Critical Stellar Central Densities Drive Galaxy Quenching in the Nearby Universe

Kavli Affiliate: Yingjie Peng

| First 5 Authors: Bingxiao Xu, Yingjie Peng, , ,

| Summary:

We study the structural and environmental dependence of the star formation on
the plane of stellar mass versus central core density ($Sigma_{rm 1 kpc}$)
in the nearby universe. We study the central galaxies in the sparse environment
and find a characteristic population-averaged $rm Sigma_{1 kpc} sim
10^9-10^{9.2} M_{odot} kpc^{-2}$, above which quenching is operating. This
$rm Sigma^{crit}_{1 kpc}$ only weakly depends on the stellar mass,
suggesting that the mass-quenching of the central galaxies is more closely
related to the processes that operate in the central regions than over the
entire galaxies. For satellites, at a given stellar mass, environment-quenching
appears to operate in a similar fashion as mass-quenching in centrals, also
starting from galaxies with high $rm Sigma_{1 kpc}$ to low $rm Sigma_{1
kpc}$, and $rm Sigma^{crit}_{1 kpc}$ becomes strongly mass-dependent, in
particular in dense regions. This is because (1) more low-mass satellites are
quenched by the environmental effects in denser regions and (2) at fixed
stellar mass and environment, the environment-quenched satellites have, on
average, larger $Sigma_{rm 1 kpc}$, $rm M_{1 kpc}/M_{star}$ and Sersic
index $n$, and as well as smaller size. These results imply that either some
dynamical processes change the structure of the satellites during quenching or
the satellites with higher $Sigma_{rm 1 kpc}$ are more susceptible to the
environmental effects.

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