Spatial and Kinematic Distributions of Transition Populations in Intermediate Redshift Galaxy Clusters

Type Journal Article
Names Steven M. Crawford, Gregory D. Wirth, Matthew A. Bershady
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 786
Issue 1
Pages 30
Journal Abbreviation The Astrophysical Journal
Date May 1, 2014
DOI 10.1088/0004-637X/786/1/30
ISSN 0004-637X
Library Catalog
Abstract We analyze the spatial and velocity distributions of confirmed members in five massive clusters of galaxies at intermediate redshift (0.5 < z < 0.9) to investigate the physical processes driving galaxy evolution. Based on spectral classifications derived from broad- and narrow-band photometry, we define four distinct galaxy populations representing different evolutionary stages: red sequence (RS) galaxies, blue cloud (BC) galaxies, green valley (GV) galaxies, and luminous compact blue galaxies (LCBGs). For each galaxy class, we derive the projected spatial and velocity distribution and characterize the degree of subclustering. We find that RS, BC, and GV galaxies in these clusters have similar velocity distributions, but that BC and GV galaxies tend to avoid the core of the two z ≈ 0.55 clusters. GV galaxies exhibit subclustering properties similar to RS galaxies, but their radial velocity distribution is significantly platykurtic compared to the RS galaxies. The absence of GV galaxies in the cluster cores may explain their somewhat prolonged star-formation history. The LCBGs appear to have recently fallen into the cluster based on their larger velocity dispersion, absence from the cores of the clusters, and different radial velocity distribution than the RS galaxies. Both LCBG and BC galaxies show a high degree of subclustering on the smallest scales, leading us to conclude that star formation is likely triggered by galaxy-galaxy interactions during infall into the cluster. Based in part on data obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.
Tags GALAXIES: CLUSTERS: GENERAL, Galaxies: Photometry, galaxies: distances and redshifts
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