Major and minor axis kinematics of 22 ellipticals

Franx, M., Illingworth, G.D. & Heckman, T.M. 1989b, Ap. J. 344, 613.

Rotation curves and velocity dispersion profiles have been determined for the major and the minor axes of 22 elliptical galaxies. Rotation was detected in all but one galaxy, even though the sample was biased toward round ellipticals. Minor axis rotation larger than major axis rotation was measured in two galaxies, NGC 4406 and NGC 7507. Roughly 10 percent of ellipticals may show large minor axis velocities relative to those on the major axis. A simple model is used to derive a rotational axis from the observed minor and major axis velocities to a typical accuracy of 6 deg. The rotational and photometric minor axes aligned to better than 10 deg for 60 percent of the sample, implying that the direction of the angular momentum is related to the orientation of the figure of the galaxy. IC 1459 has a kinematically distinct core with its angular momentum opposite to the angular momentum of the outer parts, and NGC 4406 has a core with its angular momentum perpendicular to that of the outer parts.