Star Formation and Galaxy Evolution in Different Environments, from the Field to Massive Clusters
AuthorTyler, Krystal D.
luminous infrared galaxies
AdvisorRieke, George H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis focuses on how a galaxy's environment affects its star formation, from the galactic environment of the most luminous IR galaxies in the universe to groups and massive clusters of galaxies. Initially, we studied a class of high-redshift galaxies with extremely red optical-to-mid-IR colors. We used Spitzer spectra and photometry to identify whether the IR outputs of these objects are dominated by AGNs or star formation. In accordance with the expectation that the AGN contribution should increase with IR luminosity, we find most of our very red IR-luminous galaxies to be dominated by an AGN, though a few appear to be star-formation dominated. We then observed how the density of the extraglactic environment plays a role in galaxy evolution. We begin with Spitzer and HST observations of intermediate-redshift groups. Although the environment has clearly changed some properties of its members, group galaxies at a given mass and morphology have comparable amounts of star formation as field galaxies. We conclude the main difference between the two environments is the higher fraction of massive early-type galaxies in groups. Clusters show even more distinct trends. Using three different star-formation indicators, we found the mass--SFR relation for cluster galaxies can look similar to the field (A2029) or have a population of low-star-forming galaxies in addition to the field-like galaxies (Coma). We contribute this to differing merger histories: recently-accreted galaxies would not have time for their star formation to be quenched by the cluster environment (A2029), while an accretion event in the past few Gyr would give galaxies enough time to have their star formation suppressed by the cluster environment. Since these two main quenching mechanisms depend on the density of the intracluster gas, we turn to a group of X-ray under luminous clusters to study how star-forming galaxies have been affected in clusters with lower than expected X-ray emission. We find the distribution of star-forming galaxies with respect to stellar mass varies from cluster to cluster, echoing what we found for Coma and A2029. In other words, while some preprocessing occurs in groups, the cluster environment still contributes to the quenching of star formation.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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