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Analyzing the Surface Brightness of Galaxies in the Perseus Cluster

Presentation #326.01 in the session “Galaxy Clusters”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Analyzing the Surface Brightness of Galaxies in the Perseus Cluster

Galaxy clusters are rich environments, with many galaxies clumped closely together in the largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe. They also stand out from their surroundings by having a noticeably different mix of galaxy types. Earlier research has shown that lenticular galaxies in the field show a variety of intrinsic light profiles, ranging from purely exponential profiles to puffed up profiles with excess light in the galaxy outskirts to truncated profiles showing a drop in light from their outskirts. Comparable galaxies in the Virgo cluster, however, do not show this variety, despite their more active environment. In this project we study surface brightness profiles of a large number galaxies in the Perseus galaxy cluster using very deep imaging data obtained using the Subaru HyperSuprimeCam instrument to see whether the lack of diversity found in Virgo is a more general phenomena or a Virgo-specific peculiarity. Ultimately this research will help astronomers better understand the evolution of galaxies, galactic clusters, and our own galaxy, the Milky Way. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation’s REU program in Astrophysics through NSF award AST-1852136.

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