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Galaxy evolution in overdense environments at high redshift: passive early-type galaxies in a cluster at redshift 2

Abstract : We present a study of galaxy populations in the central region of the IRAC-selected, X-ray detected galaxy cluster Cl J1449+0856 at z=2. Based on a sample of spectroscopic and photometric cluster members, we investigate stellar populations and morphological structure of cluster galaxies over an area of ~0.7Mpc^2 around the cluster core. The cluster stands out as a clear overdensity both in redshift space, and in the spatial distribution of galaxies close to the center of the extended X-ray emission. The cluster core region (r<200 kpc) shows a clearly enhanced passive fraction with respect to field levels. However, together with a population of massive passive galaxies mostly with early-type morphologies, it also hosts massive actively star-forming, often highly dust-reddened sources. Close to the cluster center, a multi-component system of passive and star-forming galaxies could be the future BCG still assembling. We observe a clear correlation between passive stellar populations and an early-type morphology, in agreement with field studies at similar redshift. Passive early-type galaxies in this clusters are typically a factor 2-3 smaller than similarly massive early-types at z~0, but also on average larger by a factor ~2 than their field analogs at z~2, lending support to recent claims of an accelerated structural evolution in high-redshift dense environments. These results point towards the early formation of a population of massive galaxies, already evolved both in their structure and stellar populations, coexisting with still-actively forming massive galaxies in the central regions of young clusters 10 billion years ago.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-01004374
Contributor : Bruno Savelli <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 11:42:29 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 3:40:03 PM

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V. Strazzullo, R. Gobat, Emanuele Daddi, M. Onodera, M. Carollo, et al.. Galaxy evolution in overdense environments at high redshift: passive early-type galaxies in a cluster at redshift 2. The Astrophysical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2013, 772 (2), pp.17. ⟨10.1088/0004-637X/772/2/118⟩. ⟨cea-01004374⟩

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