SDSS-IV MaNGA: The spatially resolved stellar initial mass function in ~400 early-type galaxies

Taniya Parikh, Daniel Thomas, Claudia Maraston, Kyle B. Westfall, Daniel Goddard, Jianhui Lian, Sofia Meneses-Goytia, Amy Jones, Sam Vaughan, Brett H. Andrews, Matthew Bershady, Dmitry Bizyaev, Jonathan Brinkmann, Joel R. Brownstein, Kevin Bundy, Niv Drory, Eric Emsellem, David R. Law, Jeffrey A. Newman, Alexandre Roman-LopesDavid Wake, Renbin Yan, Zheng Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory provides the opportunity to make precise spatially resolved measurements of the IMF slope in galaxies owing to its unique combination of spatial resolution, wavelength coverage, and sample size. We derive radial gradients in age, element abundances, and IMF slope analysing optical and near-infrared absorption features from stacked spectra out to the half-light radius of 366 early-type galaxies with masses 9.9-10.8 logM/M. We find flat gradients in age and [α/Fe] ratio, as well as negative gradients in metallicity, consistent with the literature. We further derive significant negative gradients in the [Na/Fe] ratio with galaxy centres being well enhanced in Na abundance by up to 0.5 dex. Finally, we find a gradient in IMF slope with a bottom-heavy IMF in the centre (typical mass excess factor of 1.5) and a Milky Way-type IMF at the half-light radius. This pattern is mass dependent with the lowest mass galaxies in our sample featuring only a shallow gradient around a MilkyWay IMF. Our results imply the local IMF-σ relation within galaxies to be even steeper than the global relation and hint towards the local metallicity being the dominating factor behind the IMF variations. We also employ different stellar population models in our analysis and show that a radial IMF gradient is found independently of the stellar population model used. A similar analysis of theWing-Ford band provides inconsistent results and further evidence of the difficulty in measuring and modelling this particular feature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3954-3982
Number of pages29
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • CD
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: stellar content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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