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Session 123 - Galaxy Evolution: Dwarfs & Clusters.
Oral session, Saturday, January 10

[123.05] Dynamical evolution of galaxies in dense cluster environment.

O. Y. Gnedin (Princeton University Observatory)

I present the results of study of the dynamics of galaxies in clusters of galaxies. The effects of the galaxy environment could be quite dramatic. The time-varying gravitational potential of the cluster subjects the galaxies to strong tidal effects. The tidal density cutoff effectively strips the dark matter halos and leads to highly concentrated structures in the galactic centers. The fast gravitational tidal shocks raise the random motion of stars in the galaxies, transforming the thin disks into the kinematically hot thick configurations. The tidal shocks also cause relaxation of stellar energies that enhances the rate of accretion onto the galactic centers. These effects of the time-varying cluster potential have not been consistently taken into account before. I present numerical N-body simulations of galaxies using the Self-Consistent Field code with 10^7 - 10^8 particles. The code is coupled with the PM code that provides a fully dynamic simulation of the cluster potential. The tidal field of the cluster along the galaxy trajectories is imposed as an external perturbation on the galaxies in the SCF scheme. Recent HST observations show that the high-redshift (z > 0.4) clusters contain numerous bright blue spirals, often with distorted profiles, whereas the nearby clusters are mostly populated by featureless ellipticals. The goal of my study is to understand whether dynamics is responsible for the observed strong evolution of galaxies in clusters.

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Program listing for Saturday