Near-infrared imaging of ellipticals: surface brightness profiles and photometry

Richard Brown, DA Forbes, D Silva, Stephen Helsdon, Trevor Ponman, GK Hau, JP Brodie, P Goudfrooij, G Bothun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


We present near-infrared K-band imaging of a large sample of candidate merger remnant galaxies and Hickson Compact Group ellipticals. We derive light profile indices, effective radii and surface brightnesses, as well as total K-band magnitudes. We find that the light distributions of the merger remnant candidates are consistent with those of 'normal' ellipticals, and scatter around a mean profile index of (1/n)= 0.20. Many of our sample galaxies have surface brightness profiles that are not well described by a de Vaucouleurs law (1/n=0.25), and we discuss the implications of this on the derived total magnitudes. Comparing the total K magnitudes calculated by extrapolating a de Vaucouleurs profile and those derived using a generalized Sersic form, we find that a significant bias is introduced if the de Vaucouleurs law is not a good description of the actual light profile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-759
Number of pages13
JournalRoyal Astronomical Society. Monthly Notices
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003


  • galaxies : elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • galaxies : photometry
  • galaxies : evolution


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