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Virgo Filaments. I. Processing of gas in cosmological filaments around the Virgo cluster

Castignani, G. and Combes, F. and Jablonka, P. and Finn, R. A. and Rudnick, G. and Vulcani, B. and Desai, V. and Zaritsky, D. and Salomé, P. (2022) Virgo Filaments. I. Processing of gas in cosmological filaments around the Virgo cluster. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 657 . Art. No. A9. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202040141.

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It is now well established that galaxies have different morphologies, gas contents, and star formation rates (SFR) in dense environments like galaxy clusters. The impact of environmental density extends to several virial radii, and galaxies appear to be pre-processed in filaments and groups before falling into the cluster. Our goal is to quantify this pre-processing in terms of gas content and SFR, as a function of density in cosmic filaments. We have observed the two first CO transitions in 163 galaxies with the IRAM-30 m telescope, and added 82 more measurements from the literature, thus forming a sample of 245 galaxies in the filaments around the Virgo cluster. We gathered HI-21cm measurements from the literature and observed 69 galaxies with the Nançay telescope to complete our sample. We compare our filament galaxies with comparable samples from the Virgo cluster and with the isolated galaxies of the AMIGA sample. We find a clear progression from field galaxies to filament and cluster galaxies for decreasing SFR, increasing fraction of galaxies in the quenching phase, an increasing proportion of early-type galaxies, and decreasing gas content. Galaxies in the quenching phase, defined as having a SFR below one-third of that of the main sequence (MS), are only between 0% and 20% in the isolated sample, according to local galaxy density, while they are 20%–60% in the filaments and 30%–80% in the Virgo cluster. Processes that lead to star formation quenching are already at play in filaments; they depend mostly on the local galaxy density, while the distance to the filament spine is a secondary parameter. While the HI-to-stellar-mass ratio decreases with local density by an order of magnitude in the filaments, and two orders of magnitude in the Virgo cluster with respect to the field, the decrease is much less for the H₂-to-stellar-mass ratio. As the environmental density increases, the gas depletion time decreases, because the gas content decreases faster than the SFR. This suggests that gas depletion precedes star formation quenching.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Castignani, G.0000-0001-6831-0687
Combes, F.0000-0003-2658-7893
Finn, R. A.0000-0001-8518-4862
Rudnick, G.0000-0001-5851-1856
Vulcani, B.0000-0003-0980-1499
Desai, V.0000-0002-1340-0543
Zaritsky, D.0000-0002-5177-727X
Alternate Title:Processing of gas in cosmological filaments around Virgo cluster
Additional Information:© ESO 2021. Received: 16 December 2020 Accepted: 20 September 2021. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments which contributed to improve the paper significantly. This work is based on observations carried out with the Nançay decimetric radio telescope and the IRAM 30 m telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain). The Nançay radio Observatory is operated by the Paris Observatory, associated with the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and with the University of Orléans. GC acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and fruitful discussion with Amelie Saintonge concerning the CO aperture correction. The authors acknowledge Mindy Townsend, Dara Norman, and Kim Conger for helpful discussion. GHR acknowledges funding support from NSF AST-1716690. BV acknowledges financial contribution from the grant PRIN MIUR 2017 n.20173ML3WW_001 (PI Cimatti) and from the INAF main-stream funding program (PI Vulcani). RAF gratefully acknowledges support from NSF grants AST-0847430 and AST-1716657. The authors thank the hospitality of International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern (Switzerland) and of the Lorentz Center in Leiden (Netherlands). Regular group meetings in these institutes allowed the authors to make substantial progress on the project and finalize the present work. We acknowledge the usage of the NASA Sloan Atlas, HyperLeda, NASA/IPAC Extragalactic, and DustPedia databases.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)UNSPECIFIED
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Universita e della Ricerca (MIUR)20173ML3WW_001
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: star formation / molecular data / ISM: general
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211221-473333000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Virgo filaments - I. Processing of gas in cosmological filaments around the Virgo cluster G. Castignani, F. Combes, P. Jablonka, R. A. Finn, G. Rudnick, B. Vulcani, V. Desai, D. Zaritsky and P. Salomé A&A, 657 (2022) A9 DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112610
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:21 Dec 2021 21:55
Last Modified:31 Jan 2022 15:02

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