IGCs in the Virgo cluster

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-76961-3_83


Preliminary results of the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey WFPC2 parallel observations are presented. We searched for intergalactic
globular clusters in 100 WFPC2 fields within the Virgo Cluster. We find globular clusters preferentially near the most luminous
cluster galaxies (M87, M49, and M60). For M87, the number density of globular clusters out to 70 kpc is consistent with that
determined by ground based studies of the globular cluster systems. The intergalactic nature of the population of globular
clusters we are detecting is still a matter of controversy.

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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse intracluster light (ICL) has now been observed in nearby and in intermediate redshift clusters. Individual intracluster stars have been detected in the Virgo and Coma clusters and the first color-magnitude diagram and velocity measurements have been obtained. Recent studies show that the ICL contains of the order of 10% and perhaps up to 30% of the stellar mass in the cluster, but in the cores of some dense and rich clusters like Coma, the local ICL fraction can be high as 40%-50%. What can we learn from the ICL about the formation of galaxy clusters and the evolution of cluster galaxies? How and when did the ICL form? What is the connection to the central brightest cluster galaxy? Cosmological N-body and hydrodynamical simulations are beginning to make predictions for the kinematics and origin of the ICL. The ICL traces the evolution of baryonic substructures in dense environments and can thus be used to constrain some aspects of cosmological simulations that are most uncertain, such as the modeling of star formation and the mass distribution of the baryonic component in galaxies. Comment: 14 pages, 4 figures, to appear on "Highlights of Astronomy, Vol. 15, XXVIIth IAU general Assembly, August 2009, Ian F. Corbett, ed."
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 01/2010; 5(H15). DOI:10.1017/S174392131000846X

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