An invited review presented at the Second Stromlo Symposium,
The Nature of Elliptical Galaxies,
Canberra, Australia, August 26-30, 1996.
Compact groups of galaxies are a source of continuing controversy; they have been variously interpreted as unbound configurations, as bound, evolving systems, as chance alignments in loose groups, as filaments seen end-on, and even as evidence for non-cosmological redshifts. However, a fairly compelling case can be made that at least some compact groups are bound, dynamically evolved systems. Mergers in such groups will create a population of remnants resembling elliptical galaxies.
A compressed postscript copy of this paper is available. The text will be published in The Nature of Elliptical Galaxies, eds. M. Arnaboldi, G.S. Da Costa, & P. Saha.
Last modified: December 12, 1996