Kinematics and stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies

Jacobus Johannes Mentz

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

1428 Downloads (Pure)


Galaxies tend to be grouped in clusters in which they interact and evolve while bound to the cluster. Early-type dwarf galaxies dominate clusters in numbers, while they are also more prone to be affected by the hostile cluster environment and tidal interaction with more massive member galaxies. Many questions still exist on the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies which only recently can be addressed with large telescopes and superior instrumentation. In this study we examine the stellar populations and kinematics of dwarf galaxies in the Fornax cluster with the use of state-of-the-art integral field spectroscopy from the MUSE and VIMOS instruments. With star-formation histories we obtain a picture of the build-up in a galaxy, while the chemical composition reveals information about enrichment processes. We find that the trend between Sodium abundance and metallicity in early-type galaxies extends from the dwarf to the giant galaxy regime. An initial stellar mass distribution favouring more massive stars is also identified in dwarf galaxies in contrast to that found in giant early-type galaxies. With the detection of kinematic sub-structures in dwarf
galaxies, that survived upon entering the cluster, the idea is strengthened that they are likely formed in less dense group environments with lower velocity encounters. For the Fornax cluster we also notice a slight gradient in rotational support with projected distance from the cluster centre, which indicate to transformational mechanisms acting on infalling dwarf galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Peletier, Reynier, Supervisor
  • Loubser, S. I., Supervisor, External person
Award date20-Apr-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0634-3
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0633-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Kinematics and stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this