From starburst to quiescence : post-starburst galaxies and their large-scale clustering over cosmic time
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We present the first study of the large-scale clustering of post-starburst (PSB) galaxies in the high redshift Universe (0.5 < z < 3.0). We select ∼4000 PSB galaxies photometrically, the largest high-redshift sample of this kind, from two deep large-scale near-infrared surveys: the UKIDSS Ultra Deep Survey (UDS) DR11 and the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS). Using angular cross-correlation techniques, we estimate the halo masses for this large sample of PSB galaxies and compare them with quiescent and star-forming galaxies selected in the same fields. We find that low-mass, low-redshift (0.5 < z < 1.0) PSB galaxies preferentially reside in very high-mass dark matter haloes (Mhalo > 1014 M⊙), suggesting they are likely to be infalling satellite galaxies in cluster-like environments. High-mass PSB galaxies are more weakly clustered at low redshifts, but they reside in higher mass haloes with increasing look-back time, suggesting strong redshift-dependent halo downsizing. These key results are consistent with previous results suggesting that two main channels are responsible for the rapid quenching of galaxies. While high-redshift (z > 1) galaxies appear to be quenched by secular feedback mechanisms, processes associated with dense environments are likely to be the key driver of rapid quenching in the low-redshift Universe (z < 1). Finally, we show that the clustering of photometrically selected PSBs are consistent with them being direct descendants of highly dust-enshrouded sub-millimetre galaxies (SMGs), providing tantalising evidence for the oft-speculated evolutionary pathway from starburst to quiescence.
Wilkinson , A , Almaini , O , Wild , V , Maltby , D , Hartley , W G , Simpson , C & Rowlands , K 2021 , ' From starburst to quiescence : post-starburst galaxies and their large-scale clustering over cosmic time ' , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , vol. 504 , no. 3 , pp. 4533–4550 . https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab965
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Copyright © 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab965.
DescriptionAW and VW acknowledges support from the European Research Council Starting Grant (SEDMorph; P.I. V. Wild). AW also acknowledges funding from the STFC and the H2020 ERC Consolidator Grant 683184.
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