A snapshot on galaxy evolution occurring in the Great Wall: the role of Nurture at z = 0
Dipartimento di Fisica G. Occhialini, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy e-mail: [giuseppe.gavazzi;mattia.fumagalli]@mib.infn.it
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France e-mail: [olga.cucciati;alessandro.boselli]@oamp.fr
Accepted: 19 March 2010
With the aim of quantifying the contribution of the environment on the evolution of galaxies at z = 0 we have used the DR7 catalogue of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to reconstruct the 3-D distribution of 4132 galaxies in 420 square degrees of the Coma supercluster, containing two rich clusters (Coma and A1367), several groups, and many filamentary structures belonging to the “Great Wall”, at the approximate distance of 100 Mpc. At this distance the galaxy census is complete to Mi = –17.5 mag, i.e. ~4 mag fainter than M*. The morphological classification of galaxies into early- (ellipticals) and late-types (spirals) was carried out by inspection of individual SDSS images and spectra. The density around each galaxy was determined in cylinders of 1 Mpc radius and 1000 km s-1 half length. The color-luminosity relation was derived for galaxies in bins morphological type and in four thresholds of galaxy density-contrast, ranging from δ1,1000 ≤ 0 (UL = the cosmic web); 0 < δ1,1000 ≤ 4 (L = the loose groups); 4 < δ1,1000 ≤ 20 (H = the large groups and the cluster's outskirts) and δ1,1000 > 20 (UH = the cluster's cores). The fraction of early-type galaxies increases with the log of the over-density. A well defined “red sequence” composed of early-type galaxies exists in all environments at high luminosity, but it lacks of low luminosity (dwarf) galaxies in the lowest density environment. Conversely low luminosity isolated galaxies are predominantly of late-type. In other words the low luminosity end of the distribution is dominated by red dE galaxies in clusters and groups and by dwarf blue amorphous systems in the lowest density regions. At z = 0 we find evidence for strong evolution induced by the environment (Nurture). Transformations take place mostly at low luminosity when star forming dwarf galaxies inhabiting low density environments migrate into amorphous passive dwarf ellipticals in their infall into denser regions. The mechanism involves suppression of the star formation due to gas stripping, without significant mass growth, as proposed by Boselli et al. (2008a, ApJ, 674, 742). This process is more efficient and fast in ambients of increasing density. In the highest density environments (around clusters) the truncation of the star formation happens fast enough (few 100 Myr) to produce the signature of post-star-burst in galaxy spectra. PSB galaxies, that are in fact found significantly clustered around the largest dynamical units, represent the remnants of star forming isolated galaxies that had their star formation violently suppressed during their infall in clusters in the last 0.5–1.5 Gyrs, and the progenitors of future dEs.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: individual: Coma / galaxies: clusters: individual: A1367
© ESO, 2010