The Astrophysical Journal, 762(2):106, 1, 2013. Paper Website abstract bibtex
We place general constraints on the luminosity and mass of hot X-ray-emitting gas residing in extended hot halos around nearby massive galaxies. We examine stacked images of 2165 galaxies from the 2MASS Isolated Galaxy Catalog as well as subsets of this sample based on galaxy morphology and K-band luminosity. We detect X-ray emission at high confidence (ranging up to nearly 10σ) for each subsample of galaxies. The average LX within 50 kpc is 1.0 ± 0.1 (statistical) ±0.2 (systematic) × 1040 erg s–1, although the early-type galaxies are more than twice as luminous as the late-type galaxies. Using a spatial analysis, we also find evidence for extended emission around five out of seven subsamples (the full sample, the luminous galaxies, early-type galaxies, luminous late-type galaxies, and luminous early-type galaxies) at 92.7%, 99.3%, 89.3%, 98.7%, and 92.1% confidence, respectively. Several additional lines of evidence also support this conclusion and suggest that about 1/2 of the total emission is extended, and about 1/3 of the extended emission comes from hot gas. For the sample of luminous galaxies, which has the strongest evidence for extended emission, the average hot gas mass is 4 × 109 M ☉ within 50 kpc and the implied accretion rate is 0.4 M ☉ yr–1.