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 (SDSS) using morphological and spectral criteria. The fundamental plane relation in this sample is Ro ∝ σ 1.49±0.05 Io-0.75±0.01 in the r* band, It is 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 a little. If the fundamental plane is used to quantify this evolution, then the apparent magnitude limit can masquerade as evolution; once this selection effect has been accounted for, the evolution is consistent with that of a passively evolving population that formed the bulk of its stars about 9 Gyr ago. One of the principal advantages of the SDSS sample over previous samples is that the galaxies in it lie in environments ranging from isolation in the field to the dense cores of clusters. The fundamental plane shows that galaxies in dense regions are slightly different from galaxies in less dense regions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science