CANDELS Sheds Light on the Environmental Quenching of Low-mass Galaxies

Yicheng Guo, Eric F. Bell, Yu Lu, David C. Koo, S. M. Faber, Anton M. Koekemoer, Peter Kurczynski, Seong Kook Lee, Casey Papovich, Zhu Chen, Avishai Dekel, Henry C. Ferguson, Adriano Fontana, Mauro Giavalisco, Dale D. Kocevski, Hooshang Nayyeri, Pablo G. Pérez-González, Janine Pforr, Aldo Rodríguez-Puebla, Paola Santini

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Abstract

We investigate the environmental quenching of galaxies, especially those with stellar masses (M ) < 109.5 M o, beyond the local universe. Essentially all local low-mass quenched galaxies (QGs) are believed to live close to massive central galaxies, which is a demonstration of environmental quenching. We use CANDELS data to test whether or not such a dwarf QG-massive central galaxy connection exists beyond the local universe. For this purpose, we only need a statistically representative, rather than complete, sample of low-mass galaxies, which enables our study to z 1.5. For each low-mass galaxy, we measure the projected distance (d proj) to its nearest massive neighbor (M > 1010.5 M o) within a redshift range. At a given z and M , the environmental quenching effect is considered to be observed if the d proj distribution of QGs () is significantly skewed toward lower values than that of star-forming galaxies (). For galaxies with 108 M o < M < 1010 M o, such a difference between and is detected up to z ∼ 1. Also, about 10% of the quenched galaxies in our sample are located between two and four virial radii (R Vir) of the massive halos. The median projected distance from low-mass QGs to their massive neighbors, , decreases with satellite M at M ≲ 109.5 M o, but increases with satellite M at M 109.5 M o. This trend suggests a smooth, if any, transition of the quenching timescale around M ∼ 109.5 M o at 0.5 < z < 1.0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL22
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume841
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: star formation
  • galaxies: statistics

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    Guo, Y., Bell, E. F., Lu, Y., Koo, D. C., Faber, S. M., Koekemoer, A. M., Kurczynski, P., Lee, S. K., Papovich, C., Chen, Z., Dekel, A., Ferguson, H. C., Fontana, A., Giavalisco, M., Kocevski, D. D., Nayyeri, H., Pérez-González, P. G., Pforr, J., Rodríguez-Puebla, A., & Santini, P. (2017). CANDELS Sheds Light on the Environmental Quenching of Low-mass Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 841(2), [L22]. https://doi.org/10.3847/2041-8213/aa70e9