Author(s): , ,
Institution(s): 1. IAP, 2. University of Bologna
Early-Type galaxies (ETGs) host a hot ISM produced mainly by stellar winds, and heated by Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) and the thermalization of stellar motions. Recent high resolution 2D hydrodynamical simulations (Negri et al. 2014) showed that ordered rotation in the stellar component alters significantly the evolution of the hot ISM, and results in the formation of a centrifugally supported cold equatorial disc. This agrees well with the recent evidence that approximately 50% of massive ETGs host significant quantities of cold gas (Morganti et al. 2006; Young et al. 2014), often in settled configurations, sharing the same kinematics of the stars. In particular, in a systematic investigation of the ATLAS3D sample, the most massive fast-rotating ETGs always have kinematically aligned gas, which suggests an internal origin for it, and molecular gas is detected only in fast rotators (Davis et al. 2011). The observed cold gas seems also to provide material for low level star formation (SF) activity (Combes et al. 2007, Davis et al. 2014). Interestingly, in the ATLAS3D sample, SF and young stellar populations are detected only in fast rotators (Sarzi et al. 2013). In a recent work we investigated whether and how SF takes place in the cold gas disc typically produced in rotating ETGs by our previous 2D simulations, by adding to them the possibility for the gas to form stars (Negri et al. 2015). We also inserted the injection of mass, momentum and energy appropriate for the newly (and continuously) forming stellar population. We found that subsequent generations of stars are formed, and that most of the extended and massive cold disc is consumed by this process, leaving at the present epoch cold gas masses that compare well with those observed. The mass in secondary generations of stars resides mostly in a disc, and could be related to a younger, more metal rich disky stellar component indeed observed in fast rotator ETGs (Cappellari et al. 2013). Most of the mass in newly formed stars formed a few Gyr ago; the SF rate at the present epoch is low (≤0.1 M⊙/yr) and agrees well with that observed, at least for ETGs of stellar mass <1011 M⊙.