The Dynamical Properties of Virgo Cluster Galaxies
Ouellette, Nathalie N.-Q.
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By virtue of its proximity, the Virgo Cluster is an ideal laboratory for us to test our understanding of the formation of structure in our Universe. In this spirit, we present a dynamical study of 33 gas-poor and 34 gas-rich Virgo galaxies as part of the Spectroscopic and H-band Imaging of Virgo survey. Our final spectroscopic data set was acquired at the 3.5-m telescope at the Apache Point Observatory. Hα rotation curves for the gas-rich galaxies were modelled with a multi-parameter fit function from which various velocity measurements were inferred. Analog values were measured off of the observed rotation curves, but yielded noisier scaling relations, such as the luminosity-velocity relation (also known as the Tully-Fisher relation). Our best i-band Tully-Fisher relation has slope α=-7.2 ± 0.5 and intercept M_i(2.3)=-21.5 ± 1.1 mag, matching similar previous studies. Our study takes advantage of our own, as well as literature, data; we plan to continue expanding our compilation in order to build the largest Tully-Fisher relation for a cluster to date. Following extensive testing of the IDL routine pPXF, extended velocity dispersion profiles were extracted for our gas-poor galaxies. Considering the lack of a common standard for the measurement of a fiducial galaxy velocity dispersion in the literature, we have endeavoured to rectify this situation by determining the radius at which the measured velocity dispersion, coupled with the galaxy luminosity, yields the tightest Faber-Jackson relation. We found that radius to be 1.5 R_e, which exceeds the extent of most dispersion profiles in other works. The slope of our Faber-Jackson relation is α=-4.3 ± 0.2, which closely matches the virial value of 4. This analysis will soon be applied to a study of the Virgo Cluster Fundamental Plane. Rotation correction of our dispersion profiles will also permit the study of galaxies' velocity dispersion profile shapes in an attempt to refine our understanding of the overall manifold of galaxy structural parameters.