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As part of our current programme to test ΛCDM predictions for dark matter (DM) haloes using extended kinematical observations of early-type galaxies, we present a dynamical analysis of the bright elliptical galaxy NGC 4374 (M84) based on ∼450 planetary nebulae (PNe) velocities from the PN.Spectrograph, along with extended long-slit stellar kinematics. This is the first such analysis of a galaxy from our survey with a radially constant velocity dispersion profile. We find that the spatial and kinematical distributions of the PNe agree with the field stars in the region of overlap. The velocity kurtosis is consistent with zero at almost all radii. We construct a series of Jeans models, fitting both velocity dispersion and kurtosis to help break the mass-anisotropy degeneracy. Our mass models include DM haloes either with shallow cores or with central cusps as predicted by cosmological simulations – along with the novel introduction in this context of adiabatic halo contraction from baryon infall. Both classes of models confirm a very massive dark halo around NGC 4374, demonstrating that PN kinematics data are well able to detect such haloes when present. Considering the default cosmological mass model, we confirm earlier suggestions that bright galaxies tend to have halo concentrations higher than ΛCDM predictions, but this is found to be solved if either a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF) or an adiabatic contraction with a Kroupa IMF is assumed. Thus for the first time a case is found where the PN dynamics may well be consistent with a standard dark matter halo. A cored halo can also fit the data, and prefers a stellar mass consistent with a Salpeter IMF. The less dramatic dark matter content found in lower-luminosity ‘ordinary’ ellipticals suggests a bimodality in the halo properties which may be produced by divergent baryonic effects during their assembly histories.


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