Hα-derived star formation rates for three z ≃ 0.75 EDisCS galaxy clusters

Rose A. Finn, Dennis Zaritsky, Donald W. McCarthy, Bianca Poggianti, Gregory Rudnick, Claire Halliday, B. O. Milvang-Jensen, Roser Pelló, Luc Simard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


We present Hα-derived SFRs for three z ≃ 0.75 galaxy clusters. Our 1 σ flux limit corresponds to a star formation rate (SFR) of 0.10-0.24 h100-2M yr-1, and our minimum reliable Hα + [N II] rest-frame equivalent width is 10 Å. We show that Hα narrowband imaging is an efficient method for measuring star formation in distant clusters. In two out of three clusters, we find that the fraction of star-forming galaxies increases with projected distance from the cluster center. We also find that the fraction of star-forming galaxies decreases with increasing local galaxy surface density in the same two clusters. We compare the median rate of star formation among star-forming cluster galaxies to a small sample of star-forming field galaxies from the literature and find that the median cluster SFRs are ∼50% less than the median field SFR. We characterize cluster evolution in terms of the mass-normalized integrated cluster SFR and find that the z ≃ 0.75 clusters have more SFR per cluster mass on average than the z ≤ 0.4 clusters from the literature. The interpretation of this result is complicated by the dependence of the mass-normalized SFR on cluster mass and the lack of sufficient overlap in the mass ranges covered by the low- and high-redshift samples. We find that the fraction and luminosities of the brightest starburst galaxies at z ≃ 0.75 are consistent with their being progenitors of the poststarburst galaxies at z ≃ 0.45 if the poststarburst phase lasts several (∼5) times longer than the starburst phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-227
Number of pages22
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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