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Gone with the Wind: The Origin of S0 Galaxies in Clusters

Science  02 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5471, pp. 1617-1620
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1617

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Abstract

We present three-dimensional, high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations of the interaction between the hot ionized intracluster medium and the cold interstellar medium of spiral galaxies. Ram pressure and turbulent/viscous stripping remove 100% of the atomic hydrogen content of luminous galaxies like the Milky Way within 100 million years. These mechanisms naturally account for the morphology of S0 galaxies and the rapid truncation of star formation implied by spectroscopic observations, as well as a host of observational data on the neutral hydrogen (HI) morphology of galaxies in clusters.

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