The Phase Space of z∼1.2 SpARCS Clusters: Using Herschel to Probe Dust Temperature as a Function of Environment and Accretion History

January 2016 • 2016ApJ...816...48N

Authors • Noble, A. G. • Webb, T. M. A. • Yee, H. K. C. • Muzzin, A. • Wilson, G. • van der Burg, R. F. J. • Balogh, M. L. • Shupe, D. L.

Abstract • We present a five-band Herschel study (100-500 μm) of three galaxy clusters at z∼ 1.2 from the Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey. With a sample of 120 spectroscopically confirmed cluster members, we investigate the role of environment on galaxy properties utilizing the projected cluster phase space (line-of-sight velocity versus clustercentric radius), which probes the time-averaged galaxy density to which a galaxy has been exposed. We divide cluster galaxies into phase-space bins of (r/{r}200)× ({{Δ }}v/{σ }v), tracing a sequence of accretion histories in phase space. Stacking optically star-forming cluster members on the Herschel maps, we measure average infrared star formation rates, and, for the first time in high-redshift galaxy clusters, dust temperatures for dynamically distinct galaxy populations—namely, recent infalls and those that were accreted onto the cluster at an earlier epoch. Proceeding from the infalling to virialized (central) regions of phase space, we find a steady decrease in the specific star formation rate and increase in the stellar age of star-forming cluster galaxies. We perform a probability analysis to investigate all acceptable infrared spectral energy distributions within the full parameter space and measure a ∼ 4σ drop in the average dust temperature of cluster galaxies in an intermediate phase-space bin, compared to an otherwise flat trend with phase space. We suggest one plausible quenching mechanism which may be consistent with these trends, invoking ram-pressure stripping of the warmer dust for galaxies within this intermediate accretion phase.

Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.


IPAC Authors

Dave Shupe

Senior Scientist