The environmental dependence of the evolving S0 fraction

Dennis W. Just, Dennis Zaritsky, David J. Sand, Vandana Desai, Gregory Rudnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We re-investigate the dramatic rise in the S0 fraction, f S0, within clusters since z ∼ 0.5. In particular, we focus on the role of the global galaxy environment on f S0 by compiling, either from our own observations or the literature, robust line-of-sight velocity dispersions, σ′s, for a sample of galaxy groups and clusters at 0.1 < z < 0.8 that have uniformly determined, published morphological fractions. We find that the trend of f S0 with redshift is twice as strong for σ < 750 km s-1 groups/poor clusters than for higher-σ, rich clusters. From this result, we infer that over this redshift range galaxy-galaxy interactions, which are more effective in lower-σ environments, are more responsible for transforming spiral galaxies into S0's than galaxy-environment processes, which are more effective in higher-σ environments. The rapid, recent growth of the S0 population in groups and poor clusters implies that large numbers of progenitors exist in low-σ systems at modest redshifts (0.5), where morphologies and internal kinematics are within the measurement range of current technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: groups: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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