Origin of the colour-magnitude relation of elliptical galaxies

Tadayuki Kodama, Nobuo Arimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

430 Citations (Scopus)


Evolutionary models of elliptical galaxies are constructed by using a new population synthesis code. Model parameters are calibrated to reproduce the observed colour-magnitude (CM) relation of Coma ellipticals in V - K vs. MV diagram. The SEDs are degenerated in stellar age and metallicity. An attempt is performed to break this degeneracy, by simulating evolution of the CM relation of elliptical galaxies, based on the two alternative interpretations; i.e., the CM relation reflects different mean stellar age or various stellar metallicity. A confrontation with the CM diagrams of E/SO galaxies in the two distant clusters Abell 2390 (z = 0.228) and Abell 851 (z = 0.407) reinsures previous contentions that the CM relation is primarily a metallicity effect. This conclusion does not depend either on the model parameters, or on the cosmological parameters adopted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: elliptical
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Galaxies: stellar content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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