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Shape

The central elliptical is a triaxial object with principal axis ratios of b/a=0.66, and c/a=0.47, where a, b, and c are the major, middle, and minor axes (Fig. 5).

  


Figure 5: The shape of the central elliptical galaxy viewed down the three principal axes. Solid lines are the measured isodensity contours and dashed lines are the fitted ellipses.

The surface density contours (isophotes) are nearly perfect ellipses in the inner regions with very little signal of ``boxiness'' or ``diskiness'' seen in smaller ellipticals. The regularity of the isophotes is consistent with a relaxed galaxy which has suffered no recent mergers, which is indeed the case.



John Dubinski
Tue Feb 17 16:03:05 EST 1998