Journal Article

Galaxy aggregates in the Coma cluster

Christopher J. Conselice and John S. Gallagher

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 297, issue 2, pages L34-L38
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-8711.1998.01717.x
Galaxy aggregates in the Coma cluster

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We present evidence for a new morphologically defined form of small-scale substructure in the Coma cluster, which we call galaxy aggregates. Aggregates are dominated by a central galaxy, which is on average 5 mag brighter than the smaller aggregate members, nearly all of which lie to one side of the central galaxy. We have found three such galaxy aggregates: two dominated by the S0 galaxies RB 55 and RB 60, and one by the starbursting SBb NGC 4858.

RB 55 and 60 are both equidistant between the two dominant D galaxies NGC 4874 and 4889, while NGC 4858 is located near the large E0 galaxy NGC 4860. All three central galaxies have redshifts consistent with Coma cluster membership. We describe the spatial structures of these unique objects, and suggest several possible mechanisms to explain their origin. These include: chance superpositions from background galaxies, interactions between other galaxies and with the cluster gravitational potential, and ram pressure. We conclude that the most probable scenario of creation is an interaction with the cluster through its gravitational potential.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 1656; galaxies: clusters: individual: Coma; galaxies: formation; galaxies: interactions

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Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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