Strong dusty bursts of star formation in galaxies falling into the cluster RX J0152.7-1357

D. Marcillac, J. R. Rigby, G. H. Rieke, D. M. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


We have observed the cluster RX J0152.7-1357 (z ∼ 0.83) at 24 μm with the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). We detected 22 sources associated with spectroscopically confirmed cluster members, while 10 more have photometric redshifts compatible with membership. Two of the 32 likely cluster members contain obvious active nuclei, while the others are associated with dusty star formation. The median IR-determined star formation rate among the remaining galaxies is estimated at 22 M yr-1, significantly higher than in previous estimates from optical data. Most of the mid-infrared (MIR) emitting galaxies also have optical emission lines, but a few do not and hence have completely hidden bursts of star formation or AGN activity. An excess of MIR-emitting galaxies is seen in the cluster, compared to the field at the same redshift. The MIR cluster members are more associated with previously detected infalling late-type galaxies rather than triggered by the ongoing merging of bigger X-ray clumps. Rough estimates also show that ram pressure may not be capable of stripping the gas away from cluster outskirt galaxies, but it may disturb the gas enough to trigger the star formation activity. Harassment can also play a role if, for example, these galaxies belong to poor galaxy groups. Thus, bursts of star formation occur in the cluster environment and could also help consume the galaxy gas content, in addition to ram pressure, harassment, or galaxy-galaxy strong interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-834
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jan 10 2007


  • Galaxies: clusters: individual (RX j0152.7-1357)
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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