Thesis (MPhil (Physics))--Macquarie University, Dept. of Physics, 2008.
Bibliography: p. -264.
1. Introduction -- 2. Low surface brightness (LSB) galaxies -- 3. Galaxies and the Virgo Cluster -- 4. Virgo Cluster membership and the luminosity function -- 5. Project data and analysis -- 6. Data quality and comparative results -- 7. Malin 1 -- 8. The Virgo Dep Stack catalogue -- 9. Discussion, conclusions and future work.
Originally planned as a PhD project, but curtailed to a Master of Philosophy due to time constraints and numerous other commitments, the principal objective of this project was to undertake a survey of low surface brightness (LSB) galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. This thesis presents background material and the results of that survey. As considerable research has already been conducted on galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, the early chapters cover: LSB galaxies; current knowledge of the Virgo Cluster; and the luminosity function that describes a galaxy population. -- The base data for this project is a unique resource - the Virgo Deep Stack - made from 63 digitally-scanned photographic films centred on the core of the Virgo Cluster. Subsequent chapters describe the data and analysis techniques and compare these new data with previously published work. -- On the specific question of the characteristics of the faint end of the luminosity function in the Virgo Cluster, where the low surface brightness dwarf galaxies predominate, most survey results disagree. This project addresses the reasons for the disagreement and explores the quality of the published data sets by comparison with data from the Virgo Deep Stack. Finally, the catalogue of newly-identified galaxies is presented and discussed. The new galaxies and their properties will contribute to the body of scientific knowledge about the cluster and its low surface brightness population.