Stellar Kinematics and Structural Properties of Virgo Cluster Dwarf Early-Type Galaxies from the SMAKCED Project

Elisa Toloba, Puragra Guhathakurta, Reynier Peletier, Alessandro Boselli, Thorsten Lisker, Eric Emsellem, Joshua D. Simon, Glenn van de Ven, [Unknown] Smakced Collaboration

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We analyze the stellar kinematics of 39 dwarf early-type galaxies (dEs) in the Virgo cluster. This is the largest survey conducted so far on spatially resolved kinematics of dEs. This sample is representative of the early-type population in the absolute magnitude range -19.0 <M_r <-16.0. For each dE, we measure the rotation curve and velocity dispersion profile and fit an analytic function to the rotation curve. We study the significance of the departure of the rotation curve from the best fit analytic function (poorly fit) and of the difference between the approaching and receding sides of the rotation curve (asymmetry). We find that 62+/-8% (23 out of the 39) of the dEs have a significant anomaly in their rotation curve. Analysis of the images reveals photometric anomalies for most galaxies. However, there is no clear correlation between the significance of the photometric and kinematic anomalies. Based on the specific stellar angular momentum and the ellipticity, we find 11 slow rotators and 28 fast rotators. The fast rotators in the outer parts of the Virgo cluster rotate significantly faster than fast rotators in the inner parts of the cluster. Moreover, 10 out of the 11 slow rotators are located in the inner Mpc of the cluster. The fast rotators contain subtle disky structures that are visible in high-pass filtered optical images, while the slow rotators do not exhibit these structures. In addition, two of the dEs have kinematically decoupled cores and four more have emission partially filling in the Balmer absorption lines. These properties suggest that Virgo cluster dEs may have originated from late-type star-forming galaxies that were transformed by the environment after their infall into the cluster. The correlation between the specific angular momentum and the clustercentric distance can be explained by a scenario where low luminosity star-forming galaxies fall into the cluster, their gas is rapidly removed by ram pressure stripping, although some of it can be retained in their core, their star-formation is quenched but their stellar kinematics are preserved. After a long time in the cluster and several passes through its center, the galaxies are heated up and transformed into slow rotating dEs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAAS Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jan-2015

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