CANDELS OBSERVATIONS OF THE STRUCTURAL PROPERTIES OF CLUSTER GALAXIES AT z = 1.62 Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • We discuss the structural and morphological properties of galaxies in a z = 1.62 proto-cluster using near-IR imaging data from Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 data of the Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS). The cluster galaxies exhibit a clear color-morphology relation: galaxies with colors of quiescent stellar populations generally have morphologies consistent with spheroids, and galaxies with colors consistent with ongoing star formation have disk-like and irregular morphologies. The size distribution of the quiescent cluster galaxies shows a deficit of compact (≲ 1 kpc), massive galaxies compared to CANDELS field galaxies at z = 1.6. As a result, the cluster quiescent galaxies have larger average effective sizes compared to field galaxies at fixed mass at greater than 90% significance. Combined with data from the literature, the size evolution of quiescent cluster galaxies is relatively slow from z ≃ 1.6 to the present, growing as (1 + z) -0.6 ± 0.1 . If this result is generalizable, then it implies that physical processes associated with the denser cluster region seem to have caused accelerated size growth in quiescent galaxies prior to z = 1.6 and slower subsequent growth at z < 1.6 compared to galaxies in the lower density field. The quiescent cluster galaxies at z = 1.6 have higher ellipticities compared to lower redshift samples at fixed mass, and their surface-brightness profiles suggest that they contain extended stellar disks. We argue that the cluster galaxies require dissipationless (i.e., gas-poor or "dry") mergers to reorganize the disk material and to match the relations for ellipticity, stellar mass, size, and color of early-type galaxies in z < 1 clusters. © © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

altmetric score

  • 7.466

author list (cited authors)

  • Papovich, C., Bassett, R., Lotz, J. M., van der Wel, A., Tran, K., Finkelstein, S. L., ... Wuyts, S.

citation count

  • 112

publication date

  • April 2012