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Ultra-compact and ultra-diffuse stellar systems in nearby galaxy clusters: signs of environmental influence?

Wittmann, Carolin

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Abstract

In this thesis we investigate ultra-compact and ultra-diffuse stellar systems in the cores of the nearby Perseus and Fornax galaxy clusters for signs of environmental influences. We search for possible disturbances of their stellar structures by examining their light distributions in deep optical wide field imaging data. In the Fornax cluster we analyse a sample of 355 spectroscopically confirmed compact stellar systems. Our data reveal that many objects show distorted outer structures, although we do not find long tidal streams around any of them. We investigate their spatial and phase-space distributions, and interpret our results in the framework of proposed formation scenarios. In the Perseus cluster we identify a population of 89 diffuse low surface brightness galaxy candidates for which we perform photometry. The majority of the diffuse candidates appear unperturbed based on their stellar structures. We find, however, that galaxies with large sizes seem to be absent in the dense cluster core region. We discuss possible implications for the dark matter content of these systems and compare our sample to faint low surface brightness galaxies in the Coma cluster. Our data reveal a few low-mass galaxies with tidal tails or disturbed morphology, and several diffuse streams and tidal debris. Nevertheless, the number of recent galaxy disruption events seems to be very low in both the Perseus and Fornax galaxy cluster cores, indicating that most of the low-mass galaxy population was probably shaped at earlier epochs.

Item Type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Lisker, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Thorsten
Date of thesis defense: 9 February 2018
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 07:49
Date: 2018
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Physics and Astronomy > Dekanat der Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie
Subjects: 520 Astronomy and allied sciences
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