AAS 196th Meeting, June 2000
Session 29. Dwarf Galaxies, Galaxy Structure and Kinematics
Display, Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 10:00am-6:30pm, Empire Hall South

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[29.04] Dynamics and the Origin of Dwarf Ellipticals in the Virgo Cluster

C.J. Conselice, J.S. Gallagher (UW-Madison), R.F.G. Wyse (Johns Hopkins U.)

We present results from a dynamical study of dwarf elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster based on WIYN Hydra radial velocities. We combine approximately three dozen new radial velocities of Virgo dEs with all previously published velocities and morphological clasifications of Virgo cluster galaxies to determine the origin of the dE population. We find that the velocity dispersion of the dE population is significantly larger than the giant ellipticals, although less than that of the spirals. This observation is consistent with the idea of dE formation from in-falling spiral galaxies. We discuss other results and interpretations of our study, including dynamical properties of the Virgo dE,N, dS0, and irregular populations. We also present theoretical considerations based on our observations for the origin and relaxation time scales of dEs in clusters. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

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

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