AAS 197, January 2001
Session 30. Dwarf and Elliptical Galaxies
Oral, Monday, January 8, 2001, 1:30-3:00pm, Royal Plam 5/6

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[30.02] The Origin of Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies in Clusters

Christopher J. Conselice (STScI/UW-Madison)

Dwarf ellipticals (dEs) in clusters are the most common type of galaxy in the local universe; however their origin and evolution remain a mystery. To resolve this question we have undertaken a study of both dynamical and photometric properties of dEs in nearby clusters. We do this by increasing the number of measured Virgo dE radial velocities by 50% and by acquiring high resolution deep WIYN images of dEs in the Perseus cluster. Dynamical properties of some dEs in the Virgo cluster are consistent with an origin from galaxies that fell into the cluster after its initial formation. Photometry of cluster dwarfs further shows that some of these objects have color-magnitude scaling relations different than cluster giants. Some cluster dEs, particularly the brightest ones, are however consistent with an origin similar to the giant cluster ellipticals.

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

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