PI: Michael Gregg, University of California, Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Physics Department, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A.
CoI: Michael West, University of Hawaii, Hilo
CoI: Arna Karick, University of California, Davis
CoI: Michael Drinkwater, University of Queensland
CoI: Steve Phillipps, Bristol
CoI: Bryn Jones, Queen Mary University of London
CoI: Ekaterina Evstigneeva, University of Queensland
CoI: Marianne Takamiya, University of Hawaii, Hilo
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 to continue our 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.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360