NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005A-0399

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Proposal Information for 2005A-0399


PI: Michael Gregg, University of California, Davis, gregg@igpp.ucllnl.org
Address: Physics Department, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA

CoI: Michael Drinkwater, University of Queensland
CoI: Arna Karick, University of California, Davis
CoI: Steve Phillipps, Bristol
CoI: Bryn Jones, Queen Mary University of London
CoI: Michael West, University of Hawaii, Hilo
CoI: Patrick Cote, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Ekaterina Evstigneeva, University of Queensland
CoI: Marianne Takamiya, University of Hawaii, Hilo
CoI: Monica Hasegan, Rutgers University
CoI: John Blakeslee, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Andres Jordan, European Southern Observatory
CoI: Eric Peng, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

Title: Ultra Compact Dwarfs and the Evolution of the Virgo Cluster

Abstract: We have discovered a new class of galaxy, ``ultra-compact dwarfs,'' inhabiting the Fornax cluster in large numbers. They are so compact that they are unresolved in ground-based imaging. The UCDs are probably remnant nuclei of dwarf ellipticals or spirals, liberated through tidal ``threshing'' by the cluster potential, making them a dynamical evolution yardstick, in addition to being useful test particles for probing the global cluster potential. We propose a WIYN spectroscopic search for these objects in the much larger Virgo cluster. The numbers, distribution, and stellar populations of the UCDs in Virgo will provide a new window on the forces driving the formation and evolution of large clusters of galaxies.


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