AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 51 Galaxy Groups and Nearby Clusters
Poster, Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[51.01] Searching for Intergalactic Stars in the M81 Galaxy Group

P.R. Durrell, R. Ciardullo, M.E. DeCesar (Penn State Univ.), J.J. Feldmeier (Case Western Reserve Univ.)

We present the preliminary results of a wide-field photometric study of individual red giant branch (RGB) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the M81 galaxy group with the CFH12K camera at the CFHT. We make use of deep V and I images of a field located 50-80 kpc south of M81 to count giant stars that may permeate the galaxy group environment; this is relatively untested ground, as most measurements of intergalactic stars to date have been made in relatively large, well-mixed clusters.

From our data, we are able to place an upper limit of < 2% for the fraction of intragroup stars, and this compares favorably with results from a companion search for intragroup planetary nebulae. However, this number is significantly lower than the fraction of intracluster light found in galaxy clusters (~10-20%). We discuss the implications of this result.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.