Overview of the Near-IR S0 Galaxy Survey (NIRS0S)
An overview of the results of the near-IR S0 galaxy survey (NIRS0S) is presented. NIRS0S is a magnitude- (m(B) <= 12.5 mag) and inclination-(<65 degrees) limited sample of similar to 200 nearby galaxies, mainly S0s, but includes also Sa and E galaxies. It uses deep K-s-band images, typically reaching a surface brightness of 23.5 mag arcsec(-2). Detailed visual and photometric classifications were made, for the first time coding also the lenses in a systematic manner. As a comparison sample, a similar sized spiral galaxy sample with similar image quality was used. Based on our analysis, the Hubble sequence was revisited: following the early idea by van den Bergh we suggested that the S0s are spread throughout the Hubble sequence in parallel tuning forks as spirals (S0a, S0b, S0c, etc.). This is evidenced by our improved bulge-to-total (B/T) flux ratios in the S0s, reaching small values typical to late-type spirals. The properties of bulges and disks in S0s were found to be similar to those in spirals and, also, the masses and scale parameters of the bulges and disks to be coupled. It was estimated that the spiral bulges brighter than -20 mag in K-band are massive enough to be converted into the bulges of S0s merely by star formation. Bars were found to be fairly robust both in S0s and spirals, but, inspite of that, bars might evolve significantly within the Hubble sequence.