Volume 499, Number 1, May III 2009
|Page(s)||47 - 68|
|Published online||25 March 2009|
Evolution of red-sequence cluster galaxies from redshift 0.8 to 0.4: ages, metallicities, and morphologies *,**
Center for Astrophysics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Observatoire de Sauverny 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 Université de Genève, Observatoire de Sauverny 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
4 GEPI, CNRS-UMR8111, Observatoire de Paris, section de Meudon, 5 Place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
5 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
6 Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille-Provence, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
7 Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
8 Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University, 4 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA
9 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
10 The Royal Library/Copenhagen University Library, Research Dept., Box 2149, 1016 Copenhagen K, Denmark
11 INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
12 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
13 Science Center, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125, USA
14 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
15 Ohio University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clippinger Labs 251B, Athens, OH 45701, USA
16 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse-Tarbes, CNRS, Université de Toulouse, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
17 NOAO, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
18 Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, Canada BC V9E 2E7, Canada
19 Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Accepted: 14 February 2009
We present a comprehensive analysis of the stellar population properties and morphologies of red-sequence galaxies in 24 clusters and groups from to . The dataset, consisting of 215 spectra drawn from the ESO Distant Cluster Survey, constitutes the largest spectroscopic sample at these redshifts for which such an analysis has been conducted. Analysis reveals that the evolution of the stellar population properties of red-sequence galaxies depend on their mass: while the properties of the most massive are well described by passive evolution and high-redshift formation, those of the less massive galaxies are consistent with a more extended star-formation history. We show that these scenarios reproduce the index-σ relations and the galaxy colours. The two main results of this work are: (1) the evolution of the line-strength indices for the red-sequence galaxies can be reproduced if 40% of the galaxies with km s-1 entered the red-sequence between to , in agreement with the fraction derived in studies of the luminosity functions; and (2) the percentage of red-sequence galaxies exhibiting early-type morphologies (E and S0) decreases by 20% from to . This can be understood if the red-sequence becomes more populated at later times with disc galaxies whose star formation has been quenched. We conclude that the processes quenching star formation do not necessarily produce a simultaneous morphological transformation of the galaxies entering the red-sequence.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies elliptical and lenticular, cD / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: abundances
Based on observations obtained at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) as part of the Large Programme 166.A-0162 (the ESO Distant Cluster Survey).
© ESO, 2009
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