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Quenching star formation in cluster galaxies

Taranu, Dan S.; Hudson, Michael J.; Balogh, Michael L.; Smith, Russell J.; Power, Chris; Oman, Kyle A.; Krane, Brad

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Dan S. Taranu

Michael J. Hudson

Michael L. Balogh

Chris Power

Kyle A. Oman

Brad Krane


In order to understand the processes that quench star formation in cluster galaxies, we construct a library of subhalo orbits drawn from Λ cold dark matter cosmological N-body simulations of four rich clusters. We combine these orbits with models of star formation followed by environmental quenching, comparing model predictions with observed bulge and disc colours and stellar absorption line-strength indices of luminous cluster galaxies. Models in which the bulge stellar populations depend only on the galaxy subhalo mass while the disc is quenched upon infall are acceptable fits to the data. An exponential disc quenching time-scale of 3–3.5 Gyr is preferred. Quenching in lower mass groups prior to infall (‘pre-processing’) provides better fits, with similar quenching time-scales. Models with short (≲1 Gyr) quenching time-scales yield excessively steep cluster-centric gradients in disc colours and Balmer line indices, even if quenching is delayed for several Gyr. The data slightly prefer models where quenching occurs only for galaxies falling within ∼0.5r200. These results imply that the environments of rich clusters must impact star formation rates of infalling galaxies on relatively long time-scales, indicative of gentler quenching mechanisms such as slow ‘strangulation’ over more rapid ram-pressure stripping.


Taranu, D. S., Hudson, M. J., Balogh, M. L., Smith, R. J., Power, C., Oman, K. A., & Krane, B. (2014). Quenching star formation in cluster galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 440(3), 1934-1949.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2014
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2014
Publication Date May 21, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2018
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Royal Astronomical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 440
Issue 3
Pages 1934-1949
Related Public URLs


Published Journal Article (1.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2014 Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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