We determine colour gradients of −0.15 ± 0.08 mag per decade in radius in F450W−F606W and −0.07 ± 0.06 mag per decade in radius in F606W−F814W for a sample of 22 E/S0 galaxies in Abell 2218. These gradients are consistent with the existence of a mild ( ∼−0.3 dex per decade in radius) gradient in metal abundance (cf. previous work at lower and higher redshifts for field and cluster galaxies). The size of the observed gradients is found to be independent of luminosity over a range spanning M*−1 to M*+1.5 and also to be independent of morphological type. These results suggest a fundamental similarity in the distributions of stellar populations in ellipticals and the bulges of lenticular galaxies. These results are not consistent with simple models of either monolithic collapse or hierarchical mergers.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,
Vol. 357, no. 2 (Feb 2005), pp. 590-598