case western reserve university



The Structure of Early-Type Galaxies from the ACS Virgo and Fornax Cluster Surveys: Cores, Stellar Nuclei and Supermassive Black Holes.

Laura Ferrarese (Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics)

A total of 143 early-type members of the Virgo and Fornax clusters have been observed with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope as part of the ACS Virgo and Fornax Cluster Surveys. The surveys and their extensions consist of ACS/WFC multicolor imaging, supplemented by spectroscopy and/or additional imaging from WFPC2, NICMOS, Chandra, Spitzer, Gemini, Keck, KPNO, CTIO and CFHT. In this talk I shall review findings from the surveys that are relevant to the formation and evolution of galactic spheroids across the Hubble sequence and galactic luminosity function, including the properties of globular cluster systems, central and global surface brightness profiles, and central massive objects.

In the last part of the talk I will briefly present the natural successor to the ACS Virgo Cluster Survey: the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS), a large CFHT program that will survey the Virgo cluster, from its core to virial radius, to unprecedented depths, in five filters. A description of the NGVS can be found on the project website: