The ionized gas in the CALIFA early-type galaxies I. Mapping two representative cases: NGC 6762 and NGC 5966

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As part of the ongoing CALIFA survey, we have conducted a thorough bidimensional analysis of the ionized gas in two E/S0 galaxies, NGC 6762 and NGC 5966, aiming to shed light on the nature of their warm ionized ISM. Specifically, we present optical (3745–7300 Å) integral field spectroscopy obtained with the PMAS/PPAK integral field spectrophotometer. Its wide field-of-view (1′ × 1′) covers the entire optical extent of each galaxy down to faint continuum surface brightnesses. To recover the nebular lines, we modeled and subtracted the underlying stellar continuum from the observed spectra using the STARLIGHT spectral synthesis code. The pure emission-line spectra were used to investigate the gas properties and determine the possible sources of ionization. We show the advantages of IFU data in interpreting the complex nature of the ionized gas in NGC 6762 and NGC 5966. In NGC 6762, the ionized gas and stellar emission display similar morphologies, while the emission line morphology is elongated in NGC 5966, spanning ~6 kpc, and is oriented roughly orthogonal to the major axis of the stellar continuum ellipsoid. Whereas gas and stars are kinematically aligned in NGC 6762, the gas is kinematically decoupled from the stars in NGC 5966. A decoupled rotating disk or an “ionization cone” are two possible interpretations of the elongated ionized gas structure in NGC 5966. The latter would be the first “ionization cone” of such a dimension detected within a weak emission-line galaxy. Both galaxies have weak emission-lines relative to the continuum[EW(Hα) ≲ 3 Å] and have very low excitation, log([OIII]λ5007/Hβ) ≲ 0.5. Based on optical diagnostic ratios ([OIII]λ5007/Hβ, [NII]λ6584/Hα, [SII]λ6717, 6731/Hα, [OI]λ6300/Hα), both objects contain a LINER nucleus and an extended LINER-like gas emission. The emission line ratios do not vary significantly with radius or aperture, which indicates that the nebular properties are spatially homogeneous. The gas emission in NGC 6762 can be best explained by photoionization by pAGB stars without the need of invoking any other excitation mechanism. In the case of NGC 5966, the presence of a nuclear ionizing source seems to be required to shape the elongated gas emission feature in the “ionization cone” scenario, although ionization by pAGB stars cannot be ruled out. Further study of this object is needed to clarify the nature of its elongated gas structure.
© ESO, 2012. Artículo firmado por 21 autores. This paper is based on data of the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey, CALIFA<SUP>4</SUP>, funded by the Spanish Ministery of Science under grant ICTS-2009-10, and the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán. We wish to thank the anonymous referee for his/her useful comments and suggestions. This work has been partially funded by research projects AYA2007-67965-C03-02 and AYA2010-21887-C04-01 from the Spanish PNAYA and CSD2006-00070 1st Science with GTC of the MICINN. C. K., as a Humboldt Fellow, acknowledges support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. P. P. is supported by a Ciencia 2008 contract, funded by FCT/MCTES (Portugal) and POPH/FSE (EC). A.M.-I. is grateful for the hospitality of the 3D Spectroscopy group at the Leibniz-Institut fur Astrophysik Potsdam where part of this work was performed. J.M.G. is supported by a post-doctoral grant, funded by FCT/MCTES (Portugal) and POPH/FSE (EC). J.B.H. is supported by a Federation Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. R. C. F. is supported by grant 5760-10-0 from CAPES (Brazil). RAM is funded by the Spanish programme of International Campus of Excellence (CEI). Financial support from the Spanish grant AYA2010-15169 and from the Junta de Andalucía through TIC-114 and the Excellence Project P08-TIC-03531 is acknowledged. The STARLIGHT project is supported by the Brazilian agencies CNPq, CAPES, and FAPESP. This paper uses the plotting package jmaplot developed by Jesús Maiz Apellaniz (available at similar to jmaiz/software). This research made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This paper makes use of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data. Funding for SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS web site is SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
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