Evolutionary synthesis models for galaxy transformation in clusters

Authors: Bicker, J.; Fritze-von Alvensleben, U.; Fricke, K.J.

Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 284, Number 2, 2003 , pp. 463-466(4)

Publisher: Springer

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The galaxy population in rich local galaxy clusters shows a ratio of one quarter elliptical galaxies, two quarters S0 galaxies, and one quarter spiral galaxies. Observations of clusters at redshift 0.5 show a perspicuously different ratio, the dominant galaxy type are spiral galaxies with a fraction of two quarters while the number of S0 galaxies decreases to a fraction of one quarter (Dressler et al. 1997). This shows an evolution of the galaxy population in clusters since redshift 0.5 and it has been suspected that galaxy transformation processes during the infall into a cluster are responsible for this change. These could be merging, starburst or ram-pressure stripping. We use our evolutionary synthesis models to describe various possible effects of those interactions on the star formation of spiral galaxies infalling into clusters. We study the effects of starbursts of various strengths as well as of the truncation of star formation at various epochs on the color and luminosity evolution of model galaxies of various spectral types. As a first application we present the comparison of our models with observed properties of the local S0 galaxy population to constrain possible S0 formation mechanisms in clusters. Application to other types of galaxies is planned for the future.

Keywords: cD – galaxies: clusters: general; elliptical and lenticular; evolution; galaxies:formation; interaction; starburst

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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