EDP Sciences
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Volume 397, Number 3, January III 2003
Page(s) L9 - L12
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021766

A&A 397, L9-L12 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021766


Faint dwarf spheroidals in the Fornax Cluster

A flat luminosity function
M. Hilker1, S. Mieske1, 2 and L. Infante2

1  Sternwarte der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2  Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, P. Universidad Católica, Casilla 104, Santiago 22, Chile

(Received 4 November 2002/ Accepted 1 December 2002)

We have discovered $\simeq$70 very faint dwarf galaxies in the Fornax Cluster. These dSphs candidates follow the same magnitude-surface brightness relation as their counterparts in the Local Group, and even extend it to fainter limits. The faintest dSph candidate in our sample has an absolute magnitude of $M_V\simeq-8.8$ mag and a central surface brightness of $\mu_V\simeq27$ mag/arcsec 2. There exists a tight color-magnitude relation for the early-type galaxies in Fornax that extends from the giant to the dwarf regime. The faint-end slope of the luminosity function of the early-type dwarfs is flat ( $\alpha\simeq-1.1\pm0.1$), contrary to the results obtained by Kambas et al. (2000).

Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: Fornax cluster -- galaxies: dwarf -- galaxies: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: luminosity function

Offprint request: M. Hilker, mhilker@astro.uni-bonn.de

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© ESO 2003