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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-05-20 T03:45:03 PDT
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For refcode 2007A&A...463..503M:
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Copyright by European Southern Observatory (ESO). Reproduced by permission
2007A&A...463..503M The early-type dwarf galaxy population of the Fornax cluster Mieske, S.; Hilker, M.; Infante, L.; Mendes de Oliveira, C. Abstract. Aims. We analyse the photometric properties of the early-type Fornax cluster dwarf-galaxy population (M_V>-17 mag), based on a wide-field imaging study of the central cluster area in V and I bandpasses. We used the instrument/telescope combination IMACS/Magellan at Las Campanas Observatory, providing much larger light-collecting area and better image resolution than previous wide-field imaging surveys. Methods: We created a fiducial sample of Fornax cluster dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in the following three steps. (1) To verify cluster membership, we measured I-band surface brightness fluctuations (SBF) distances to candidate dEs known from previous surveys. (2) We re-assessed morphological classifications for those candidate dEs that are too faint for SBF detection. (3) We searched for new candidate dEs in the size-luminosity regime close to the resolution limit of previous surveys. Results: (1) We confirm cluster membership for 28 candidate dEs in the range -16.6<M_V<-10.1 mag by means of SBF measurement. We find no SBF background galaxy. (2) Of 51 other candidate dEs in the range -13.2<M_V<-8.6 mag, 2/3 are confirmed as probable cluster members by morphological re-assessment, while 1/3 are re-classified as probable background objects. (3) We find 12 new dE candidates in the range -12.3<M_V<-8.8 mag, two of which are directly confirmed via SBF measurement. The resulting fiducial dE sample follows a well-defined surface brightness-magnitude relation, showing that Fornax dEs are about 40% larger than Local Group dEs. The sample also defines a colour-magnitude relation that appears slightly shallower than that of Local Group dEs. The early-type dwarf galaxy luminosity function in Fornax has a very flat faint end slope {alpha} ~- -1.1 +/- 0.1. We discuss these findings in the context of structure-formation theories. Conclusions: The SBF method is a very powerful tool to help constrain the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function in nearby galaxy clusters. For the Fornax cluster, morphological cluster memberships - if performed at sufficient resolution - are very reliable. Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: Fornax cluster, galaxies: dwarf, galaxies: fundamental parameters, galaxies:, luminosity function, mass function, techniques: photometric
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