Dwarf spheroidal galaxies in the Virgo Cluster

S. Phillipps*, Q. A. Parker, J. M. Schwartzenberg, J. B. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


We present a study of the smallest and faintest galaxies found in a very deep photographic R-band survey of regions of the Virgo Cluster, totalling over 3 deg2, made with the UK Schmidt Telescope. The objects we detect have the same physical sizes and surface brightnesses as Local Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies. The luminosity function of these extremely low luminosity galaxies (down to MR≃-11 or about 5 × 10-5L*) is very steep, with a power-law slope α ≃ -2, as would be expected in many theories of galaxy formation via hierarchical clustering, supporting previous observational evidence at somewhat higher luminosities in other clusters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART II
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (Virgo)
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Galaxies: photometry

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