A UNIONS view of the brightest central galaxies of candidate fossil groups

Publication date: 
Main author: 
Chu, A.
IAA authors: 
Márquez, I.
Chu, A.;Durret, F.;Ellien, A.;Sarron, F.;Adami, C.;Márquez, I.;Martinet, N.;de Boer, T.;Chambers, K. C.;Cuillandre, J. -C.;Gwyn, S.;Magnier, E. A.;McConnachie, A. W.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Publication type: 
Context. The formation process of fossil groups (FGs) is still under debate, and, because of their relative rarity, large samples of such objects are still missing. <BR /> Aims: The aim of the present paper is to increase the sample of known FGs, to analyse the properties of their brightest group galaxies (BGGs), and to compare them with a control sample of non-FG BGGs. <BR /> Methods: We extracted a sample of 87 FG and 100 non-FG candidates from a large spectroscopic catalogue of haloes and galaxies. For all the objects with data available in UNIONS (initially the Canada France Imaging Survey, CFIS) in the u and r bands, and/or in an extra r-band processed to preserve all low-surface-brightness features (rLSB), we performed a 2D photometric fit of the BGG with GALFIT with one or two Sérsic components. We also analysed how the subtraction of the intracluster light (ICL) contribution modifies the BGG properties. From the SDSS spectra available for the BGGs of 65 FGs and 82 non-FGs, we extracted the properties of their stellar populations with Firefly. To complement our study, and in order to provide a detailed illustration of the possible origin of emission lines in the FG BGGs, involving the presence or absence of an AGN, we investigated the origin of the emission lines in a nearby FG that is dominated by the NGC 4104 galaxy. <BR /> Results: Morphologically, a single Sérsic profile can fit most objects in the u band, while two Sérsics are needed in the r and rLSB bands, both for FGs and non-FGs. Non-FG BGGs cover a larger range of Sérsic index n. FG BGGs follow the Kormendy relation (mean surface brightness versus effective radius) previously derived for almost 1000 brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs), while the majority of non-FGs BGGs are located below this relation, with fainter mean surface brightnesses. This suggests that FG BGGs have evolved similarly to BCGs, and non-FG BGGs have evolved differently from both FG BGGs and BCGs. All the above properties can be strongly modified by the subtraction of the ICL contribution. Based on spectral fitting, the stellar populations of FG and non-FG BGGs do not differ significantly. <BR /> Conclusions: FG and non-FG BGGs differ from one another in terms of their morphological properties and Kormendy relation, suggesting they have had different formation histories. However, it is not possible to trace differences in their stellar populations or in their large-scale distributions. <P />Data of the two samples of 87 fossil groups and 100 non fossil groups are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="https://cdsarc.cds.unistra.fr/">cdsarc.cds.unistra.fr</A> ( or via <A href="https://cdsarc.cds.unistra.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/673/A100">https://cdsarc.cds.unistra.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/673/A100</A> <P />Based on observations obtained with CFHT, SDSS, CAHA, and OHP observatories (see acknowledgements for more details).
ADS Bibcode: 
galaxies: clusters: general;galaxies: evolution;galaxies: formation;galaxies: groups: general;Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies