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 HI content in galaxies in loose groupsGas deficiency in cluster spirals is well known and ram-pressurestripping is considered the main gas removal mechanism. In some compactgroups too gas deficiency is reported. However, gas deficiency in loosegroups is not yet well established. Lower dispersion of the membervelocities and the lower density of the intragroup medium in small loosegroups favour tidal stripping as the main gas removal process in them.Recent releases of data from the HI Parkes All-Sky Survey (HIPASS) andcatalogues of nearby loose groups with associated diffuse X-ray emissionhave allowed us to test this notion. In this paper, we address thefollowing questions: (i) do galaxies in groups with diffuse X-rayemission statistically have lower gas content compared to the ones ingroups without diffuse X-ray emission? (ii) does HI deficiency vary withthe X-ray luminosity, LX, of the loose group in a systematicway? We find that (i) galaxies in groups with diffuse X-ray emission, onaverage, are HI deficient, and have lost more gas compared to those ingroups without X-ray emission; the latter are found not to havesignificant HI deficiency; (ii) no systematic dependence of the HIdeficiency with LX is found. Ram-pressure-assisted tidalstripping and evaporation by thermal conduction are the two possiblemechanisms to account for this excess gas loss. The structure of elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster. Results from the INT Wide Field SurveyWe report on a complete CCD imaging survey of 226 elliptical galaxies inthe North-East quadrant of the Virgo cluster, representative of theproperties of giant and dwarf elliptical galaxies in this cluster. Wefit their radial light profiles with the Sersic r1/n model oflight distribution. We confirm the result of Graham & Guzman(\cite{Graham03}, AJ, 125, 2936) that the apparent dichotomy between Eand dE galaxies in the luminosity-< μ>e plane nolonger appears when other structural parameters are considered and canbe entirely attributed to the onset of core'' galaxies atBT  -20.5 mag. When core'' galaxies are notconsidered, E and dE form a unique family with n linearly increasingwith the luminosity. For 90 galaxies we analyze the B-I color indices,both in the nuclear and in the outer regions. Both indices are bluertoward fainter luminosities. We find also that the outer color gradientsdo not show any significant correlation with the luminosity. The scatterin all color indicators increases significantly toward lowerluminosities, e.g. galaxies fainter than BT  -15 have aB-I spread > 0.5 mag.Table 2, Figs. 13 and 14 are only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org Completing H I observations of galaxies in the Virgo clusterHigh sensitivity (rms noise  0.5 mJy) 21-cm H I line observationswere made of 33 galaxies in the Virgo cluster, using the refurbishedArecibo telescope, which resulted in the detection of 12 objects. Thesedata, combined with the measurements available from the literature,provide the first set of H I data that is complete for all 355 late-type(Sa-Im-BCD) galaxies in the Virgo cluster with mp ≤ 18.0mag. The Virgo cluster H I mass function (HIMF) that was derived forthis optically selected galaxy sample is in agreement with the HIMFderived for the Virgo cluster from the blind HIJASS H I survey and isinconsistent with the Field HIMF. This indicates that both in this richcluster and in the general field, neutral hydrogen is primarilyassociated with late-type galaxies, with marginal contributions fromearly-type galaxies and isolated H I clouds. The inconsistency betweenthe cluster and the field HIMF derives primarily from the difference inthe optical luminosity function of late-type galaxies in the twoenvironments, combined with the HI deficiency that is known to occur ingalaxies in rich clusters.Tables \ref{t1, \ref{sample_dat} and Appendix A are only available inelectronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Are interactions the primary triggers of star formation in dwarf galaxies?We investigate the assumption that the trigger of star formation indwarf galaxies is interactions with other galaxies, in the context of asearch for a primary' trigger of a first generation of stars. This iscosmologically relevant because the galaxy formation process consistsnot only of the accumulation of gas in a gravitational potential wellbut also of the triggering of star formation in this gas mass, and alsobecause some high-z potentially primeval galaxy blocks look like nearbystar-forming dwarf galaxies. We review theoretical ideas proposed toaccount for the tidal interaction triggering mechanism and present aseries of observational tests of this assumption using published data.We also show results of a search in the vicinity of a composite sampleof 96 dwarf late-type galaxies for interaction candidates showing starformation. The small number of possible perturbing galaxies identifiedin the neighbourhood of our sample galaxies, along with similar findingsfrom other studies, supports the view that tidal interactions may not berelevant as primary triggers of star formation. We conclude thatinteractions between galaxies may explain some forms of star formationtriggering, perhaps in central regions of large galaxies, but they donot seem to be significant for dwarf galaxies and, by inference, forfirst-time galaxies forming at high redshifts. Intuitive reasoning,based on an analogy with stellar dynamics, shows that conditions forprimary star formation triggering may occur in gas masses oscillating ina dark-matter gravitational potential. We propose this mechanism as aplausible primary trigger scenario, which would be worth investigatingtheoretically. Neutral Hydrogen Mapping of Virgo Cluster Blue Compact Dwarf GalaxiesA new installment of neutral hydrogen mappings of blue compact dwarf(BCD) galaxies, as defined by optical morphology, in and near the VirgoCluster is presented. The primary motivation was to search for outlyingclouds of H I as potential interactive triggers of enhanced starformation, and therefore the mapped galaxies were selected for large H Imass, large optical diameter, and large velocity profile width.Approximately half the sample proved to have one or more small, lowcolumn density, star-free companion clouds, either detached or appearingas an appendage in our maps, at a resolution on the order of 4 kpc.Comparison is made with a sample of similarly mapped field BCD galaxiesdrawn from the literature; however, the Virgo Cluster sample of mappedBCDs is still too small for conclusive comparisons to be made. We found,on the one hand, little or no evidence for ram-pressure stripping nor,on the other, for extremely extended low column density H I envelopes.The H I rotation curves in most cases rise approximately linearly andslowly, as far out as we can trace the gas. Studies of galaxies in voids. I. H I observations of Blue Compact GalaxiesWe present here results of studies of the properties of galaxies locatedin very low density environments. We observed 26 blue compact galaxies(BCGs) from the Second Byurakan (SBS) and Case surveys located in voidswith the radial velocities Vhel <~ 11 000 kms-1, two BCGs in the void behind the Virgo cluster and 11BCGs in denser environments. H I fluxes and profile widths, as well asestimates of total H I masses, are presented for the 27 detectedgalaxies (of which 6 are in three galaxy pairs and are not resolved bythe radiotelescope beam). Preliminary comparisons of void BCGs withsimilar objects from intermediate density regions - in the general fieldand the Local Supercluster (sub-samples of BCGs in the SBS zone) and inthe dense environment of the Virgo Cluster (a BCD sample) - areperformed using the hydrogen-to-blue-luminosity ratio M(ion{H}i)/LB. We find that for the same blue luminosity, forMB > -18.0m, BCGs in lower density environment have onaverage more H I. The slope beta of the M(ion {H}i)/LBvarpropto Lbeta for BCGs shows a trend of steepening withdecreasing bright galaxy density, being very close to zero for thedensest environment considered here and reaching beta = -0.4 for voids. 1.65 μm (H-band) surface photometry of galaxies. VII. Dwarf galaxies in the Virgo ClusterWe present near-infrared H-band (1.65 μm) observations and surfacebrightness profile decompositions for 75 faint (13.5 <~ mp<~ 18.5) galaxies, primarily taken among dwarf Ellipticals members ofthe Virgo cluster, with some Centaurus Cluster members, a BCD and twopeculiar galaxies taken as fillers. We model their surface brightnessprofiles with a de Vaucouleurs (D), exponential (E), mixed (bulge+diskor M) or truncated (T) law, and we derive for each galaxy the H bandeffective surface brightness (μe) and effective radius(re), the asymptotic total magnitude HT and thelight concentration index C31, defined as the ratio betweenthe radii that enclose 75% and 25% of the total light HT. Fora subsample we compare the NIR surface photometry with similar datataken in the B and V bands, and we give the B-H and B-V color profiles.Combining the present data with those previously obtained by our group(1157 objects) we analyze the NIR properties of a nearly completesample, representative of galaxies of all morphological types, spanning4 decades in luminosity. We confirm our earlier claim that the presenceof cusps and extended haloes in the light profiles (C31>5)is a strong, non-linear function of the total luminosity. We also findthat: i) among dE and dS0 galaxies D profiles are absent; 50% of thedecompositions are of type M, the remaining being of type E or T. ii)Less than 50% of the giant elliptical galaxies have pure D profiles, themajority being represented by M profiles. iii) Most giant galaxies (fromelliptical to Sb) have M profiles. iv) Most of late type spirals (Scd toBCD) have either E or T profiles. v) The type of decomposition is astrong function of the total H band luminosity, independent of theHubble classification: the fraction of type E decompositions decreaseswith increasing luminosity, while those of type M increase withluminosity. Pure D profiles are absent in the low luminosity rangeLH<1010 Lsolar and become dominantabove 1011 Lsolar, while T profiles are presentonly among low luminosity galaxies. vi) We find that dE-peculiargalaxies have structural parameters indistinguishable from those oflate-type dwarfs, thus they might represent the missing link between dEsand dIs. Based on observations taken with the ESO/NTT (ESO program64.N-0288), with the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on theisland of La Palma by the Centro Galileo Galilei of the CNAA at theSpanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the IAC, with the SanPedro Martir 2.1~m telescope of the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional(OAN, Mexico), and with the OHP 1.2~m telescope, operated by the FrenchCNRS. Lopsidedness in dwarf irregular galaxiesWe quantify the amplitude of the lopsidedness, the azimuthal angularasymmetry index and the concentration of star-forming regions, asrepresented by the distribution of the Hα emission, in a sample of78 late-type irregular galaxies. We bin the observed galaxies into twogroups representing blue compact galaxies (BCDs) andlow-surface-brightness dwarf galaxies (LSBs). The light distribution isanalysed with a novel algorithm, which allows detection of details inthe light distribution pattern. We find that while the asymmetry of theunderlying continuum light, representing the older stellar generations,is relatively small, the Hα emission is very asymmetric and iscorrelated in position angle with the continuum light. We show that theconcentration of continuum light is correlated with the Hαconcentration; this implies that the young star formation has the samespatial properties as the older stellar populations, but that theseproperties are more strongly expressed by the young stars. We test amodel of random star formation over the extent of a galaxy by simulatingHii regions in artificial dwarf galaxies. A galaxy is traced by assumingred star clusters distributed on an underlying exponential disc ofradius twice the scalelength. The disc is allowed to change in apparentmagnitude, scaleradius, position angle and ellipticity. We compare theasymmetry-concentration distribution predicted by the simulations withthe real observed distribution; we find that only LSBs match thedistribution predicted by the model. The reason is that, independentlyof the number of Hii regions, LSBs show no particular location of Hiiregions, whereas BCDs show current star formation activity restrictedvery much to the central parts of the galaxies. A consideration of theproperties of the continuum light leads to the conclusion that most ofLSBs can be approximated by exponential discs of radius twice theirscalelength; BCDs call, however, for much more concentrated underlyingsystems, with smaller scalelengths than assumed in the simulations. Theimplication is that random star formation over the full extent of agalaxy may be generated in LSB dwarf irregular galaxies but not in BCDgalaxies. Nearby Optical Galaxies: Selection of the Sample and Identification of GroupsIn this paper we describe the Nearby Optical Galaxy (NOG) sample, whichis a complete, distance-limited (cz<=6000 km s-1) andmagnitude-limited (B<=14) sample of ~7000 optical galaxies. Thesample covers 2/3 (8.27 sr) of the sky (|b|>20deg) andappears to have a good completeness in redshift (97%). We select thesample on the basis of homogenized corrected total blue magnitudes inorder to minimize systematic effects in galaxy sampling. We identify thegroups in this sample by means of both the hierarchical and thepercolation `friends-of-friends'' methods. The resulting catalogs ofloose groups appear to be similar and are among the largest catalogs ofgroups currently available. Most of the NOG galaxies (~60%) are found tobe members of galaxy pairs (~580 pairs for a total of ~15% of objects)or groups with at least three members (~500 groups for a total of ~45%of objects). About 40% of galaxies are left ungrouped (field galaxies).We illustrate the main features of the NOG galaxy distribution. Comparedto previous optical and IRAS galaxy samples, the NOG provides a densersampling of the galaxy distribution in the nearby universe. Given itslarge sky coverage, the identification of groups, and its high-densitysampling, the NOG is suited to the analysis of the galaxy density fieldof the nearby universe, especially on small scales. Late-type dwarf irregular galaxies in the Virgo cluster - I. H alpha and red continuum dataWe present H alpha and red continuum observations for a sample oflate-type low surface brightness (LSB) dwarf irregular galaxies,consisting of all the ImIV and V galaxies with m_B<= 17.2 in theVirgo cluster, and compare them with similar data for a representativesample of high surface brightness (HSB) dwarf irregular galaxies, alsoin the Virgo cluster. Line fluxes and equivalent widths are listed forindividual HII regions, and total H alpha emission is measured for theentire galaxy. Although significant line emission originates in the HIIregions that we have identified, it does not make up the entire H alphaoutput of all galaxies. For those objects in the LSB sample withHα emission, we find typical star formation rates (SFRs) from6.9x10^-3 to as high as 4.3x10^-2 M_solar yr^-1. This is, on average,one order of magnitude weaker than for HSB objects, although the SFRsoverlap. On average, ~2 HII regions are detected per LSB galaxy, for atotal of 38 HII regions among 17 galaxies with Hα emission. TheHII regions are smaller and fainter than in HSB galaxies in the sameVirgo cluster environment, have Hα line equivalent widths about 50per cent of those in HSBs, and cover similar fractions of the galaxies.When more than one HII region is present in a galaxy, we observe astrong intensity difference between the brightest and the secondbrightest HII regions. The line-emitting regions of LSB galaxies arepreferentially located at the periphery of the galaxy, while in HSBsthey tend to be central. The Hα line strength of an HII region iscorrelated with the red continuum light underneath the region; thisholds for both LSBs and HSBs. We do not identify fundamental differencesin the star formation properties of the LSB and HSB dwarf galaxies thatwe have studied, and we infer that these galaxies must be similar, withthe difference being the intensity of the present star formation burst. Morphology of star formation regions in irregular galaxiesThe location of HII regions, which indicates the locus of present starformation in galaxies, is analysed for a large collection of 110irregular galaxies (Irr) imaged in Hα and nearby continuum. Theanalysis is primarily by visual inspection, although a two-dimensionalquantitative measure is also employed. The two different analyses yieldessentially identical results. HII regions appear preferentially at theedges of the light distribution, predominantly on one side of thegalaxy, contrary to what is expected from stochastic self-propagatingstar formation scenarios. This peculiar distribution of star-formingregions cannot be explained by a scenario of star formation triggered byan interaction with extragalactic gas, or by a strong one-armed spiralpattern. Late-type dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster - I. The samplesWe selected samples of late-type dwarf galaxies in the Virgo clusterwith HI information. The galaxies were observed at the Wise Observatoryusing several broad-band and Hα bandpasses. UV measurements werecarried out with the IUE Observatory from VILSPA, and with the FAUSTshuttle-borne UV telescope. We describe the observations in detail,paying particular attention to the determination of measurement errors,and present the observational results together with published data andfar-infrared information from IRAS. The sample will be analysed insubsequent papers, in order to study star formation mechanisms ingalaxies. An image database. II. Catalogue between δ=-30deg and δ=70deg.A preliminary list of 68.040 galaxies was built from extraction of35.841 digitized images of the Palomar Sky Survey (Paper I). For eachgalaxy, the basic parameters are obtained: coordinates, diameter, axisratio, total magnitude, position angle. On this preliminary list, weapply severe selection rules to get a catalog of 28.000 galaxies, wellidentified and well documented. For each parameter, a comparison is madewith standard measurements. The accuracy of the raw photometricparameters is quite good despite of the simplicity of the method.Without any local correction, the standard error on the total magnitudeis about 0.5 magnitude up to a total magnitude of B_T_=17. Significantsecondary effects are detected concerning the magnitudes: distance toplate center effect and air-mass effect. General study of group membership. II - Determination of nearby groupsWe present a whole sky catalog of nearby groups of galaxies taken fromthe Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database. From the 78,000 objects in thedatabase, we extracted a sample of 6392 galaxies, complete up to thelimiting apparent magnitude B0 = 14.0. Moreover, in order to considersolely the galaxies of the local universe, all the selected galaxieshave a known recession velocity smaller than 5500 km/s. Two methods wereused in group construction: a Huchra-Geller (1982) derived percolationmethod and a Tully (1980) derived hierarchical method. Each method gaveus one catalog. These were then compared and synthesized to obtain asingle catalog containing the most reliable groups. There are 485 groupsof a least three members in the final catalog. The Virgo cluster as a test for quantization of extragalactic redshiftsTifft's (1972, 1977) hypothesis that redshifts are partially quantizedwith a periodicity in the range 70-75 km/s is tested for samples ofbright spiral and dwarf irregular galaxies with accurate H I redshiftsin the region of the Virgo cluster. The heliocentric redshifts arecorrected for solar motion, first by adopting an estimate of the sun'smotion with respect to the centroid of the Local Group, and then byallowing the solar velocity vector to vary in direction over the wholesky. Power spectrum analyses of the corrected redshifts are used tosearch for a significant periodicity in the prescribed range 70-75 km/s.No such periodicity is found for the dwarf irregulars, but there is apossible periodicity of about 71.1 km/s for the bright spirals. In afurther exploratory study, the sample of 112 spirals is divided upaccording to environment. The spirals in high-density regions of thecluster show no quantization, whereas those in low-density regionsappear to be partially quantized in intervals of about 71.0 km/s. Spectrophotometrical study of the blue compact dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster.Not Available H I detection survey of a complete magnitude-limited sample of dwarf irregular galaxies in the Virgo Cluster areaNew single-beam Arecibo H I observations of 298 late-type galaxies inthe Virgo Cluster drawn mostly from the new catalog of Binggeli,Sandage, and Tammann (1985) are presented. Two hundred seventeen ofthese constitute a magnitude-limited 'complete sample' of such galaxies,types Sdm through Im and BCD. Sixty-one percent of this 'completesample' was detected, greatly enhancing the store of redshifts and H Imasses for such galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. For detected galaxies,heliocentric velocities, 50 percent profile widths, and single-beamfluxes are presented. For those that escaped detection, upper limits arecomputed to the flux appropriate to the redshift range (-600 to +3000km/s). Studies of the Virgo Cluster. II - A catalog of 2096 galaxies in the Virgo Cluster area.The present catalog of 2096 galaxies within an area of about 140 sq degapproximately centered on the Virgo cluster should be an essentiallycomplete listing of all certain and possible cluster members,independent of morphological type. Cluster membership is essentiallydecided by galaxy morphology; for giants and the rare class of highsurface brightness dwarfs, membership rests on velocity data. While 1277of the catalog entries are considered members of the Virgo cluster, 574are possible members and 245 appear to be background Zwicky galaxies.Major-to-minor axis ratios are given for all galaxies brighter than B(T)= 18, as well as for many fainter ones.
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