Dynamical Evolution of Compact Groups

Joshua E. Barnes

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai`i,
2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawai`i 96822

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.

Joshua E. Barnes (barnes@zeno.ifa.hawaii.edu)

Last modified: December 12, 1996