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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 origin of H I-deficiency in galaxies on the outskirts of the Virgo cluster. II. Companions and uncertainties in distances and deficiencies|
The origin of the deficiency in neutral hydrogen of 13 spiral galaxieslying in the outskirts of the Virgo cluster is reassessed. If thesegalaxies have passed through the core of the cluster, their interstellargas should have been lost through ram pressure stripping by the hotX-ray emitting gas of the cluster. We analyze the positions of these HI-deficient and other spiral galaxies in velocity-distance plots, inwhich we include our compilation of velocity-distance data on 61elliptical galaxies, and compare with simulated velocity-distancediagrams obtained from cosmological N-body simulations. We find that20% relative Tully-Fisher distance errors are consistent with thegreat majority of the spirals, except for a small number of objectswhose positions in the velocity-distance diagram suggest grosslyincorrect distances, implying that the Tully-Fisher error distributionfunction has non-Gaussian wings. Moreover, we find that the distanceerrors may lead to an incorrect fitting of the Tolman-Bondi solutionthat can generate significant errors in the distance and especially themass estimates of the cluster. We suggest 4 possibilities for theoutlying H I-deficient spirals (in decreasing frequency): 1) they havelarge relative distance errors and are in fact close enough (atdistances between 12.7 and 20.9 Mpc from us) to the cluster to havepassed through its core and seen their gas removed by ram pressurestripping; 2) their gas is converted to stars by tidal interactions withother galaxies; 3) their gas is heated during recent mergers withsmaller galaxies; and 4) they are not truly H I-deficient (e.g. S0/amisclassified as Sa).Appendix A is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org
|Galaxy Populations and Evolution in Clusters. IV. Deep H I Observations of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
In this paper we present deep Arecibo H I and WIYN optical observationsof Virgo Cluster dwarf elliptical galaxies. Based on this data we arguethat a significant fraction of low-mass galaxies in the Virgo Clusterrecently underwent evolution. Our new observations consist of H I 21 cmline observations for 22 classified dE galaxies with optical radialvelocities consistent with membership in the Virgo Cluster. Clustermembers VCC 390 and VCC 1713 are detected with H I massesMHI=6×107 and 8×107Msolar, respectively, while MHI values in theremaining 20 dE galaxies have upper limits as low as~5×105 Msolar. We combine our results withthose for 26 other Virgo Cluster dE galaxies with H I observations inthe literature, seven of which have H I detection claims. New opticalimages from the WIYN telescope of five of these H I-detected dEgalaxies, along with archival data, suggest that seven of the claimeddetections are true H I detections, yielding a ~15% detection rate.These H I-detected, classified dE galaxies are preferentially locatednear the periphery of the Virgo Cluster. Three Virgo dE galaxies haveobserved H I velocity widths greater than 200 km s-1,possibly indicating the presence of a large dark matter content ortransient extended H I. We discuss the possible origins of these objectsand argue that they originate from field galaxies accreted onto highangular momentum orbits by Virgo in the last few Gyr. As a result ofthis, we argue, these galaxies are slowly transformed within the clusterby gradual gas-stripping processes, associated truncation of starformation, and passive fading of stellar populations. Low-mass,early-type cluster galaxies are therefore currently being produced asthe product of cluster environmental effects. We utilize our results ina simple model to estimate the recent (past 1-3 Gyr) average massaccretion rate into the Virgo Cluster, deriving a value of M~50Msolar yr-1.
|Galaxy Populations and Evolution in Clusters. I. Dynamics and the Origin of Low-Mass Galaxies in the Virgo Cluster|
Early-type dwarfs are the most common galaxy in the local universe, yettheir origin and evolution remain a mystery. Various cosmologicalscenarios predict that dwarf-like galaxies in dense areas are the firstto form and hence should be the oldest stellar systems in clusters. Byusing radial velocities of early-type dwarfs in the Virgo cluster wedemonstrate that these galaxies are not an old cluster population buthave signatures of production from the infall of field galaxies.Evidence of this includes the combined large dispersions andsubstructure in spatial and kinematic distributions for Virgo early-typedwarfs and a velocity dispersion ratio with giant ellipticals expectedfor virialized and accreted populations. We also argue that thesegalaxies cannot originate from accreted field dwarfs, but must havephysically evolved from a precursor population, of different morphology,that fell into Virgo some time in the past.
|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.
|Distances to 64 Virgo dwarf-elliptical galaxies and the depth in their spatial distribution|
We derive distances for 64 dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in the direction ofthe Virgo cluster's (VC) core, by means of the luminosity-profilecurvature (L-n) relationship and by means of their global scalelengths,which we find to be correlated with the shapes of theirsurface-brightness profiles. The great depth we find in the spatialdistribution of Virgo dEs is not consistent with a unimodal distributiondue to a single spherically symmetric concentration of galaxies. Thisdepth is also sufficient to explain much of the disagreement over theVC's distance, and thereby much of the Hubble-constant (H_0)controversy.
|The surface brightness test for the expansion of the universe. II - Radii, surface brightness, and absolute magnitude correlations for nearby E galaxies|
Data for elliptical galaxies in the Virgo, Fornax, and Coma clusters andin the general field are analyzed in order to determine the dispersionin average surface brightness. The data are discussed using measures ofboth the effective radius and the Petrosian r(eta) radii. The dispersionis found to be about 0.5 mag after reducing the data to absolutemagnitude M(B) = -22. This value is smaller than the 1.8 mag Tolman (1 +z) exp 4 factor, even at the modest redshift of z = 0.5, showing thatthe Tolman test is feasible in practice as well as in principle.
|Surface photometry of dwarf elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster|
Photographic surface photometry is carried out for 69 dwarf ellipticalsin the central region of the Virgo Cluster, using two plates in the Bband taken with the 2.5 m du Pont telescope at Las Campanas Observatory.Luminosity profiles and various photometric parameters are obtained, andthe following three results are derived: (1) All the dwarf ellipticalsin the sample have luminosity profiles consistent with exponential lawsexcept for six galaxies which are probably giant ellipticals in thebackground. If they are physcial members of the Virgo Cluster, they maybe identified with 'classical' dwarf ellipticals recognized by Wirth andGallagher. (2) The distribution of apparent flattenings of dwarfellipticals suggests that the population of dwarf ellipticals is notdominated by flat disk systems like spiral galaxies, in spite of theirexponential profiles. (3) Two important diagrams, a diagram ofconcentration index versus absolute magnitude and a diameter versussurface brightness diagram (DSBD), show a hint of structuraldiscontinuity in the sequence of spheroidal stellar systems consistingof giant ellilpticals, dwarf ellipticals, and globular clusters.
|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.
|A catalog of dwarf galaxies in Virgo|
A catalog listing the location, apparent angular diameter, type,estimated central light concentration, and estimated brightness of 846dwarf galaxies in a 200-deg-sq region in Virgo is presented. Thegalaxies comprise 634 ellipticals, 137 IC-3475-type galaxies, 73 dwarfspirals and irregulars, and two objects which are jets of normalgalaxies, and were found on nine long-exposure IIIa-J-emulsion platesmade with the 1.2-m-Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory from 1971to 1976. Concordances to other catalogs, tables of additionalparameters, maps, graphs, and photographs are provided. The projecteddistributions of normal and dwarf galaxies and the dependence ofapparent luminosity on central light concentration are discussed. It isfound that dwarf ellipticals and IC-3475-type galaxies are probablemembers of the Virgo cluster, while dwarf spirals and possibly dwarfirregulars are not.
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