Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1307.0003 (L. Delaye et al.)

Larger sizes of massive quiescent early-type galaxies in clusters than in the field at 0.8 < z < 1.5    [PDF]

L. Delaye, M. Huertas-Company, S. Mei, C. Lidman, R. Licitra, A. Newman, A. Raichoor, F. Shankar, F. Barrientos, M. Bernardi, P. Cerulo, W. Couch, R. Demarco, R. Muñoz, R. Sanchez-Janssen, M. Tanaka
[abridged] The mass-size relation of early-type galaxies (ETGs) has been largely studied in the last years to probe the mass assembly of the most massive objects in the Universe. In this paper, we focus on the mass-size relation of quiescent massive ETGs (Mstar/Msol > 3*10^10) living in massive clusters (M200 ~ 10^14 Mstar) at 0.8< z <1.5, as compared to those living in the field at the same epoch. Our sample contains ~ 400 ETGs in clusters and the same number in the field. Therefore, our sample is approximately an order of magnitude larger than previous studies in the same redshift range for galaxy clusters. We find that ETGs living in clusters are between ~30-50% larger than galaxies with the same stellar mass residing in the field. We parametrize the size using the mass-normalized size, gamma=Re/Mstar^0.57. The gamma distributions in both environments peak at the same position but the distributions in clusters are more skewed towards larger sizes. Since this size difference is not observed in the local Universe, the size evolution at fixed stellar mass from z~1.5 of cluster galaxies is less steep ((1+z)-0.53pm0.04) than the evolution of field galaxies ((1+z)-0.92pm0.04). The size difference seems to be essentially driven by the galaxies residing in the clusters cores (R<0.5*R200). If part of the size evolution is due to mergers, the difference we see between cluster and field galaxies could be due to higher merger rates in clusters at higher redshift, probably during the formation phase of the clusters when velocity dispersions are lower. We cannot exclude however that the difference is driven by newly quenched galaxies which are quenched more efficiently in clusters. The implications of these results for the hierarchical growth of ETGs will be discussed in a companion paper.
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