Star-forming galaxy evolution in nearby rich clusters

K. D. Tyler, G. H. Rieke, L. Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Dense environments are known to quench star formation in galaxies, but it is still unknown what mechanism(s) are directly responsible. In this paper, we study the star formation of galaxies in A2029 and compare it to that of Coma, combining indicators at 24 μm, Hα, and UV down to rates of 0.03 M yr-1. We show that A2029's star-forming galaxies follow the same mass-SFR relation as the field. The Coma cluster, on the other hand, has a population of galaxies with star formation rates (SFRs) significantly lower than the field mass-SFR relation, indicative of galaxies in the process of being quenched. Over half of these galaxies also host active galactic nuclei. Ram-pressure stripping and starvation/strangulation are the most likely mechanisms for suppressing the star formation in these galaxies, but we are unable to disentangle which is dominating. The differences we see between the two clusters' populations of star-forming galaxies may be related to their accretion histories, with A2029 having accreted its star-forming galaxies more recently than Coma. Additionally, many early-type galaxies in A2029 are detected at 24 μm and/or in the far-UV, but this emission is not directly related to star formation. Similar galaxies have probably been classified as star forming in previous studies of dense clusters, possibly obscuring some of the effects of the cluster environment on true star-forming galaxies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number86
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2013


  • galaxies: clusters: individual (A2029, Coma)
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • galaxies: photometry
  • infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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