Journal Article

Environmental effects on satellite galaxies: the link between concentration, size and colour profile

Simone M. Weinmann, Guinevere Kauffmann, Frank C. Van Den Bosch, Anna Pasquali, Daniel H. McIntosh, Houjun Mo, Xiaohu Yang and Yicheng Guo

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 3, pages 1213-1228
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14412.x
Environmental effects on satellite galaxies: the link between concentration, size and colour profile

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Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 group catalogue of Yang et al., we investigate sizes, concentrations, colour gradients and surface brightness profiles of central and satellite galaxies. We compare central and satellite galaxies at fixed stellar mass, in order to disentangle environmental from stellar mass dependencies. Early- and late-type galaxies are defined according to concentration. We find that at fixed stellar mass, late-type satellite galaxies have smaller radii and larger concentrations than late-type central galaxies. No such differences are found for early-type galaxies. We have also constructed surface brightness and colour profiles for the central and satellite galaxies in our sample. We find that late-type satellite galaxies have a lower surface brightness and redder colours than late-type central galaxies. We show that all observed differences between satellite and central galaxies can be explained by a simple fading model, in which the star formation in the disc decreases over time-scales of 2–3 Gyr after a galaxy becomes a satellite. Processes that induce strong morphological changes (e.g. harassment) and processes that strip the galaxy of its entire interstellar medium need not to be invoked in order to explain the environmental dependencies we find.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: statistics; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  12918 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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