Morphological evolution of discs in clusters

Mastropietro, Chiara, Moore, Ben, Mayer, Lucio, Debattista, Victor P orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7902-0116, Piffaretti, Rocco and Stadal, Joachim (2015) Morphological evolution of discs in clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 364 (2). pp. 607-619. ISSN 0035-8711

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The recent discovery of hidden non-axisymmetric and disc-like structures in bright Virgo dwarf elliptical and lenticular galaxies (dE/dSph/dS0) indicates that they may have late-type progenitors. Using N-body simulations we follow the evolution of disc galaxies within a A cold dark matter (ACDM) cluster simulated with 107 particles, where the hierarchical growth and galaxy harassment are modelled self-consistently. Most of the galaxies undergo significant morphological transformation, even at the outskirts of the cluster, and move through the Hubble sequence from late-type discs to dwarf spheroidals. None of the discs is completely destroyed, therefore they cannot be the progenitors of ultracompact dwarf (UCD) galaxies. The time evolution of the simulated galaxies is compared with unsharp masked images obtained from Very Large Telescope (VLT) data and the projected kinematics of our models with the latest high-resolution spectroscopic studies from the Keck and Palomar telescopes.

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