The galaxy population of the complex cluster system Abell 3921⋆
Institute for Astro- and Particle Physics, University of
2 Laboratoire Lagrange, UMR 7293, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, 06300 Nice, France
3 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Torino, via P. Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
4 Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Sezione di Torino, via P. Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy
5 School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
6 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Received: 21 May 2013
Accepted: 16 July 2013
Context. We present a spectrophotometric analysis of the galaxy population in the area of the merging cluster Abell 3921 at z = 0.093.
Aims. We investigate the impact of the complex cluster environment on galaxy properties such as morphology or star formation rate.
Methods. We combine multi-object spectroscopy from the two-degree field (2dF) spectrograph with optical imaging taken with the ESO Wide Field Imager. We carried out a redshift analysis and determine cluster velocity dispersions using biweight statistics. Applying a Dressler-Shectman test we sought evidence of cluster substructure. Cluster and field galaxies were investigated with respect to [OII] and Hα equivalent width, star formation rate, and morphological descriptors, such as concentration index and Gini coefficient. We studied these cluster galaxy properties as a function of clustercentric distance and investigated the spatial distribution of various galaxy types.
Results. Applying the Dressler-Shectman test, we find a third component (A3921-C) in addition to the two main subclusters (A3921-A and A3921-B) that are already known. The re-determined mass ratio between the main components A and B is ~2:1. Similar to previous studies of galaxy clusters, we find that a large fraction of the disk galaxies close to the cluster core show no detectable star formation. These are likely systems that are quenched due to ram pressure stripping. Interestingly, we also find quenched spirals at rather large distances of 3−4 Mpc from the cluster core.
Conclusions. A3921-C might be a group of galaxies falling onto the main cluster components. We speculate that the unexpected population of quenched spirals at large clustercentric radii in A3921-A and A3921-B might be an effect of the ongoing cluster merger: shocks in the ICM might give rise to enhanced ram pressure stripping and at least in part be the cause for the quenching of star formation. These quenched spirals might be an intermediate stage in the morphological transformation of field spirals into cluster S0s.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: Abell 3921 / galaxies: distances and redshifts / galaxies: evolution / cosmology: observations
Table 5 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/557/A62
© ESO, 2013