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What determines the morphological fractions in clusters of galaxies?
Whitmore, Bradley C.; Gilmore, Diane M.; Jones, Christine
AA(Space Telescope Science Inst., Baltimore, MD), AB(Space Telescope Science Inst., Baltimore, MD), AC(Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 407, no. 2, p. 489-509. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Elliptical Galaxies, Galactic Clusters, Spiral Galaxies, Astronomical Models, Galactic Evolution, Galactic Structure, X Ray Astronomy
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A reexamined of a sample of about 6000 galaxies in 55 clusters was performed and it is shown that the morphology-clustercentric radius relation is more fundamental than the morphology-local density relation. This conclusion is supported by improved correlations when the clustercentric radius is used as the independent parameter. A simple model for the origin of morphological fractions in galactic clusters was developed based on the possibility that some property of the cluster center plays a key role in determining the morphological fractions in clusters and that a destructive mechanism is controlling the morphological fractions. The model is consistent with the tidal radii that would be imposed by the mean tidal field of the clusters. The model also explains a wide range of observations and suggests that about half of the intracluster gas resulted from failed galaxies.

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