Friday, July 26, 2013

1307.6559 (Lisa May Walker et al.)

The Optical Green Valley vs Mid-IR Canyon in Compact Groups    [PDF]

Lisa May Walker, Natalie Butterfield, Kelsey Johnson, Catherine Zucker, Sarah Gallagher, Iraklis Konstantopoulos, Ann Zabludoff, Ann E. Hornschemeier, Panayiotis Tzanavaris, Jane C. Charlton
Compact groups of galaxies provide conditions similar to those experienced by galaxies in the earlier universe. Recent work on compact groups has led to the discovery of a dearth of mid-infrared transition galaxies (MIRTGs) in IRAC (3.6 - 8.0 micron) color space (Johnson et al. 2007; Walker et al. 2012) as well as at intermediate specific star formation rates (Tzanavaris et al. 2010). However, we find that in compact groups these mid-infrared (mid-IR) transition galaxies in the mid-infrared dearth have already transitioned to the optical ([g-r]) red sequence. We investigate the optical color-magnitude diagram (CMD) of 99 compact groups containing 348 galaxies and compare the optical CMD with mid-IR color space for compact group galaxies. Utilizing redshifts available from SDSS, we identified new galaxy members for 6 groups. By combining optical and mid-IR data, we obtain information on both the dust and the stellar populations in compact group galaxies. We also compare with more isolated galaxies and galaxies in the Coma cluster, which reveals that, similar to clusters, compact groups are dominated by optically red galaxies. While we find that compact group transition galaxies lie on the optical red sequence, LVL+SINGS mid-IR transition galaxies span the range of optical colors. The dearth of mid-IR transition galaxies in compact groups may be due to a lack of moderately star forming low mass galaxies; the relative lack of these galaxies could be due to their relatively small gravitational potential wells. This makes them more susceptible to this dynamic environment, thus causing them to more easily lose gas or be accreted by larger members.
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