Do group dynamics play a role in the evolution of member galaxies? Academic Article uri icon

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  • We examine galaxy groups from the present epoch to z = 1 to explore the impact of group dynamics on galaxy evolution. We use group catalagues from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Group Environment and Evolution Collaboration (GEEC) and the high redshift GEEC2 sample to study how the observed member properties depend on galaxy stellar mass, group dynamical mass and dynamical state of the host group. We find a strong correlation between the fraction of non-star-forming (quiescent) galaxies and galaxy stellar mass, but do not detect a significant difference in the quiescent fraction with group dynamical mass, within our sample halo mass range of 10^13-10^14.5 M_sun, or with dynamical sate. However, at a redshift of approximately 0.4 we do see some evidence that the quiescent fraction in low mass galaxies (log(M_star/M_sun) < 10.5) is lower in groups with substructure. Additionally, our results show that the fraction of groups with non-Gaussian velocity distributions increases with redshift to roughly z = 0.4, while the amount of detected substructure remains constant to z = 1. Based on these results, we conclude that for massive galaxies (log(M_star/M_sun_ > 10.5), evolution is most strongly correlated to the stellar mass of a galaxy with little or no additional effect related to either the group dynamical mass or dynamical state. For low mass galaxies, we do see some evidence of a correlation between the quiescent fraction and the amount of detected substructure, highlighting the need to probe further down the stellar mass function to elucidate the role of the environment in galaxy evolution.


  • Hou, Annie
  • Parker, Laura
  • Balogh, Michael L
  • McGee, Sean L
  • Wilman, David J
  • Connelly, Jennifer L
  • Harris, William Edgar
  • Mok, Angus
  • Mulchaey, John S
  • Bower, Richard G
  • Finoguenov, Alexis

publication date

  • October 21, 2013