A search for young stars in the S0 galaxies of a super-group at z = 0.37

Dennis W. Just, Dennis Zaritsky, Kim Vy H. Tran, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Stefan J. Kautsch, John Moustakas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We analyze Galaxy Evolution Explorer UV data for a system of four gravitationally bound groups at z = 0.37, SG1120, which is destined to merge into a Coma-mass cluster by z = 0, to study how galaxy properties may change during cluster assembly. Of the 38 visually classified S0 galaxies, with masses ranging from log (M *)[M ] 10-11, we detect only one in the near-UV (NUV) channel, a strongly star-forming S0 that is the brightest UV source with a measured redshift placing it in SG1120. Stacking the undetected S0 galaxies (which generally lie on or near the optical red sequence of SG1120) still results in no NUV/far-UV (FUV) detection (<2σ). Using our limit in the NUV band, we conclude that for a rapidly truncating star formation rate, star formation ceased at least ∼0.1-0.7Gyr ago, depending on the strength of the starburst prior to truncation. With an exponentially declining star formation history over a range of timescales, we rule out recent star formation over a wide range of ages. We conclude that if S0 formation involves significant star formation, it occurred well before the groups were in this current pre-assembly phase. As such, it seems that S0 formation is even more likely to be predominantly occurring outside of the cluster environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number54
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 2011


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: photometry
  • methods: observational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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