The red-sequence luminosity function in galaxy clusters since z similar to 1
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We use a statistical sample of similar to 500 rich clusters taken from 72 deg(2) of the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey (RCS-1) to study the evolution of similar to 30,000 red-sequence galaxies in clusters over the redshift range 0.35 < z < 0.95. We construct red-sequence luminosity functions (RSLFs) for a well-defined, homogeneously selected, richness-limited sample. The RSLF at higher redshifts shows a deficit of faint red galaxies (to M-V >= -19.7) with their numbers increasing toward the present epoch. This is consistent with the "downsizing" picture in which star formation ended at earlier times for the most massive (luminous) galaxies and more recently for less massive (fainter) galaxies. We observe a richness dependence to the downsizing effect in the sense that, at a given redshift, the drop-off of faint red galaxies is greater for poorer (less massive) clusters, suggesting that star formation ended earlier for galaxies in more massive clusters. The decrease in faint red-sequence galaxies is accompanied by an increase in faint blue galaxies, implying that the process responsible for this evolution of faint galaxies is the termination of star formation, possibly with little or no need for merging. At the bright end, we also see an increase in the number of blue galaxies with increasing redshift, suggesting that termination of star formation in higher mass galaxies may also be an important formation mechanism for higher mass ellipticals. By comparing with a low-redshift Abell cluster sample, we find that the downsizing trend seen within RCS-1 has continued to the local universe.
Quote ItemASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL Volume: 673 Issue: 2 Pages: 742-751 Published: FEB 1 2008