Globular cluster systems and the origin of early-type dwarfs in Virgo

Date and time
10 Jan 2011 - 23:00 Europe/London


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Early-type dwarfs (dEs) are by far the most abundant galaxy population in nearby clusters. Whether these objects are primordial, or recent end-products of the different physical mechanisms that can transform galaxies once they enter these high-density environments, is still a matter of debate. Here we present a novel approach to test the latter scenario by comparing the properties of the globular cluster systems of dEs and their potential progenitors with simple predictions from gravitational and hydrodynamical interactions. Current data in the literature do not favour violent mechanisms, but gentle processes with long timescales or that took place at the early stages of their formation.