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Revisiting the fossil group candidates UGC 842 and NGC 6034


Fossil groups are systems with one single central elliptical galaxy and an unusual lack of luminous galaxies in the inner regions. The standard explanation for the formation of these systems suggests that the lack of bright galaxies is due to galactic cannibalism. In this study, we show the results of an optical and X-ray analysis of RXJ1340.6+4018, the prototype fossil group. The data indicate that RX J1340.6+4018 is similar to clusters in almost every sense (dynamical mass, X-ray luminosity, M/L, and luminosity function) except for the lack of L* galaxies. There are claims in the literature that fossil systems have a lack of small mass halos, compared to predictions based on the lambda cold dark matter scenario. The observational data gathered on this and other fossil groups so far offer no support for this idea. Analysis of the SN Ia/SN II ejecta ratio in the inner and outer regions shows a marginally significant central dominance of SN Ia material. This suggests that either the merger which originated in the central galaxy was dry or the group has been formed at early epochs, although better data are needed to confirm this result. (AU)

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