Why do galaxies stop forming stars?

July 12, 2016

This new study uses the COSMOS survey to measure the local environment (density) around galaxies at z < 3 and connects it to their star formation rates. The study suggests that the shutdown of star formation due to galaxies falling into dense environment (e.g., causing stripping and heating of gas) is dominant at z < 1. At higher redshifts, quenching of star formation is likely triggered by galaxy internal processes (feedback, etc).

The paper is accepted and ready to be checked out: http://arxiv.org/abs/1605.03182

Image: An example of a jellyfish galaxy where 'tentacles' of gas are being stripped off the host galaxy due to its interaction with the hot gas in the cluster environment

Jellyfish galaxy