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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Richard Bower

Bower, Richard G., Lucey, J. R. & Ellis, Richard S. (1992). Precision photometry of early-type galaxies in the Coma and Virgo clusters: a test of the universality of the colour–magnitude relation – I. The data. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 254(4): 589-613.

Author(s) from Durham


We have undertaken a comprehensive study of a large sample of early-type galaxies in the Virgo and Coma clusters. In the first of two papers, we present accurate UVJK photometry for a total of 94 elliptical and S0 galaxies. All U- and V-band measurements are based on CCD observations made with the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope. J- and K-band observations for the Coma cluster were made with a chopping photometer at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). Virgo J- and K-band measurements have been taken from Persson, Frogel & Aaronson. The rms internal scatter of these data are respectively: 0.025, 0.015, 0.03 and 0.03 mag for Virgo U,V,J and K (60-arcsec aperture) measurements; 0.030, 0.021, 0.026 and 0.027 mag for Coma U,V (13-arcsec aperture), J and K ( 17-arcsec aperture) measurements. We have been careful to ensure that the data set is internally homogeneous. We estimate that the photometric zero-points in the two clusters agree to better than 0.01 mag for U and V and 0.02 mag for J and K.
From these measurements, we have derived U – V,V – K and J – K colours corrected for redshift, galactic extinction and aperture effects. After allowing for the systematic uncertainties in these corrections, we estimate that the U – V,V – K and J – K colour systems in both clusters are matched to better than 0.02, 0.03 and 0.04 mag respectively. This data set is completed by photometric diameter parameters derived from our own V-band data, total V-band magnitudes derived from a combination of our measurements and those of Godwin & Peach and Michard, and velocity dispersions and morphological types taken from the literature. A detailed analysis of colour–magnitude correlations of these galaxies will be presented in Paper II (this issue).