The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Using concentrated star-formation and stellar population ages to understand environmental quenching

Di Wang, Scott M. Croom, Julia J. Bryant, Sam P. Vaughan, Adam L. Schaefer, Francesco D'Eugenio, Stefania Barsanti, Sarah Brough, Claudia del P. Lagos, Anne M. Medling, Sree Oh, Jesse van de Sande, Giulia Santucci, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Michael Goodwin, Brent Groves, Jon Lawrence, Matt S. Owers, Samuel Richards

Submitted on 1 September 2022


We study environmental quenching using the spatial distribution of current star-formation and stellar population ages with the full SAMI Galaxy Survey. By using a star-formation concentration index [C-index, defined as log10(r_{50,Halpha}/r_{50,cont})], we separate our sample into regular galaxies (C-index>-0.2) and galaxies with centrally concentrated star-formation (SF-concentrated; C-index<-0.2). Concentrated star-formation is a potential indicator of galaxies currently undergoing `outside-in' quenching. Our environments cover ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups (M_200<10^12.5 M_sun), high-mass groups (M_200 in the range 10^{12.5-14} M_sun) and clusters (M_200>10^14 M_sun). We find the fraction of SF-concentrated galaxies increases as halo mass increases with 9\pm2 per cent, 8\pm3 per cent, 19\pm4 per cent and 29\pm4 per cent for ungrouped galaxies, low-mass groups, high-mass groups and clusters, respectively. We interpret these results as evidence for `outside-in' quenching in groups and clusters. To investigate the quenching time-scale in SF-concentrated galaxies, we calculate light-weighted age (Age_L) and mass-weighted age (Age_M) using full spectral fitting, as well as the Dn4000 and Hdelta_A indices. We assume that the average galaxy age radial profile before entering a group or cluster is similar to ungrouped regular galaxies. At large radius (1-2 R_e), SF-concentrated galaxies in high-mass groups have older ages than ungrouped regular galaxies with an age difference of 1.83\pm0.38 Gyr for Age_L and 1.34\pm0.56 Gyr for Age_M. This suggests that while `outside-in' quenching can be effective in groups, the process will not quickly quench the entire galaxy. In contrast, the ages at 1-2 R_e of cluster SF-concentrated galaxies and ungrouped regular galaxies are consistent (0.19\pm0.21 Gyr for Age_L, 0.40\pm0.61 Gyr for Age_M), suggesting the quenching process must be rapid.


Comment: 20 pages, 18 figures

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies