The dark matter halo masses of elliptical galaxies as a function of observationally robust quantities

Alessandro Sonnenfeld*, Crescenzo Tortora, Henk Hoekstra, Marika Asgari, Maciej Bilicki, Catherine Heymans, Hendrik Hildebrandt, Konrad Kuijken, Nicola R. Napolitano, Nivya Roy, Edwin Valentijn, Angus H. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Context. The assembly history of the stellar component of a massive elliptical galaxy is closely related to that of its dark matter halo. Measuring how the properties of galaxies correlate with their halo mass can help understand their evolution.
Aims. We investigate how the dark matter halo mass of elliptical galaxies varies as a function of their properties, using weak gravitational lensing observations. To minimise the chances of biases, we focus on galaxy properties that can be determined robustly: the surface brightness profile and the colour.
Methods. We selected 2409 central massive elliptical galaxies from the SDSS spectroscopic sample. We first measured their surface brightness profile and colours by fitting Sersic models to photometric data from the Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS). We fitted their halo mass distribution as a function of redshift, rest-frame r−band luminosity, half-light radius and rest-frame u−g colour, using KiDS weak lensing data and a Bayesian hierarchical approach. For the sake of robustness to assumptions on the large-radii behaviour of the surface brightness, we repeated the analysis replacing total luminosity and half-light radius with the luminosity within a 10~kpc aperture, Lr,10, and the light-weighted surface brightness slope, Γ10.
Results. We did not detect any correlation between halo mass and either half-light radius or colour, at fixed redshift and luminosity.
Conclusions. Our results indicate that the average star formation efficiency of massive elliptical galaxies has little dependence on their final size or colour. This suggests that the origin of the diversity in the size and colour distribution of these objects lies with properties other than halo mass.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA55
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cD
  • galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • gravitational lensing: weak


Dive into the research topics of 'The dark matter halo masses of elliptical galaxies as a function of observationally robust quantities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this