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Globular Clusters, Dwarf Galaxies, and the Assembly of the M87 Halo

  • Eric W. Peng (a1) (a2), Hong-Xin Zhang (a3) (a4), Chengze Liu (a5) and Yiqing Liu (a1)
Abstract

At the center of the nearest galaxy cluster, the Virgo cluster, lies the massive cD galaxy, M87 (NGC 4486). Using data from the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey, we investigate the relationship between M87, its globular clusters (GCs), and satellite dwarf galaxies. We find that the kinematics of GCs and ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) are different, indicating that UCDs are not simply massive GCs. We also identify a morphological sequence of envelope fraction around UCDs correlated with cluster-centric distance that suggest UCDs are the result of tidal stripping. Lastly, we find that the [α/Fe] abundance ratios of low-mass early-type galaxies in Virgo exhibit a strong negative gradient within ~ 400 kpc of M87, where the galaxies closest to M87 have the highest values. These satellite galaxies are likely the surviving counterparts of accreted dwarfs that contribute stars to the metal-poor, α-rich stellar halos of massive galaxies. Together, these results describe a dense environment that has had a strong and continuing impact on the evolution of its low-mass neighbors.

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References
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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