E. Pompei (European Southern Observatory, Santiago,
M. Dahlem (CSIRO/ATNF, Narrabri, Australia)
A. Iovino (INAF-Osservatorio astronomico di Brera,
Compact groups of galaxies are considered first-class
laboratories for studies of the influence of galaxy
interactions on their evolution due to the relatively
high density of their member galaxies galaxies and
their short crossing times. In addition to this,
galaxies in compact groups and loose groups represent
about 50%-70% of the galaxy population in the local
Universe and are thought to be the link between field
and cluster galaxies, playing an important role in the
formation and evolution of large scale structures.
Southern Compact Groups of galaxies were defined by
Prandoni et al. (1994) [see also
Iovino et al. (1999) and
using new, automated selection criteria that avoid the
usual biases introduced by earlier selection criteria
of candidate groups.
In broad terms the survey of Southern Compact Groups (SCGs)
of galaxies conducted by us aims at a systematic study of
the effects of galaxy interactions on their evolution and
of the difference between galaxies in such dense environments
compared to field galaxies.
The observational techniques
employed in this study are as follows:
From these the following results
These can be compared with the properties of field galaxies
to determine the differences between isolated galaxies and
galaxies in dense environments, which provides us with a
measure of the influence of galaxy interactions on their
(chemical and dynamical) evolution.
Here a list of relevant publications.
A poster presented by us at a recent summer school can be used
as an example of early results.
These pages will be updated and complemented as new
information becomes available.