The fornax spectroscopic survey: The number of unresolved compact galaxies

MJ Drinkwater*, S Phillipps, MD Gregg, QA Parker, RM Smith, JI Davies, JB Jones, EM Sadler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a sample of 13 bright (18.5 <B-J <20.1), compact galaxies at low redshift (0.05 <z <0.21) behind the Fornax Cluster. These galaxies are unresolved on UK Schmidt sky survey plates, and so they would be missing from most galaxy catalogs compiled from this material. The objects were found during initial observations of The Fornax Spectroscopic Survey. This project is using the Two-degree Field spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope to obtain spectra for a complete sample of all 14,000 objects, stellar and nonstellar, with 16.5 <B-J <19.7, in a 12 deg(2) area centered on the Fornax Cluster of galaxies. The surface density of compact galaxies with magnitudes 16.5 <B-J <19.7 is 7 +/- 3 deg(-2), representing 2.8% +/- 1.6% of all local (z <0.2) galaxies to this limit. There are 12 +/- 3 deg(-2) with 16.5 <B-J <20.2. They are luminous (-21.5 <M-B <-18.0, for H-o = 50 km s(-1) Mpc(-1)), and most have strong emission lines (H alpha equivalent widths of 40-200 Angstrom) and small sizes typical of luminous H II galaxies and compact narrow emission line galaxies. Four out of 13 have red colors and early-type spectra, and so they are unlikely to have been detected in any previous surveys.

Translated title of the contributionThe Fornax Spectroscopic Survey: The Number of Unresolved Compact Galaxies
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97 - 100
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1999

Bibliographical note

Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Other: Note - pages numbers prefixed by "L"


  • galaxies : compact
  • galaxies : general
  • galaxies : starburst
  • QSOS


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