High chemical abundances in virgo spiral galaxies?

Gregory A. Shields, Evan D. Skillman, Robert C. Kennicutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We present evidence that spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster have systematically higher interstellar abundances than comparable field galaxies. This conclusion is based on spectra of H II regions in five Virgo spirals of type Sc. A possible explanation is that abundances in the field spirals are strongly affected by infall of metal-poor gas or by radial inflow of gas from the outer H I disk. These processes are inhibited in the cluster environment, and the Virgo spirals may have evolved more nearly in the manner of the closed box " simple model" of chemical evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 1991


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: clustering
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: interstellar matter
  • Nebulae: H II regions


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