Galaxy threshing and the formation of ultracompact dwarf galaxies

Bekki, Kenji, Couch, Warrick J. and Drinkwater, Michael J. (2001) Galaxy threshing and the formation of ultracompact dwarf galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 552 2: L105-L108. doi:10.1086/320339

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Author Bekki, Kenji
Couch, Warrick J.
Drinkwater, Michael J.
Title Galaxy threshing and the formation of ultracompact dwarf galaxies
Journal name Astrophysical Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-637X
Publication date 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1086/320339
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 552
Issue 2
Start page L105
End page L108
Total pages 4
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Institute of Physics Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Recent spectroscopic and morphological observational studies of galaxies around NGC 1399 in the Fornax Cluster have discovered several ultracompact dwarf galaxies with intrinsic sizes of similar to 100 pc and absolute B-band magnitudes ranging from -13 to -11 mag. In order to elucidate the origin of these enigmatic objects, we perform numerical simulations on the dynamical evolution of nucleated dwarf galaxies orbiting NGC 1399 and suffering from its strong tidal gravitational field. Adopting a plausible scaling relation for dwarf galaxies, we find that the outer stellar components of a nucleated dwarf are totally removed. This is due to them being tidally stripped over the course of several passages past the central region of NGC 1399. The nucleus, however, manages to survive. We also find that the size and luminosity of the remnant are similar to those observed for ultracompact dwarf galaxies, if the simulated precursor nucleated dwarf has a mass of similar to 10(8) M.. These results suggest that ultracompact dwarf galaxies could have previously been more luminous dwarf spheroidal or elliptical galaxies with rather compact nuclei.
Keyword Astronomy & Astrophysics
Virgo Cluster
Galaxies : Clusters : General
Galaxies : Dwarf
Galaxies : Elliptical And Lenticular, Cd
Galaxies : Formation
Galaxies : Interactions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Physical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 87 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 89 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 12:21:25 EST