The Local Cluster Survey. I. Evidence of Outside-in Quenching in Dense Environments

August 2018 • 2018ApJ...862..149F

Authors • Finn, Rose A. • Desai, Vandana • Rudnick, Gregory • Balogh, Michael • Haynes, Martha P. • Jablonka, Pascale • Koopmann, Rebecca A. • Moustakas, John • Peng, Chien Y. • Poggianti, Bianca • Rines, Kenneth • Zaritsky, Dennis

Abstract • The goal of the Local Cluster Survey is to look for evidence of environmentally driven quenching among star-forming galaxies in nearby galaxy groups and clusters. Quenching is linked with environment and stellar mass, and much of the current observational evidence comes from the integrated properties of galaxies. However, the relative size of the stellar and star-forming disk is sensitive to environmental processing and can help identify the mechanisms that lead to a large fraction of quenched galaxies in dense environments. Toward this end, we measure the size of the star-forming disks for 224 galaxies in nine groups and clusters (0.02 < z < 0.04; SFR > 0.1 M yr-1) using 24 μm imaging from the Spitzer Space Telescope. We normalize the 24 μm effective radius (R 24) by the size of the stellar disk (R d ). We find that star-forming galaxies with higher bulge-to-total ratios (B/T) and galaxies in more dense environments have more centrally concentrated star formation. Comparison with H I mass fractions and NUV - r colors indicates that a galaxy’s transition from gas-rich and blue to depleted and red is accompanied by an increase in the central concentration of star formation. We build a simple model to constrain the timescale over which the star-forming disks shrink in the cluster environment. Our results are consistent with a long-timescale (>2 Gyr) mechanism that produces outside-in quenching, such as the removal of the extended gas halo or weak stripping of the cold disk gas.


IPAC Authors

Vandana Desai

Senior Scientist