Volume 599, March 2017
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Published online||03 March 2017|
Emission line galaxies and active galactic nuclei in WINGS clusters⋆
1 INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, vicolo dell’ Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
2 Dipartimento di Fisica & Astronomia “Galileo Galilei”, Università di Padova, vicolo dell’ Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
3 Centro de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, CRyA, UNAM, Michoacán, Mexico
4 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
5 Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA), Plaza San Juan 1, planta 2, 44001 Teruel, Spain
6 Specola Vaticana, 00120 Vatican City State, Italy
Received: 16 May 2016
Accepted: 23 August 2016
We present the analysis of the emission line galaxies members of 46 low-redshift (0.04 < z < 0.07) clusters observed by WINGS (WIde-field Nearby Galaxy cluster Survey). Emission line galaxies were identified following criteria that are meant to minimize biases against non-star-forming galaxies and classified employing diagnostic diagrams. We examined the emission line properties and frequencies of star-forming galaxies, transition objects, and active galactic nuclei (AGNs: LINERs and Seyferts), unclassified galaxies with emission lines, and quiescent galaxies with no detectable line emission. A deficit of emission line galaxies in the cluster environment is indicated by both a lower frequency, and a systematically lower Balmer emission line equivalent width and luminosity with respect to control samples; this implies a lower amount of ionized gas per unit mass and a lower star formation rate if the source is classified as Hii region. A sizable population of transition objects and of low-luminosity LINERs (≈ 10−20% of all emission line galaxies) are detected among WINGS cluster galaxies. These sources are a factor of ≈1.5 more frequent, or at least as frequent, as in control samples with respect to Hii sources. Transition objects and LINERs in clusters are most affected in terms ofline equivalent width by the environment and appear predominantly consistent with so-called retired galaxies. Shock heating can be a possible gas excitation mechanism that is able to account for observed line ratios. Specific to the cluster environment, we suggest interaction between atomic and molecular gas and the intracluster medium as a possible physical cause of line-emitting shocks.
Key words: catalogs / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: statistics / galaxies: evolution
The data whose description is provided in Table B.1, and emission line catalog of the WINGS database are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (18.104.22.168) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/599/A83
© ESO, 2017
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