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Under pressure: quenching star formation in low-mass satellite galaxies via stripping

Fillingham, Sean P. and Cooper, Michael C. and Pace, Andrew B. and Boylan-Kolchin, Michael and Bullock, James S. and Garrison-Kimmel, Shea and Wheeler, Coral (2016) Under pressure: quenching star formation in low-mass satellite galaxies via stripping. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 463 (2). pp. 1916-1928. ISSN 0035-8711.

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Recent studies of galaxies in the local Universe, including those in the Local Group, find that the efficiency of environmental (or satellite) quenching increases dramatically at satellite stellar masses below ∼10^8 M⊙. This suggest a physical scale where quenching transitions from a slow ‘starvation’ mode to a rapid ‘stripping’ mode at low masses. We investigate the plausibility of this scenario using observed H I surface density profiles for a sample of 66 nearby galaxies as inputs to analytic calculations of ram-pressure and turbulent viscous stripping. Across a broad range of host properties, we find that stripping becomes increasingly effective at M* ≲ 10^(8 – 9) M⊙, reproducing the critical mass scale observed. However, for canonical values of the circumgalactic medium density (n_(halo) < 10^(-3.5) cm^(-3)), we find that stripping is not fully effective; infalling satellites are, on average, stripped of only ≲ 40–60 per cent of their cold gas reservoir, which is insufficient to match observations. By including a host halo gas distribution that is clumpy and therefore contains regions of higher density, we are able to reproduce the observed H I gas fractions (and thus the high quenched fraction and short quenching time-scale) of Local Group satellites, suggesting that a host halo with clumpy gas may be crucial for quenching low-mass systems in Local Group-like (and more massive) host haloes.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Fillingham, Sean P.0000-0002-8425-0351
Cooper, Michael C.0000-0003-1371-6019
Pace, Andrew B.0000-0002-6021-8760
Boylan-Kolchin, Michael0000-0002-9604-343X
Bullock, James S.0000-0003-4298-5082
Garrison-Kimmel, Shea0000-0002-4655-8128
Additional Information:© 2016 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2016 August 22. Received 2016 August 18. In original form 2016 June 21. First published online August 24, 2016. We thank Stephanie Tonnesen, Adam Leroy, Fabian Walter, Manoj Kaplinghat, David Buote, and David R. Jones for helpful discussions regarding this work. We also thank Deidre Hunter and John Cannon for providing H i data critical to the analysis. Additionally, we thank the referee for providing helpful comments which have improved the clarity of this work. This work was supported in part by NSF grants AST-1518257, AST-1517226, AST-1009973, and AST-1009999. Support for ABP was provided by a GAANN fellowship. Support for SGK was provided by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship grant number PF5-160136 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under contract NAS8-03060. Support this work was provided by NASA through grants (AR-12836, AR-13896 and AR-13888) from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. MCC thanks the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) for support of this work. This research made use of astropy, a community-developed core python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration et al. 2013). Additionally, the python packages numpy (Walt, Colbert & Varoquaux 2011), ipython (Pérez & Granger 2007), scipy (Jones et al. 2001), and matplotlib (Hunter 2007) were utilized for the majority of our data analysis and presentation. Finally, we thank Robert Van Winkle for his help in collaborating and listening.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN)UNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF5-160136
NASA Hubble FellowshipAR-12836
NASA Hubble FellowshipAR-13896
NASA Hubble FellowshipAR-13888
NASANAS 5-26555
International Space Science Institute (ISSI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: dwarf – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – galaxies: general – Local Group – galaxies: star formation
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161215-153712094
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Official Citation:Sean P. Fillingham, Michael C. Cooper, Andrew B. Pace, Michael Boylan-Kolchin, James S. Bullock, Shea Garrison-Kimmel, and Coral Wheeler Under pressure: quenching star formation in low-mass satellite galaxies via stripping MNRAS (December 01, 2016) Vol. 463 1916-1928 doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2131 first published online August 24, 2016
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72860
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Dec 2016 23:52
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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