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Determining the Halo Mass Scale Where Galaxies Lose Their Gas

Rudnick, Gregory and Jablonka, Pascale and Moustakas, John and Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso and Zaritsky, Dennis and Jaffé, Yara L. and De Lucia, Gabriella and Desai, Vandana and Halliday, Claire and Just, Dennis and Milvang-Jensen, Bo and Poggianti, Bianca (2017) Determining the Halo Mass Scale Where Galaxies Lose Their Gas. Astrophysical Journal, 850 (2). Art. No. 181. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aa866c.

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A major question in galaxy formation is how the gas supply that fuels activity in galaxies is modulated by their environment. We use spectroscopy of a set of well-characterized clusters and groups at 0.4 < z < 0.8 from the ESO Distant Cluster Survey and compare it to identically selected field galaxies. Our spectroscopy allows us to isolate galaxies that are dominated by old stellar populations. Here we study a stellar-mass-limited sample (log(M*/M⊙) > 10.4) of these old galaxies with weak [O II] emission. We use line ratios and compare to studies of local early-type galaxies to conclude that this gas is likely excited by post-AGB stars and hence represents a diffuse gas component in the galaxies. For cluster and group galaxies the fraction with EW([O II]) > 5 Å is f [O II] = 0.08^(+0.03)_(-0.02) and f [O II] = 0.06^(+0.07)_(-0.04), respectively. For field galaxies we find f [O II] = 0.27^(+0.07)_(-0.06), representing a 2.8σ difference between the [O II] fractions for old galaxies between the different environments. We conclude that a population of old galaxies in all environments has ionized gas that likely stems from stellar mass loss. In the field galaxies also experience gas accretion from the cosmic web, and in groups and clusters these galaxies have had their gas accretion shut off by their environment. Additionally, galaxies with emission preferentially avoid the virialized region of the cluster in position–velocity space. We discuss the implications of our results, among which is that gas accretion shutoff is likely effective at group halo masses (log M/M⊙ > 12.8) and that there are likely multiple gas removal processes happening in dense environments.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Rudnick, Gregory0000-0001-5851-1856
Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso0000-0001-8215-1256
Zaritsky, Dennis0000-0002-5177-727X
Jaffé, Yara L.0000-0003-2150-1130
Desai, Vandana0000-0002-1340-0543
Just, Dennis0000-0001-8580-630X
Milvang-Jensen, Bo0000-0002-2281-2785
Poggianti, Bianca0000-0001-8751-8360
Additional Information:© 2017 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 June 24; revised 2017 August 4; accepted 2017 August 4; published 2017 November 30. Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory using the ESO Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal through ESO program 166.A-0162. G.R. acknowledges funding support from HST program HST-GO-12590.011-A, HST-AR-12152.01-A, HST-AR-14310.001; NSF AST grants 1211358 and 1517815; and the NSF under award no. EPS-0903806, with matching support from the state of Kansas through Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation. G.R. would also like to acknowledge the support of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship for experienced researchers and the excellent hospitality of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hamburg Observatory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the International Space Sciences Institute, and the European Southern Observatory, where some of this research was conducted. G.R. would like to thank Tracy Webb and Alison Noble for useful discussions regarding the use of phase-space diagrams to disentangle the accretion histories of galaxies; Glenn van der Wenn, Marc Sarzi, and Bernd Husemann for helping to compare our results to those from local studies of early types; and Jason Spyromilio for discussions about the physical meaning of equivalent width measurements. Y.L.J. acknowledges support by FONDECYT grant no. 3130476. Y.L.J. also acknowledges support from the Marie Curie Actions of the European Commission (FP7-COFUND). B.M.-J. acknowledges support from the ERC-StG grant EGGS-278202. The Dark Cosmology Centre is funded by the DNRF.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-GO-12590.011-A
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-AR-12152.01-A
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-AR-14310.001
Kansas Technology Enterprise CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Alexander von Humboldt FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico (FONDECYT)3130476
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)EGGS-278202
Danish National Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution – galaxies: groups: general – galaxies: ISM
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171130-104836285
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Gregory Rudnick et al 2017 ApJ 850 181
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83598
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Nov 2017 19:05
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:12

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