Yuanyuan Su, Jimmy A. Irwin, Raymond E. White, Michael C. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Optically similar early-type galaxies are observed to have a large and poorly understood range in the amount of hot, X-ray-emitting gas they contain. To investigate the origin of this diversity, we studied the hot gas properties of all 42 early-type galaxies in the multiwavelength ATLAS3D survey that have sufficiently deep Chandra X-ray observations. We related their hot gas properties to a number of internal and external physical quantities. To characterize the amount of hot gas relative to the stellar light, we use the ratio of the gaseous X-ray luminosity to the stellar K-band luminosity, LXgas/LK; we also use the deviations of LXgas from the best-fit LXgas-LK relation (denoted δLXgas). We quantitatively confirm previous suggestions that various effects conspire to produce the large scatter in the observed LX/LX relation. In particular, we find that the deviations δLXgas are most strongly positively correlated with the (low rates of) star formation and the hot gas temperatures in the sample galaxies. This suggests that mild stellar feedback may energize the gas without pushing it out of the host galaxies. We also find that galaxies in high galaxy density environments tend to be massive slow rotators, while galaxies in low galaxy density environments tend to be low mass, fast rotators. Moreover, cold gas in clusters and fields may have different origins. The star formation rate increases with cold gas mass for field galaxies but it appears to be uncorrelated with cold gas for cluster galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • ISM: general
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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