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Symposium 241

Abstract details

Stellar Populations across cD Galaxies
S.I. Loubser, A.E. Sansom, P. Ocvirk, I.K. Soechting

We present preliminary longslit spectroscopy of a statistically significant sample of nearby cD galaxies recently observed with the WHT and GEMINI North and South telescopes. Unresolved stellar populations will be used to investigate the history of when stars formed in these galaxies. Spatially resolved line strengths measured from high signal-to-noise, high resolution data will be interpreted via population modelling and used to derive luminosity weighted average properties. Comparison of the cD galaxy results with previous results from other Hubble types of galaxies will highlight relative differences in their evolution. Our self-consistent galactic chemical evolution code, which utilises the Lick/IDS system of absorption line indices, will enable us to test the predictions of the ``galactic cannibalism” and ``cooling flow” formation scenarios proposed for the for the formation of cD galaxies.

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