The phase space and stellar populations of cluster galaxies at z ∼ 1: Simultaneous constraints on the location and timescale of satellite quenching

Adam Muzzin, R. F.J. Van Der Burg, Sean L. McGee, Michael Balogh, Marijn Franx, Henk Hoekstra, Michael J. Hudson, Allison Noble, Dan S. Taranu, Tracy Webb, Gillian Wilson, H. K.C. Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the velocity versus position phase space of z ∼ 1 cluster galaxies using a set of 424 spectroscopic redshifts in nine clusters drawn from the GCLASS survey. Dividing the galaxy population into three categories, that is, quiescent, star-forming, and poststarburst, we find that these populations have distinct distributions in phase space. Most striking are the poststarburst galaxies, which are commonly found at small clustercentric radii with high clustercentric velocities, and appear to trace a coherent "ring" in phase space. Using several zoom simulations of clusters, we show that the coherent distribution of the poststarbursts can be reasonably well reproduced using a simple quenching scenario. Specifically, the phase space is best reproduced if these galaxies are quenched with a rapid timescale (0.1 <τQ < 0.5 Gyr) after they make their first passage of R ∼ 0.5 R 200, a process that takes a total time of ∼1 Gyr after first infall. The poststarburst phase space is not well reproduced using long quenching timescales (τQ > 0.5 Gyr) or by quenching galaxies at larger radii (R ∼ R 200). We compare this quenching timescale to the timescale implied by the stellar populations of the poststarburst galaxies and find that the poststarburst spectra are well-fit by a rapid quenching (τQ = 0.4 Gyr) of a typical star-forming galaxy. The similarity between the quenching timescales derived from these independent indicators is a strong consistency check of the quenching model. Given that the model implies satellite quenching is rapid and occurs well within R 200, this would suggest that ram-pressure stripping of either the hot or cold gas component of galaxies are the most plausible candidates for the physical mechanism. The high cold gas consumption rates at z ∼ 1 make it difficult to determine whether hot or cold gas stripping is dominant; however, measurements of the redshift evolution of the satellite quenching timescale and location may be capable of distinguishing between the two.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume796
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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