Galaxy properties from voids to clusters in the SDSS-DR4
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Universitá di Catania, via S.Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
3 INAF – , via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
4 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania, via S.Sofia 78, 95123 Catania, Italy
Accepted: 4 August 2006
Aims.We investigate the environmental dependence of galaxy population properties in a complete volume-limited sample of 91566 galaxies in the redshift range and with (that is ), selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 4 (DR4). Our aim is to search for systematic variations in the properties of galaxies with the local galaxy density. In particular, we analyze how the () color index and the morphological type of galaxies (the latter evaluated through the SDSS Eclass and FracDev parameters) are related to the environment and to the luminosity of galaxies, in order to find hints that can be related to the presence of a “void” galaxy population.
Methods.“Void” galaxies are identified through a highly selective criterion, which also takes redshift into account and allows us to exclude from the sample all the galaxies that are not really close to the center of underdense regions. We study the () color distribution for galaxies in different luminosity bins, and we look for correlations of color with the environment, the luminosity, and the morphological type of the galaxies.
Results.We find that galaxies in underdense regions (voids) have lower luminosity () and are bluer than cluster galaxies. The transition from overdense to underdense environments is smooth, the fraction of late-type galaxies decreases, while the fraction of early-type galaxies increases smoothly from underdense to dense environments.
Conclusions.We do not find any sudden transition in the galaxy properties with density, which, according to a suggestion by Peebles (2001), should mark the transition to a population of “void” galaxies in ΛCDM models. On the contrary, our results suggest a continuity of galaxy properties, from voids to clusters.
Key words: cosmology: large-scale structure of Universe / galaxies: fundamental parameters
© ESO, 2006