Relationship between Hubble type and spectroscopic class in local galaxies
We compare the Hubble type and the spectroscopic class of the galaxies with spectra in SDSS/DR7. As it is long known, elliptical galaxies tend to be red whereas spiral galaxies tend to be blue, however, this relationship presents a large scatter, which we measure and quantify in detail. We compare the Automatic Spectroscopic K-means based classification (ASK) with most of the commonly used morphological classifications. All of them provide consistent results. Given a spectral class, the morphological type wavers with a standard deviation between 2 and 3 T types, and the same large dispersion characterizes the variability of spectral classes fixed the morphological type. The distributions of Hubble types given an ASK class are very skewed -- they present long tails that go to the late morphological types for the red galaxies, and to the early morphological types for the blue spectroscopic classes. The scatter is not produced by problems in the classification, and it remains when particular subsets are considered. A considerable fraction of the red galaxies are spirals (40--60 %), but they never present very late Hubble types (Sd or later). Even though red spectra are not associated with ellipticals, most ellipticals do have red spectra: 97 % of the ellipticals in the morphological catalog by Nair & Abraham, used here for reference, belong to ASK 0, 2 or 3. It contains only a 3 % of blue ellipticals. The galaxies in the green valley class (ASK~5) are mostly spirals, and the AGN class (ASK 6) presents a large scatter of Hubble types from E to Sd. We investigate variations with redshift using a volume limited subsample. From redshift 0.25 to now the galaxies redden from ASK 2 to ASK 0, as expected from the passive evolution of their stellar populations. Two of the ASK classes (1 and 4) gather edge-on spirals, and they may be useful in studies requiring knowing the intrinsic shape of a galaxy (e.g., weak lensing calibration).
About the talk
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain
For more details see paper J. Sanchez Almeida et al., 2011, ApJ, in press.