Journal Article

CFHT Legacy Ultraviolet Extension (CLUE): witnessing galaxy transformations up to 7 Mpc from rich cluster cores

Ting Lu, David G. Gilbank, Sean L. McGee, Michael L. Balogh and Sarah Gallagher

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 420, issue 1, pages 126-140
Published in print February 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
CFHT Legacy Ultraviolet Extension (CLUE): witnessing galaxy transformations up to 7 Mpc from rich cluster cores

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Using the optical data from the Wide component of the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) Legacy Survey, and new ultraviolet (UV) data from GALEX, we study the colours and specific star formation rates (SSFRs) of ∼ 100 galaxy clusters at 0.16 < z < 0.36, over areas extending out to radii of r∼ 7 Mpc. We use a multicolour, statistical background subtraction method to study the galaxy population at this radius; thus our results pertain to those galaxies which constitute an excess over the average field density. We find that the average SSFR and its distribution of the star-forming galaxies (with at z∼ 0.2 and at z∼ 0.3) have no measurable dependence on the clustercentric radius and are consistent with the field values. However, the fraction of galaxies with SFR above these thresholds, and the fraction of optically blue galaxies, are lower for the overdense galaxy population in the cluster outskirts compared with the average field value, at all stellar masses and at all radii out to at least 7 Mpc. Most interestingly, the fraction of blue galaxies that are forming stars at a rate below our UV detection limit is much higher in all radial bins around our cluster sample compared with the general field value. This is most noticeable for massive galaxies ; while almost all blue field galaxies of this mass have detectable star formation, this is true for less than 20 per cent of the blue cluster galaxies, even at 7 Mpc from the cluster centre. Our results support a scenario where galaxies are pre-processed in locally overdense regions in a way that reduces their SFR below our UV detection limit, but not to zero.

Keywords: galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: evolution

Journal Article.  9068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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