Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


We analyze the central dark-matter (DM) content of \sim 4,500 massive (M* \gsim 10^{10} Msun), low-redshift (z<0.1), early-type galaxies (ETGs), with high-quality ugrizYJHK photometry and optical spectroscopy from SDSS and UKIDSS. We estimate the "central" fraction of DM within the K-band effective radius, \Re, using spherically symmetric isotropic galaxy models. We discuss the role of systematics. The main results of the present work are the following: (1) DM fractions increase systematically with both structural parameters and mass proxies, as in previous studies, and decrease with central stellar density. 2) All correlations involving DM fractions are caused by two fundamental ones with galaxy effective radius and central velocity dispersion. These correlations are independent of each other, so that ETGs populate a central-DM plane (DMP), i.e. a correlation among fraction of total-to-stellar mass, effective radius, and velocity dispersion, whose scatter along the total-to-stellar mass axis amounts to \sim 0.15 dex. (3) In general, under the assumption of an isothermal or a constant M/L profile for the total mass distribution, a Chabrier IMF is favoured with respect to a bottom-heavier Salpeter IMF, as the latter produces negative (i.e. unphysical) DM fractions for more than 50% of the galaxies in our sample. For a Chabrier IMF, the DM estimates agree with \LambdaCDM toy-galaxy models based on contracted DM-halo density profiles. We also find agreement with predictions from hydrodynamical simulations. (4) The central DM content of ETGs does not depend significantly on the environment where galaxies reside, with group and field ETGs having similar DM trends.


This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2012 Aaron Romanowsky. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society . All rights reserved.