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|Virgo Cluster Early-Type Dwarf Galaxies with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. On the Possible Disk Nature of Bright Early-Type Dwarfs|
We present a systematic search for disk features in 476 Virgo Clusterearly-type dwarf (dE) galaxies. This is the first such study of analmost-complete, statistically significant dE sample, which includes allcertain or possible cluster members with mB<=18 that arecovered by the optical imaging data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DataRelease 4. Disk features (spiral arms, edge-on disks, or bars) wereidentified by applying unsharp masks to a combined image from threebands (g, r, and i), as well as by subtracting the axisymmetric lightdistribution of each galaxy from that image. Fourteen objects areunambiguous identifications of disks, 10 objects show ``probable disk''features, and 17 objects show ``possible disk'' features. The numberfraction of these galaxies, for which we introduce the term ``dEdi,''reaches more than 50% at the bright end of the dE population anddecreases to less than 5% for magnitudes mB>16. Althoughpart of this observed decline might be due to the lower signal-to-noiseratio at fainter magnitudes, we show that it cannot be caused solely bythe limitations of our detection method. The luminosity function of ourfull dE sample can be explained by a superposition of dEdis and ordinarydEs, strongly suggesting that dEdis are a distinct type of galaxy. Thisis supported by the projected spatial distribution: dEdis show basicallyno clustering and roughly follow the spatial distribution of spirals andirregulars, whereas ordinary dEs are distributed similarly to thestrongly clustered E/S0 galaxies. While the flattening distribution ofordinary dEs is typical for spheroidal objects, the distribution ofdEdis is significantly different and agrees with their being flat oblateobjects. We therefore conclude that the dEdis are not spheroidalgalaxies that just have an embedded disk component but are instead apopulation of genuine disk galaxies. Several dEdis display well-definedspiral arms with grand-design features that clearly differ from theflocculent, open arms typical for late-type spirals that have frequentlybeen proposed as progenitors of dEs. This raises the question of whatprocess is able to create such spiral arms-with pitch angles like thoseof Sab/Sb galaxies-in bulgeless dwarf galaxies.
|The far-ultraviolet emission of early-type galaxies|
We have assembled a UV-flux selected sample of 82 early-type galaxiesand collected additional information at other wavelengths. These dataconfirm a large spread of the UV-V color in the range 2 to 5. The spreadin UV-V is accompanied by a spread in B-V that is mainly attributed tothe range of morphological types and luminosities. A large fraction ofthe objects have red colors, UV-V = 4 +/- 0.4, corresponding to a weakUV-upturn as observed with IUE. If the current interpretation for the UVemission from early-type galaxies is applicable to our sample, the PAGB(Post-Asymptotic Giant Branch) tracks are the most common evolution pathfor the low-mass stars responsible for the UV emission. A small numberof very blue (UV-V < 1.4) objects have been found that can bereasonably interpreted as harbouring some low level of star formation.In contrast to a previous sample based on IUE observations, nocorrelation is found between the UV-V color and the Mg2spectral line index; possible explanations are reviewed. The potentialof a more extended UV survey like GALEX is briefly presented.
|Blue compact dwarf galaxies and new velocities in Virgo|
We present new spectral observations of 303 galaxies brighter thanB_J=17.6 in the central 30 deg^2 of the Virgo cluster field. Thegalaxies were selected from two overlapping samples designed for asearch for blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies and for a more generalstudy of Virgo dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies. Many of these galaxieswere designated `background' (i.e., not members of the Virgo cluster) onmorphological grounds by Binggeli, Sandage & Tammann in their VirgoCluster Catalog (VCC). Our principal aim was to measure radialvelocities of these galaxies in order to determine which were members ofthe cluster, looking in particular for any cluster members previouslymisclassified as background galaxies. We measured reliable velocitiesfor 291 galaxies, of which nine were found to be cluster members. Fiveof these were listed in the VCC as `members' and four as `possiblemembers'. We also confirmed that 10 VCC `background' galaxies werecorrectly identified, and determined that an additional three VCC`possible members' were background galaxies. These results show that theVCC membership estimates were generally correct. Our sample of candidateBCD galaxies was defined by objective criteria from digitized platematerial and therefore allows us to place new limits on the dwarf-galaxypopulation. We confirm the drop in the BCD luminosity function at anabsolute magnitude of M_B=-14 reported by Binggeli, Sandage &Tammann (using their Virgo distance modulus). We also show that if BCDsfade at the end of the current burst of star formation, such `dead'BCDs, if they exist, would all have to be fainter than our sample limitof B_J=17.6. We use a (U-B_J)(B_J-R_F) colour-colour diagram plottedfrom our photographic data to separate the different dwarf-galaxy typeseffectively and use this colour information to argue that there are noblue star-forming progenitors of dE galaxies in the cluster. Most of thegalaxies of compact appearance we selected were background objects whichwe show to be significantly younger than general field galaxies; thissample also shows considerable clustering in redshift space.
|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.
|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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