Young, Blue, and Isolated Stellar Systems in the Virgo Cluster. I. 2D Optical Spectroscopy

Michele Bellazzini, Laura Magrini, Michael G. Jones, David J. Sand, Giacomo Beccari, Giovanni Cresci, Kristine Spekkens, Ananthan Karunakaran, Elizabeth A.K. Adams, Dennis Zaritsky, Giuseppina Battaglia, Anil Seth, John M. Cannon, Jackson Fuson, John L. Inoue, Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, Puragra Guhathakurta, Ricardo R. Muñoz, Paul Bennet, Denija CrnojevićNelson Caldwell, Jay Strader, Elisa Toloba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use panoramic optical spectroscopy obtained with the Very Large Telescope/MUSE to investigate the nature of five candidate extremely isolated low-mass star-forming regions (Blue Candidates; hereafter, BCs) toward the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Four of the five (BC1, BC3, BC4, and BC5) are found to host several H ii regions and to have radial velocities fully compatible with being part of the Virgo cluster. All the confirmed candidates have mean metallicity significantly in excess of that expected from their stellar mass, indicating that they originated from gas stripped from larger galaxies. In summary, these four candidates share the properties of the prototype system SECCO 1, suggesting the possible emergence of a new class of stellar systems, intimately linked to the complex duty cycle of gas within clusters of galaxies. A thorough discussion of the nature and evolution of these objects is presented in a companion paper, where the results obtained here from the MUSE data are complemented with Hubble Space Telescope (optical) and Very Large Array (Hi) observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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