Evidence of fast rotation in dwarf elliptical galaxies

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Pedraz, S.
Sánchez Blázquez, P.
Guzmán, R.
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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.
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2002 RAS. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. The INT is operated on the island of La Palma by the Royal Greenwich Observatory at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. This work was supported in part by the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronomía y Astrofísica under grant AYA2000-977.
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