Ageing and quenching through the Ageing Diagram - II. Physical characterization of galaxies

Pablo Corcho-Caballero, Yago Ascasibar, Luca Cortese, Sebastián F. Sánchez, Ángel R. López-Sánchez, Amelia Fraser-Mckelvie, Tayyaba Zafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The connection between quenching mechanisms, which rapidly turn star-forming systems into quiescent, and the properties of the galaxy population remains difficult to discern. In this work we investigate the physical properties of MaNGA and SAMI galaxies at different stages of their star formation history. Specifically, we compare galaxies with signatures of recent quenching (Quenched) - in absorption and low Dn(4000) - with the rest of the low star-forming and active population (Retired and Ageing, respectively). The analysis is performed in terms of characteristics such as the total stellar mass, half-light radius, velocity-to-dispersion ratio, metallicity, and environment. We find that the Ageing population comprises a heterogeneous mixture of galaxies, preferentially late-type systems, with diverse physical properties. Retired galaxies, formerly Ageing or Quenched systems, are dominated by early-type high-mass galaxies found both at low and dense environments. Most importantly, we find that recently quenched galaxies are consistent with a population of compact low-mass satellite systems, with higher metallicities than their Ageing analogues. We argue that this is compatible with being quenched after undergoing a star-burst phase induced by environmental processes (e.g. ram pressure). However, we also detect a non-negligible fraction of field central galaxies likely quenched by internal processes. This study highlights that, in order to constrain the mechanisms driving galaxy evolution, it is crucial to distinguish between old (Retired) and recently quenched galaxies, thus requiring at least two estimates of the specific star formation rate over different time-scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3692-3704
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

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