Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 304, 465-474 (1999/April-2)
On the survival and destruction of spiral galaxies in clusters.
MOORE B., LAKE G., QUINN T. and STADEL J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We follow the evolution of disc galaxies within a cluster that forms hierarchically in a cold dark matter N-body simulation. At a redshift z=0.5 we select several dark matter haloes that have quiet merger histories and are about to enter the newly forming cluster environment. The haloes are replaced with equilibrium high-resolution model spirals that are constructed to represent examples of low surface brightness (LSB) and high surface brightness (HSB) galaxies. Varying the disc and halo structural parameters reveals that the response of a spiral galaxy to tidal encounters depends primarily on the potential depth of its mass distribution and the disc scalelength. LSB galaxies, characterized by slowly rising rotation curves and large scalelengths, evolve dramatically under the influence of rapid encounters with substructure and strong tidal shocks from the global cluster potential – galaxy harassment. We find that up to 90 per cent of their stars are tidally stripped, and congregate in large diffuse tails that trace the orbital path of the galaxy and form the diffuse intracluster light. The bound stellar remnants closely resemble the dwarf spheroidals (dEs) that populate nearby clusters. HSB galaxies are stable to the chaos of cluster formation and tidal encounters. These discs lie well within the tidally limited dark matter haloes, and their potentials are more concentrated. Although very few stars are stripped, the scaleheight of the discs increases substantially and no spiral features remain; we therefore speculate that these galaxies would be identified as S0 galaxies in present-day clusters.
1999, Royal Astronomical Society