A class of compact dwarf galaxies from disruptive processes in galaxy clusters

Drinkwater, Michael John, Gregg, Michael D., Hilker, Michael, Bekki, Kenji, Couch, Warrick J., Ferguson, Henry C., Jones, J. Bryn and Phillipps, Steve (2003) A class of compact dwarf galaxies from disruptive processes in galaxy clusters. Nature, 423 6939: 519-521.


Author Drinkwater, Michael John
Gregg, Michael D.
Hilker, Michael
Bekki, Kenji
Couch, Warrick J.
Ferguson, Henry C.
Jones, J. Bryn
Phillipps, Steve
Title A class of compact dwarf galaxies from disruptive processes in galaxy clusters
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2003-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature01666
Volume 423
Issue 6939
Start page 519
End page 521
Total pages 3
Editor Philip Campbell
Place of publication London
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject 240101 Astronomy and Astrophysics
C1
780102 Physical sciences
Abstract Dwarf galaxies have attracted increased attention in recent years, because of their susceptibility to galaxy transformation processes within rich galaxy clusters. Direct evidence for these processes, however, has been difficult to obtain, with a small number of diffuse light trails and intra-cluster stars, being the only signs of galaxy disruption. Furthermore, our current knowledge of dwarf galaxy populations may be very incomplete, because traditional galaxy surveys are insensitive to extremely diffuse or compact galaxies. Aware of these concerns, we recently undertook an all-object survey of the Fornax galaxy cluster. This revealed a new population of compact members, overlooked in previous conventional surveys. Here we demonstrate that these 'ultra-compact' dwarf galaxies are structurally and dynamically distinct from both globular star clusters and known types of dwarf galaxy, and thus represent a new class of dwarf galaxy. Our data are consistent with the interpretation that these are the remnant nuclei of disrupted dwarf galaxies, making them an easily observed tracer of galaxy disruption.
Keyword astrophysics
dwarf galaxies
Fornax Cluster
Globular-clusters
Virgo Cluster
Elliptic Galaxies
Stellar-systems
Space-telescope
Omega-centauri
Dynamics
Light
Q-Index Code C1

 
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