Van Dokkum and Conroy revisited the unexpectedly strong Na i lines at 8200 found in some giant elliptical galaxies and interpreted them as evidence for an unusually bottom-heavy initial mass function. Jeong et al. later found a large population of galaxies showing equally extraordinary Na D doublet absorption lines at 5900 (Na D excess objects: NEOs) and showed that their origins can be different for different types of galaxies. While a Na D excess seems to be related to the interstellar medium (ISM) in late-type galaxies, smooth-looking early-type NEOs show little or no dust extinction and hence no compelling signs of ISM contributions. To further test this finding, we measured the Doppler components in the Na D lines. We hypothesized that the ISM would have a better (albeit not definite) chance of showing a blueshift Doppler departure from the bulk of the stellar population due to outflow caused by either star formation or AGN activities. Many of the late-type NEOs clearly show blueshift in their Na D lines, which is consistent with the former interpretation that the Na D excess found in them is related to gas outflow caused by star formation. On the contrary, smooth-looking early-type NEOs do not show any notable Doppler components, which is also consistent with the interpretation of Jeong et al. that the Na D excess in early-type NEOs is likely not related to ISM activities but is purely stellar in origin.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science