AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 38. Galaxy Clusters
Display, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibits Hall 1

[Previous] | [Session 38] | [Next]

[38.18] Planetary Nebulae and the Intracluster Stars of Virgo

J. Feldmeier, R. Ciardullo (PSU), G. H. Jacoby (NOAO)

Intracluster starlight can be a unique and powerful tool for studying galaxy clusters, but until recently it was difficult to detect, and its detailed structure was unknown. Now, due to multiple detections of individual intracluster stars in nearby galaxy clusters, we have the opportunity to learn much more about this interesting phenomenon, first discovered by Zwicky (1951).

One successful way of finding intracluster stars is through observations of intracluster planetary nebulae (IPN). For the past two years we have been surveying the Virgo cluster for IPN using [O~III] \lambda 5007 imaging. From our results to date, we have found that the intracluster starlight of Virgo is 1) large (at least 22% of the total starlight), 2) varies between subclumps A (near M87) and B (near M49) of the Virgo cluster, 3) is elongated along our line-of-sight, and 4) may be of moderate age and metallicity.

We now present results from additional observations, and detail our search for filamentary structures of IPN, which are predicted in the "galaxy harassment" models of Moore et al. (1996). We also compare our IPN results to the detection of intracluster red giants in Virgo by Ferguson, Tanvir & von Hippel (1998). In the near future, we plan to use two powerful new observational tools for further study of Virgo's intracluster stars: the NOAO CCD Mosaic, which will greatly increase the area we can survey, and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, which will obtain velocities of the IPN.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.psu.edu/users/johnf/aas193.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: johnf@astro.psu.edu

[Previous] | [Session 38] | [Next]