Volume 524, December 2010
|Number of page(s)||18|
|Published online||19 November 2010|
The zCOSMOS 10k-sample: the role of galaxy stellar mass in the colour-density relation up to z ~ 1⋆
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, UMR 6110 CNRS-Université
de Provence, 38 rue Frederic
Marseille Cedex 13,
2 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy
3 Institute of Astronomy, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
4 INAF – IASF, via Bassini 15, 20133 Milano, Italy
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
6 Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Toulouse-Tarbes, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
7 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, Garching 85748, Germany
8 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padova, Italy
9 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, 84571 Garching, Germany
10 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universitá di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
11 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate ( LC), Italy
12 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía - CSIC. Apdo. de correos 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain
13 Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universitá di Padova, vicolo Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
14 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
15 California Institute of Technology, MS 105-24, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
16 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
17 Dept. of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA
18 Physics Division, MS 50 R5004, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Rd., Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
19 Centre de Physique Théorique, UMR 6207 CNRS-Université de Provence, 13288 Marseille, France
20 Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, UMR 7095 CNRS, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 98 bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France
21 Universitats-Sternwarte, Scheinerstrasse 1, 81679 Muenchen, Germany
22 Argelander Institut für Astronomie, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
23 INAF, Osservatorio di Roma, Monteporzio Catone (RM), Italy
Received: 27 May 2009
Accepted: 3 August 2010
Aims. With the first ~10 000 spectra of the flux limited zCOSMOS sample (IAB ≤ 22.5) we want to study the evolution of environmental effects on galaxy properties since z ~ 1.0, and to disentangle the dependence among galaxy colour, stellar mass and local density.
Methods. We use our previously derived 3D local density contrast δ, computed with the 5th nearest neighbour approach, to study the evolution with z of the environmental effects on galaxy U-B colour, D4000 Å break and [OII]λ3727 equivalent width (EW[OII]). We also analyze the implications due to the use of different galaxy selections, using luminosity or stellar mass, and we disentangle the relations among colour, stellar mass and δ studying the colour-density relation in narrow mass bins.
Results. We confirm that within a luminosity-limited sample (MB ≤ −20.5 − z) the fraction of red (U − B ≥ 1) galaxies depends on δ at least up to z ~ 1, with red galaxies residing mainly in high densities. This trend becomes weaker for increasing redshifts, and it is mirrored by the behaviour of the fraction of galaxies with D4000 Å break ≥ 1.4. We also find that up to z ~ 1 the fraction of galaxies with log (EW [OII] ) ≥ 1.15 is higher for lower δ, and also this dependence weakens for increasing z. Given the triple dependence among galaxy colours, stellar mass and δ, the colour-δ relation that we find in the luminosity-selected sample can be due to the broad range of stellar masses embedded in the sample. Thus, we study the colour-δ relation in narrow mass bins within mass complete subsamples, defining red galaxies with a colour threshold roughly parallel to the red sequence in the colour-mass plane. We find that once mass is fixed the colour-δ relation is globally flat up to z ~ 1 for galaxies with log (M/M⊙) ≳ 10.7. This means that for these masses any colour-δ relation found within a luminosity-selected sample is the result of the combined colour-mass and mass-δ relations. On the contrary, even at fixed mass we observe that within 0.1 ≤ z ≤ 0.5 the fraction of red galaxies with log (M/M⊙) ≲ 10.7 depends on δ. For these mass and redshift ranges, environment affects directly also galaxy colours.
Conclusions. We suggest a scenario in which the colour depends primarily on stellar mass, but for an intermediate mass regime (10.2 ≲ log (M/M⊙) ≲ 10.7) the local density modulates this dependence. These relatively low mass galaxies formed more recently, in an epoch when more evolved structures were already in place, and their longer SFH allowed environment-driven physical processes to operate during longer periods of time.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: statistics / galaxies: high-redshift / cosmology: observations / large-scale structure of Universe
© ESO, 2010
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