Volume 633, January 2020
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Published online||22 January 2020|
CLASH-VLT: Enhancement of (O/H) in z = 0.35 RX J2248−4431 cluster galaxies⋆
University of Vienna, Department of Astrophysics, Tuerkenschanzstrasse 17, 1180 Vienna, Austria
Accepted: 22 November 2019
Aims. Gas-phase metallicities offer insight into the chemical evolution of galaxies as they reflect the recycling of gas through star formation and galactic inflows and outflows. Environmental effects such as star-formation quenching mechanisms play an important role in shaping the evolution of galaxies. Clusters of galaxies at z < 0.5 are expected to be the sites where environmental effects can be clearly observed with present-day telescopes.
Methods. We explored the Frontier Fields cluster RX J2248−443 at z = 0.348 with VIMOS/VLT spectroscopy from CLASH-VLT, which covers a central region corresponding to almost 2 virial radii. The fluxes of [OII] λ3727, Hβ, [OIII] λ5007, Hα and [NII] λ6584 emission lines were measured allowing the derivation of (O/H) gas metallicities, star formation rates based on extinction-corrected Hα fluxes, and contamination from active galactic nuclei. We compared our sample of cluster galaxies to a population of field galaxies at similar redshifts.
Results. We use the location of galaxies in projected phase-space to distinguish between cluster and field galaxies. Both populations follow the star-forming sequence in the diagnostic diagrams, which allow the ionising sources in a galaxy to be disentangled, with only a low number of galaxies classified as Seyfert II. Both field and cluster galaxies follow the “main sequence” of star-forming galaxies, with no substantial difference observed between the two populations. In the mass–metallicity (MZ) plane, both high-mass field and cluster galaxies show comparable (O/H)s to the local SDSS MZ relation, with an offset of low-mass galaxies (log(M/M⊙) < 9.2) towards higher metallicities. While both the metallicities of “accreted” (R < R500) and “infalling” (R > R500) cluster members are comparable at all masses, the cluster galaxies from the “mass complete” bin (which is the intermediate mass bin in this study: 9.2 < log(M/M⊙) < 10.2), show more enhanced metallicities than their field counterparts by a factor of 0.065 dex with a ∼1.8σ significance. The intermediate-mass field galaxies are in accordance with the expected (O/H)s from the fundamental metallicity relation, while the cluster members deviate strongly from the model predictions, namely by a factor of ∼0.12 dex. The results of this work are in accordance with studies of other clusters at z < 0.5 and favour the scenario in which the hot halo gas of low- and intermediate-mass cluster galaxies is removed due to ram pressure stripping, leading to an increase in their gas-phase metallicity.
Key words: Galaxy: evolution / galaxies: clusters: individual: RX J2248−443 / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: abundances
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.