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Avoiding progenitor bias: the structural and mass evolution of brightest group and cluster galaxies in hierarchical models since Z~1

Avoiding progenitor bias: the structural and mass evolution of brightest group and cluster galaxies in hierarchical models since Z~1
Avoiding progenitor bias: the structural and mass evolution of brightest group and cluster galaxies in hierarchical models since Z~1
The mass and structural evolution of massive galaxies is one of the hottest topics in galaxy formation. This is because it may reveal invaluable insights into the still debated evolutionary processes governing the growth and assembly of spheroids. However, direct comparison between models and observations is usually prevented by the so-called progenitor bias, i.e., new galaxies entering the observational selection at later epochs, thus eluding a precise study of how pre-existing galaxies actually evolve in size. To limit this effect, we here gather data on high-redshift brightest group and cluster galaxies, evolve their (mean) host halo masses down to z = 0 along their main progenitors, and assign as their "descendants" local Sloan Digital Sky Survey central galaxies matched in host halo mass. At face value, the comparison between high redshift and local data suggests a noticeable increase in stellar mass of a factor of gsim 2 since z ~ 1, and of gsim 2.5 in mean effective radius. We then compare the inferred stellar mass and size growth with those predicted by hierarchical models for central galaxies, selected at high redshifts to closely match the halo and stellar mass bins as in the data. Only hierarchical models characterized by very limited satellite stellar stripping and parabolic orbits are capable of broadly reproducing the stellar mass and size increase of a factor of ~2-4 observed in cluster galaxies since z ~ 1. The predicted, average (major) merger rate since z ~ 1 is in good agreement with the latest observational estimates.
1538-4357
1-9
Shankar, Francesco
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Buchan, Stewart
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Rettura, Alessandro
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Bouillot, Vincent R.
a082602f-1289-4389-9892-a6af2f7cca64
Moreno, Jorge
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Licitra, Rossella
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Bernardi, Mariangela
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Hertas-Company, Marc
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Mei, Simona
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Ascaso, Begona
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Sheth, Ravi
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Delaye, Lauriane
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Raichoor, Anand
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Shankar, Francesco
b10c91e4-85cd-4394-a18a-d4f049fd9cdb
Buchan, Stewart
8c3f2c85-3ffa-491c-91b5-b7bbeb0021cd
Rettura, Alessandro
0ae42537-d0b5-4da7-9626-3822ca25cf96
Bouillot, Vincent R.
a082602f-1289-4389-9892-a6af2f7cca64
Moreno, Jorge
057ed4c0-157a-4349-81f0-74b36b66c0ff
Licitra, Rossella
cec599b0-5f18-47ec-bb7d-0fcdfc691eda
Bernardi, Mariangela
51f0929c-ba65-4d9c-a814-673442f48d75
Hertas-Company, Marc
c7d1ab5b-2e1f-47f5-998c-53fb0c1513d1
Mei, Simona
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Ascaso, Begona
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Sheth, Ravi
87b37c62-0b6c-44d9-a9d5-31f71605b20f
Delaye, Lauriane
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Raichoor, Anand
3b536563-460f-464e-bc70-62931caa819d

Shankar, Francesco, Buchan, Stewart, Rettura, Alessandro, Bouillot, Vincent R., Moreno, Jorge, Licitra, Rossella, Bernardi, Mariangela, Hertas-Company, Marc, Mei, Simona, Ascaso, Begona, Sheth, Ravi, Delaye, Lauriane and Raichoor, Anand (2015) Avoiding progenitor bias: the structural and mass evolution of brightest group and cluster galaxies in hierarchical models since Z~1. The Astrophysical Journal, 802 (2), 1-9. (doi:10.1088/0004-637X/802/2/73).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The mass and structural evolution of massive galaxies is one of the hottest topics in galaxy formation. This is because it may reveal invaluable insights into the still debated evolutionary processes governing the growth and assembly of spheroids. However, direct comparison between models and observations is usually prevented by the so-called progenitor bias, i.e., new galaxies entering the observational selection at later epochs, thus eluding a precise study of how pre-existing galaxies actually evolve in size. To limit this effect, we here gather data on high-redshift brightest group and cluster galaxies, evolve their (mean) host halo masses down to z = 0 along their main progenitors, and assign as their "descendants" local Sloan Digital Sky Survey central galaxies matched in host halo mass. At face value, the comparison between high redshift and local data suggests a noticeable increase in stellar mass of a factor of gsim 2 since z ~ 1, and of gsim 2.5 in mean effective radius. We then compare the inferred stellar mass and size growth with those predicted by hierarchical models for central galaxies, selected at high redshifts to closely match the halo and stellar mass bins as in the data. Only hierarchical models characterized by very limited satellite stellar stripping and parabolic orbits are capable of broadly reproducing the stellar mass and size increase of a factor of ~2-4 observed in cluster galaxies since z ~ 1. The predicted, average (major) merger rate since z ~ 1 is in good agreement with the latest observational estimates.

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Accepted/In Press date: 10 December 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 24 March 2015
Published date: 1 April 2015
Organisations: Astronomy Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 394756
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/394756
ISSN: 1538-4357
PURE UUID: b7b4f3bd-e129-4a46-91a8-9d7337d43c18

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Date deposited: 24 May 2016 08:35
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 01:42

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Contributors

Author: Stewart Buchan
Author: Alessandro Rettura
Author: Vincent R. Bouillot
Author: Jorge Moreno
Author: Rossella Licitra
Author: Mariangela Bernardi
Author: Marc Hertas-Company
Author: Simona Mei
Author: Begona Ascaso
Author: Ravi Sheth
Author: Lauriane Delaye
Author: Anand Raichoor

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