Metallicity Gradients in the Halos of Elliptical Galaxies

Jenny E. Greene, Chung Pei Ma, Andrew Goulding, Nicholas J. McConnell, John P. Blakeslee, Timothy Davis, Jens Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We discuss the stellar halos of massive elliptical galaxies, as revealed by our ambitious integral-field spectroscopic survey MASSIVE. We show that metallicity drops smoothly as a function of radius out to ∼ 2.5 Re , while the [α/Fe] abundance ratios stay flat. The stars in the outskirts likely formed rapidly (to explain the high ratio of alpha to Fe) but in a relatively shallow potential (to explain the low metallicities). This is consistent with expectations for a two-phase growth of massive galaxies, in which the second phase involves accretion of small satellites. We also show some preliminary study of the gas content of these most MASSIVE galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue numberS317
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • cD
  • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • galaxies: stellar content


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