Galaxy properties in clusters
II. Backsplash galaxies
Instituto de Astronomía Teórica y Experimental IATE, CONICET,
Laprida 922, X5000,
2 Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, X5000 BGR Córdoba, Argentina
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Accepted: 14 February 2014
Aims. We explore the properties of galaxies on the outskirts of clusters and their dependence on recent dynamical history in order to understand the real impact that the cluster core has on the evolution of galaxies.
Methods. We analyse the properties of more than 1000 galaxies brighter than M0.1r = − 19.6 on the outskirts of 90 clusters (1 < r/rvir < 2) in the redshift range 0.05 < z < 0.10. Using the line of sight velocity of galaxies relative to the cluster’s mean, we selected low and high velocity subsamples. Theoretical predictions indicate that a significant fraction of the first subsample should be backsplash galaxies, that is, objects that have already orbited near the cluster centre. A significant proportion of the sample of high relative velocity (HV) galaxies seems to be composed of infalling objects.
Results. Our results suggest that, at fixed stellar mass, late-type galaxies in the low-velocity (LV) sample are systematically older, redder, and have formed fewer stars during the last 3 Gyrs than galaxies in the HV sample. This result is consistent with models that assume that the central regions of clusters are effective in quenching the star formation by means of processes such as ram pressure stripping or strangulation. At fixed stellar mass, LV galaxies show some evidence of having higher surface brightness and smaller size than HV galaxies. These results are consistent with the scenario where galaxies that have orbited the central regions of clusters are more likely to suffer tidal effects, producing loss of mass as well as a re-distribution of matter towards more compact configurations. Finally, we found a higher fraction of ET galaxies in the LV sample, supporting the idea that the central region of clusters of galaxies may contribute to the transformation of morphological types towards earlier types.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: evolution
© ESO, 2014