EDP Sciences
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Volume 418, Number 2, May I 2004
Page(s) 393 - 411
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20034158

A&A 418, 393-411 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20034158

The origin of H I-deficiency in galaxies on the outskirts of the Virgo cluster

II. Companions and uncertainties in distances and deficiencies
T. Sanchis1, G. A. Mamon2, 3, E. Salvador-Solé1, 4 and J. M. Solanes1, 4

1  Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
    e-mail: [tsanchis;eduard;jsolanes]@am.ub.es
2  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris (CNRS UMR 7095), 98 bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
    e-mail: gam@iap.fr
3  GEPI (CNRS UMR 8111), Observatoire de Paris, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
4  CER on Astrophysics, Particle Physics, and Cosmology, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

(Received 5 August 2003 / Accepted 21 January 2004 )

The origin of the deficiency in neutral hydrogen of 13 spiral galaxies lying in the outskirts of the Virgo cluster is reassessed. If these galaxies have passed through the core of the cluster, their interstellar gas should have been lost through ram pressure stripping by the hot X-ray emitting gas of the cluster. We analyze the positions of these H I-deficient and other spiral galaxies in velocity-distance plots, in which we include our compilation of velocity-distance data on 61 elliptical galaxies, and compare with simulated velocity-distance diagrams obtained from cosmological  N-body simulations. We find that ~ $20\%$ relative Tully-Fisher distance errors are consistent with the great majority of the spirals, except for a small number of objects whose positions in the velocity-distance diagram suggest grossly incorrect distances, implying that the Tully-Fisher error distribution function has non-Gaussian wings. Moreover, we find that the distance errors may lead to an incorrect fitting of the Tolman-Bondi solution that can generate significant errors in the distance and especially the mass estimates of the cluster. We suggest 4 possibilities for the outlying H I-deficient spirals (in decreasing frequency): 1) they have large relative distance errors and are in fact close enough (at distances between 12.7 and 20.9 Mpc from us) to the cluster to have passed through its core and seen their gas removed by ram pressure stripping; 2) their gas is converted to stars by tidal interactions with other galaxies; 3) their gas is heated during recent mergers with smaller galaxies; and 4) they are not truly H I-deficient (e.g. S0/a misclassified as Sa).

Key words: galaxies: clusters: individual: Virgo -- galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: ISM -- cosmology: distance scale -- methods:  N-body simulations

Offprint request: T. Sanchis, tsanchis@am.ub.es

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