Dwarf galaxies in the Perseus Cluster: further evidence for a disc origin for dwarf ellipticals

Samantha J. Penny*, Duncan A. Forbes, Kevin A. Pimbblet, David J. E. Floyd

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present the results of aKeck-ESI (Echellette Spectrograph and Imager) spectroscopic study of six dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxies in the Perseus Cluster core, and confirm two dwarfs as cluster members for the first time. All six dEs follow the size-magnitude relation for dE/dSph galaxies. Central velocity dispersions aremeasured for three Perseus dwarfs in our sample, and all lie on the s-luminosity relation for early-type, pressure-supported systems.We furthermore examine SA 0426-002, a unique dE in our sample with a bar-like morphology surrounded by low surface brightness wings/lobes (μB = 27 mag arcsec-2). Given its morphology, velocity dispersion (s0 =33.9±6.1 kms-1), velocity relative to the brightest cluster galaxy NGC 1275 (2711 km s-1), size (Re = 2.1 ± 0.10 kpc), and Śersic index (n = 1.2 ± 0.02), we hypothesize the dwarf has morphologically transformed from a low-mass disc to dE via harassment. The low surface brightness lobes can be explained as a ring feature, with the bar formation triggered by tidal interactions via speed encounters with Perseus Cluster members. Alongside spiral structure found in dEs in Fornax and Virgo, SA 0426-002 provides crucial evidence that a fraction of bright dEs have a disc infall origin, and are not part of the primordial cluster population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3381-3387
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date8 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: individual: perseus cluster
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Galaxies: structure


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