Gas Reservoirs and Star Formation in a Forming Galaxy Cluster at z=0.2

Jaffé, Yara L.; Poggianti, Bianca M.; Verheijen, Marc A. W.; Deshev, Boris Z.; van Gorkom, Jacqueline H.


We present first results from the Blind Ultra-Deep H I Environmental Survey of the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Our survey is the first direct imaging study of neutral atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies at a redshift where evolutionary processes begin to show. In this Letter we investigate star formation, H I content, and galaxy morphology, as a function of environment in Abell 2192 (at z = 0.1876). Using a three-dimensional visualization technique, we find that Abell 2192 is a cluster in the process of forming, with significant substructure in it. We distinguish four structures that are separated in redshift and/or space. The richest structure is the baby cluster itself, with a core of elliptical galaxies that coincides with (weak) X-ray emission, almost no H I detections, and suppressed star formation. Surrounding the cluster, we find a compact group where galaxies pre-process before falling into the cluster, and a scattered population of "field-like" galaxies showing more star formation and H I detections. This cluster proves to be an excellent laboratory to understand the fate of the H I gas in the framework of galaxy evolution. We clearly see that the H I gas and the star formation correlate with morphology and environment at z ~ 0.2. In particular, the fraction of H I detections is significantly affected by the environment. The effect starts to kick in in low-mass groups that pre-process the galaxies before they enter the cluster. Our results suggest that by the time the group galaxies fall into the cluster, they are already devoid of H I.

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Título de la Revista: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volumen: 756
Número: 2
Fecha de publicación: 2012
Página de inicio: 28
Página final: 33
Notas: ISI