxies in the Virgo cluster. Most of these galaxies exhibit conspicuous rotation curves. In particular, five out of the six new galaxies are found to be close to the predictions for oblate spheroids flattened by rotation. Therefore, and contrary to the previous observational hints, the present data suggest that an important fraction of dwarf early-type galaxies may be rotationally supported.