High-resolution surface photometry of elliptical galaxies

Lauer, T.R. 1985b. Ap. J. Sup. 57, 473

High-resolution CCD surface photometry profiles have been obtained for a sample of 42 nearby elliptical and SO galaxies as a first step in a program to investigate their central structure and core properties. A comparison of the present profiles to those of other observers shows that the accuracy of the central surface brightnesses is to better than 0.02 mag rms. Central resolution is limited by the atmospheric seeing PSF which is measured for each profile. A hybrid Fourier deconvolution procedure has been developed to correct the surface photometry for seeing in a model-independent way. Tests of the procedure on simulated galaxy images show that intrinsic core radii equal to the seeing FWHM or larger can be recovered from the observations. Application of the deconvolution procedure to the observed galaxies yields surface photometry profiles of slightly sub-arc second resolution.