AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 157 Cluster of Galaxies and Dark Matter
Oral, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Pacific 2/3

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[157.02] A first temporal sequence for ram pressure stripping in the Virgo Cluster

B. Vollmer (CDS, Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg, France)

We have studied the influence of the cluster environment on Virgo cluster spirals. Since Virgo is the nearest galaxy cluster in the northern hemisphere, we dispose of multiwavelength observations (radio continuum, CO, HI, Halpha) of Virgo spiral galaxies with resolutions of the order of 1 kpc. Most of these data contain velocity informations. On the other hand, we have developed an N-body code, which includes the effects of ram pressure stripping. The comparison between the simulated and observed gas distributions and velocity fields permits us to interpret our observations and to disentangle the effects of ram pressure versus galaxy-galaxy interactions. We have now a sample of 7 Virgo galaxies that are affected by ram pressure stripping. Cases of active ram pressure (where the compression region is detected), past ram pressure stripping and cases of mixed interactions, i.e. ram pressure stripping together with galaxy-galaxy gravitational interactions, will be shown. These data permit to establish a first temporal sequence for ram pressure stripping in the Virgo cluster. Furthermore, we are now at the point where we can start to think about the gas physics of these interactions (evaporation, phase mixing, change of phase, star formation).

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.