• Received : 2015.12.01
  • Accepted : 2015.12.13
  • Published : 2015.12.31


Dynamical analysis of compact groups provides important tests of models of compact group formation and evolution. By compiling 2066 redshifts from FLWO/FAST, from the literature, and from SDSS DR12 in the fields of compact groups in , we construct the largest sample of compact groups with complete spectroscopic redshifts in the redshift range 0.01 < z < 0.22. This large redshift sample shows that the interloper fraction in the compact group candidates is ~ 42%. A secure sample of 332 compact groups includes 192 groups with four or more member galaxies and 140 groups with three members. The fraction of early-type galaxies in these compact groups is 62%, higher than for the original Hickson compact groups. The velocity dispersions of early-and late-type galaxies in compact groups change little with groupcentric radius; the radii sampled are less than 100 h−1 kpc, smaller than the radii typically sampled by members of massive clusters of galaxies. The physical properties of our sample compact groups include size, number density, velocity dispersion, and local environment; these properties slightly differ from those derived for the original Hickson compact groups and for the DPOSS II compact groups. Differences result from subtle differences in the way the group candidates were originally selected. The abundance of the compact groups changes little with redshift over the range covered by this sample. The approximate constancy of the abundance for this sample is a potential constraint on the evolution of compact groups on a few Gigayear timescale.


galaxies;evolution — galaxies;groups;general — galaxies;interactions — galaxies


  1. Abazajian, K. N., Adelman-McCarthy, J. K., Agüeros, M. A., et al. 2009, The Seventh Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, ApJS, 182, 543
  2. Adelman-McCarthy, J. K., Agüeros, M. A., Allam, S. S., et al. 2008, The Sixth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, ApJS, 175, 297
  3. Alam, S., Albareti, F. D., Allende Prieto, C., et al. 2015, The Eleventh and Twelfth Data Releases of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Final Data from SDSS-III, ApJS, 219, 12
  4. Andernach, H., & Coziol, R. 2005, The Relation of Compact Groups of Galaxies with Larger-Scale Structures, ASPC, 329, 67
  5. Athanassoula, E., Makino, J., Bosma, A. 1997, Evolution of Compact Groups of Galaxies - I. Merging Rates, MNRAS, 286, 825
  6. Barnes, J. 1985, The Dynamical State of Groups of Galaxies, MNRAS, 215, 517
  7. Barnes, J. E. 1989, Evolution of Compact Groups and the Formation of Elliptical Galaxies, Nature, 338, 123
  8. Barton, E., Geller, M., Ramella, M., Marzke, R. O., & da Costa, L. N. 1996, Compact Group Selection From Redshift Surveys, AJ, 112, 871
  9. Biviano, A., & Katgert, P. 2004, The ESO Nearby Abell Cluster Survey. XIII. The Orbits of the Different Types of Galaxies in Rich Clusters, A&A, 424, 779
  10. Bitsakis, T., Charmandaris, V., da Cunha, E., et al. 2011, A mid-IR Study of Hickson Compact Groups. II. Multiwavelength Analysis of the Complete GALEX-Spitzer Sample, A&A, 533, A142
  11. Bitsakis, T., Charmandaris, V., Appleton, P. N., et al. 2014, Herschel Observations of Hickson Compact Groups of Galaxies: Unveiling the Properties of Cold Dust, A&A, 565, A25
  12. Carlberg, R. G., Yee, H. K. C., & Ellingson, E. 1997, The Average Mass and Light Profiles of Galaxy Clusters, ApJ, 478, 462
  13. Choi, Y.-Y., Park, C., & Vogeley, M. S. 2007, Internal and Collective Properties of Galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, ApJ, 658, 884
  14. Choi, Y.-Y., Han, D.-H., & Kim, S. S. 2010, Korea Institute for Advanced Study Value-Added Galaxy Catalog, JKAS, 43, 191
  15. Colless, M., & Dunn, A. M. 1996, Structure and Dynamics of the Coma Cluster, ApJ, 458, 435
  16. Coziol, R., Brinks, E., & Bravo-Alfaro, H. 2004, The Relation between Galaxy Activity and the Dynamics of Compact Groups of Galaxies, AJ, 128, 68
  17. da Costa, L. N., Geller, M. J., Pellegrini, P. S., et al. 1994, A Complete Southern Sky Redshift Survey, ApjL, 424, L1
  18. de Carvalho, R. R., Gonçalves, T. S., Iovino, A., et al. 2005, A Catalog of Distant Compact Groups Using the Digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, AJ, 130, 425
  19. Danese, L., de Zotti, G., & di Tullio, G. 1980, On Velocity Dispersions of Galaxies in Rich Clusters, A&A, 82, 322
  20. Diaferio, A., Geller, M. J., & Ramella, M. 1994, The Formation of Compact Groups of Galaxies. I: Optical Properties, AJ, 107, 868
  21. Diaferio, A., & Geller, M. J. 1996, Galaxy Pairwise Velocity Distributions on Nonlinear Scales, ApJ, 467, 19
  22. Díaz-Giménez, E., Mamon, G. A., Pacheco, M., Mendes de Oliveira, C., & Alonso, M. V. 2012, Compact Groups of Galaxies Selected by Stellar Mass: the 2MASS Compact Group Catalogue, MNRAS, 426, 296
  23. Díaz-Giménez, E., & Zandivarez, A. 2015, Where are Compact Groups in the Local Universe?, A&A, 578, A61
  24. Duplancic, F., O’Mill, A. L., Lambas, D. G., Sodré, L., & Alonso, S. 2013, Galaxy triplets in Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 - II. A connection with compact groups?, MNRAS, 433, 3547
  25. Einasto, M., Einasto, J., Müller, V., Heinämäki, P., & Tucker, D. L. 2003, Environmental Enhancement of Loose Groups around Rich Clusters of Galaxies, A&A, 401, 851
  26. Fabricant, D., Cheimets, P., Caldwell, N., & Geary, J. 1998, The FAST Spectrograph for the Tillinghast Telescope, PASP, 110, 79
  27. Fedotov, K., Gallagher, S. C., Durrell, P. R., et al. 2015, A Comprehensive HST BVI Catalogue of Star Clusters in Five Hickson Compact Groups of Galaxies, MNRAS, 449, 2937
  28. Geller, M. J., & Peebles, P. J. E. 1973, Statistical Application of the Virial Theorem to Nearby Groups of Galaxies, ApJ, 184, 329
  29. Geller, M. J., & Huchra, J. P. 1989, Mapping the Universe, Science, 246, 897
  30. Giovanelli, R., & Haynes, M. P. 1985, A 21 CM Survey of the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster. I - The Declination Zone +27.5 to +33.5 Degrees, AJ, 90, 2445
  31. Governato, F., Bhatia, R., & Chincarini, G. 1991, A Long-Lasting Compact Group, ApJ, 371, L15
  32. Hickson, P. 1982, Systematic Properties of Compact Groups of Galaxies, ApJ, 255, 382
  33. Hickson, P., Kindl, E., & Huchra, J. P. 1988, Morphology of Galaxies in Compact Groups, ApJ, 331, 64
  34. Hickson, P., Mendes de Oliveira, C., Huchra, J. P., & Palumbo, G. G. 1992, Dynamical Properties of Compact Groups of Galaxies, ApJ, 399, 353
  35. Hickson, P. 1997, Compact Groups of Galaxies, ARAA, 35, 357
  36. Hwang, H. S., & Lee, M. G. 2008, Galaxy Orbits for Galaxy Clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Two Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey, ApJ, 676, 218
  37. Hwang, H. S., Elbaz, D., Lee, J. C., et al. 2010, Environmental Dependence of Local Luminous Infrared Galaxies, A&A, 522, A33
  38. Hwang, H. S., Park, C., Elbaz, D., & Choi, Y.-Y. 2012, Activity in Galactic Nuclei of Cluster and Field Galaxies in the Local Universe, A&A, 538, A15
  39. Iovino, A., de Carvalho, R. R., Gal, R. R., et al. 2003, A New Sample of Distant Compact Groups from the Digitized Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, AJ, 125, 1660
  40. Kroupa, P. 2015, Galaxies as Simple Dynamical Systems: observational Data Disfavor Dark Matter and Stochastic Star Formation, Canadian Journal of Physics, 93, 169
  41. Kurtz, M. J., & Mink, D. J. 1998, RVSAO 2.0: Digital Redshifts and Radial Velocities, PASP, 110, 934
  42. Lee, B. C., Allam, S. S., Tucker, D. L., et al. 2004, A Catalog of Compact Groups of Galaxies in the SDSS Commissioning Data, AJ, 127, 1811
  43. Lee, G.-H., Hwang, H. S., Lee, M. G., et al. 2015, Galaxy Evolution in the Mid-infrared Green Valley: A Case of the A2199 Supercluster, ApJ, 800, 80
  44. López-Cruz, O., Añorve, C., Birkinshaw, M., et al. 2014, The Brightest Cluster Galaxy in A85: The Largest Core Known So Far, ApJL, 795, L31
  45. Mahdavi, A., Geller, M. J., Böhringer, H., Kurtz, M. J., & Ramella, M. 1999, The Dynamics of Poor Systems of Galaxies, ApJ, 518, 69
  46. Mamon, G. A. 1987, The Dynamics of Small Groups of Galaxies. I - Virialized Groups, ApJ, 321, 622
  47. McConnachie, A. W., Patton, D. R., Ellison, S. L., & Simard, L. 2009, Compact Groups in Theory and Practice - III. Compact Groups of Galaxies in the Sixth Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, MNRAS, 395, 255
  48. Mendel, J. T., Ellison, S. L., Simard, L., Patton, D. R., & McConnachie, A. W. 2011, Compact Groups in Theory and Practice - IV. The Connection to Large-Scale Structure, MNRAS, 418, 1409
  49. Mendes de Oliveira, C., & Hickson, P. 1991, The Luminosity Function of Compact Groups of Galaxies, ApJ, 380, 30
  50. Mendes de Oliveira, C., & Hickson, P. 1994, Morphology of Galaxies in Compact Groups, ApJ, 427, 684
  51. Muratov, A. L., & Gnedin, O. Y. 2010, Modeling the Metallicity Distribution of Globular Clusters, ApJ, 718, 1266
  52. Newman, A. B., Treu, T., Ellis, R. S., & Sand, D. J. 2013, The Density Profiles of Massive, Relaxed Galaxy Clusters. II. Separating Luminous and Dark Matter in Cluster Cores, ApJ, 765, 25
  53. Park, C., & Choi, Y.-Y. 2005, Morphology Segregation of Galaxies in Color-Color Gradient Space, ApJ, 635, L29
  54. Park, C., & Hwang, H. S. 2009, Interactions of Galaxies in the Galaxy Cluster Environment, ApJ, 699, 1595
  55. Peebles, P. J. E. 1976, A Cosmic Virial Theorem, Ap& SS, 45, 3
  56. Pompei, E., & Iovino, A. 2012, The DPOSS II Distant Compact Group Survey: the EMMI-NTT Spectroscopic Sample, A&A, 539, A106
  57. Prandoni, I., Iovino, A., & MacGillivray, H. T. 1994, Automated Search for Compact Groups of Galaxies in the Southern Sky, AJ, 107, 1235
  58. Ramella, M., Diaferio, A., Geller, M. J., & Huchra, J. P. 1994, The Birthplace of Compact Groups of Galaxies, AJ, 107, 1623
  59. Ribeiro, A. L. B., de Carvalho, R. R., Capelato, H. V., & Zepf, S. E. 1998, Structural and Dynamical Analysis of the Hickson Compact Groups, ApJ, 497, 72
  60. Rines, K., & Diaferio, A. 2006, CIRS: Cluster Infall Regions in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. I. Infall Patterns and Mass Profiles, AJ, 132, 1275
  61. Rines, K., Geller, M. J., Diaferio, A., & Kurtz, M. J. 2013, Measuring the Ultimate Halo Mass of Galaxy Clusters: Redshifts and Mass Profiles from the Hectospec Cluster Survey (HeCS), ApJ, 767, 15
  62. Rose, J. A. 1977, A Survey of Compact Groups of Galaxies, ApJ, 211, 311
  63. Rood, H. J., & Struble, M. F. 1994, Spatial Coincidence between a Number of Hickson Compact Groups and Loose Groups or Clusters, PASP, 106, 413
  64. Sohn, J., Hwang, H. S., Lee, M. G., Lee, G.-H., & Lee, J. C. 2013, Activity in Galactic Nuclei of Compact Group Galaxies in the Local Universe, ApJ, 771, 106
  65. Tago, E., Saar, E., Tempel, E., et al. 2010, Groups of galaxies in the SDSS Data Release 7. Flux- and Volume-Limited Samples, A&A, 514, A102
  66. Tempel, E., Tamm, A., Gramann, M., et al. 2014, Flux- and Volume-Limited Groups/Clusters for the SDSS Galaxies: catalogues and mass estimation, A&A, 566, A1

Cited by

  2. The Fastest Galaxy Evolution in an Unbiased Compact Group Sample withWISE vol.835, pp.2, 2017,
  3. The Velocity Dispersion Function of Very Massive Galaxy Clusters: Abell 2029 and Coma vol.229, pp.2, 2017,
  4. Improving Hickson-like compact group finders in redshift surveys: an implementation in the SDSS vol.618, pp.1432-0746, 2018,
  5. The Massively Accreting Cluster A2029 vol.871, pp.1, 2019,