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Kinematics and stellar populations of dwarf elliptical galaxies

PhD ceremony:Mr J.J. (Jaco) Mentz
When:April 20, 2018
Supervisor:prof. dr. R.F. (Reynier) Peletier
Co-supervisor:dr. S.I. Loubser
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering

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 beaffected by the hostile cluster environment and tidal interaction with more massive membergalaxies. Many questions still exist on the formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies which onlyrecently can be addressed with large telescopes and superior instrumentation. In this study weexamine the stellar populations and kinematics of dwarf galaxies in the Fornax cluster with the useof 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 compositionreveals information about enrichment processes. We find that the trend between Sodium abundanceand metallicity in early-type galaxies extends from the dwarf to the giant galaxy regime. An initialstellar mass distribution favouring more massive stars is also identified in dwarf galaxies in contrastto that found in giant early-type galaxies. With the detection of kinematic sub-structures in dwarfgalaxies, that survived upon entering the cluster, the idea is strengthened that they are likely formedin less dense group environments with lower velocity encounters. For the Fornax cluster we alsonotice a slight gradient in rotational support with projected distance from the cluster centre, whichindicate to transformational mechanisms acting on infalling dwarf galaxies.