Early-type galaxies in the sloan digital sky survey. II. Correlations between observables

Mariangela Bernardi, Ravi K. Sheth, James Annis, Scott Burles, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Douglas P. Finkbeiner, David W. Hogg, Robert H. Lupton, David J. Schlegel, Mark SubbaRao, Neta A. Bahcall, John P. Blakeslee, J. Brinkmann, Francisco J. Castander, Andrew J. Connolly, István Csabai, Mamoru Doi, Masataka Fukugita, Joshua Frieman, Timothy HeckmanGregory S. Hennessy, Željko Ivezić, R. Knapp, Don Q. Lamb, Timothy McKay, Jeffrey A. Munn, Robert Nichol, Sadanori Okamura, Donald P. Schneider, Aniruddha R. Thakar, Donald G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


A magnitude-limited sample of nearly 9000 early-type galaxies, in the redshift range 0.01 ≤ z ≤ 0.3, was selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey using morphological and spectral criteria. The sample was used to study how early-type galaxy observables, including luminosity L, effective radius Ro, surface brightness Io, color, and velocity dispersion σ, are correlated with one another. Measurement biases are understood with mock catalogs that reproduce all of the observed scaling relations and their dependences on fitting technique. At any given redshift, the intrinsic distribution of luminosities, sizes, and velocity dispersions in our sample are all approximately Gaussian. A maximum, likelihood analysis shows that σ ∝ L0.25±0.012, Ro ∝ L 0.63±0.025, and Ro ∝ I -0.075±0.02 in the r* band. In addition, the mass-to-light ratio within the effective radius scales as Mo/L 0.14±0.02 or Mo/L ∝ Mo 0.22±0.05, and galaxies with larger effective masses have smaller effective densities: Δo Mo -0.52±0.03. These relations are approximately the same in the g*, i*, and z* bands. Relative to the population at the median redshift in the sample, galaxies at lower and higher redshifts have evolved only little, with more evolution in the bluer bands. The luminosity function is consistent with weak passive luminosity evolution and a formation time of about 9 Gyr ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1849-1865
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4 1768
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Galaxies: stellar content


Dive into the research topics of 'Early-type galaxies in the sloan digital sky survey. II. Correlations between observables'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this