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The origin of S0s in clusters: evidence from the bulge and disc star formation histories

Johnston, Evelyn J.; Aragón-Salamanca, Alfonso; Merrifield, Michael R.

Authors

Evelyn J. Johnston

Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca

Michael R. Merrifield



Abstract

The individual star formation histories of bulges and discs of lenticular (S0) galaxies can provide information on the processes involved in the quenching of their star formation and subsequent transformation from spirals. In order to study this transformation in dense environments, we have decomposed long-slit spectroscopic observations of a sample of 21 S0s from the Virgo Cluster to produce one-dimensional spectra representing purely the bulge and disc light for each galaxy. Analysis of the Lick indices within these spectra reveals that the bulges contain consistently younger and more metal-rich stellar populations than their surrounding discs, implying that the final episode of star formation within S0s occurs in their central regions. Analysis of the α-element abundances in these components further presents a picture in which the final episode of star formation in the bulge is fuelled using gas that has previously been chemically enriched in the disc, indicating the sequence of events in the transformation of these galaxies. Systems in which star formation in the disc was spread over a longer period contain bulges in which the final episode of star formation occurred more recently, as one might expect for an approximately coeval population in which the transformation from spiral to S0 occurred at different times. With data of this quality and the new analysis method deployed here, we can begin to describe this process in a quantitative manner for the first time.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 11, 2014
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 441
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Johnston, E. J., Aragón-Salamanca, A., & Merrifield, M. R. (2014). The origin of S0s in clusters: evidence from the bulge and disc star formation histories. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 441(1), doi:10.1093/mnras/stu582
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu582
Keywords galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: stellar content
Publisher URL http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org/content/441/1/333
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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