Using the third data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we have rigorously defined a volume-limited sample of early-type galaxies in the redshift range 0.005 < z≤ 0.1. We have defined the density of the local environment for each galaxy using a method which takes account of the redshift bias introduced by survey boundaries if traditional methods are used. At luminosities greater than our absolute r-band magnitude cut-off of −20.45, the mean density of environment shows no trend with redshift. We calculate the Lick indices for the entire sample and correct for aperture effects and velocity dispersion in a model-independent way. We find that early-type galaxies in the field are younger than those in environments typical of clusters but that neither metallicity, α-enhancement nor carbon enhancement are influenced by the environment. We argue that the timing of the process of formation of early-type galaxies is determined by the environment, while the details of the process of star formation, which has built up the stellar mass, are entirely regulated by the halo mass. These results suggest that the star formation took place after the mass assembly and favours an anti-hierarchical model. In such a model, the majority of the mergers must take place before the bulk of the stars form. This can only happen if there exists an efficient feedback mechanism which inhibits the star formation in low-mass haloes and is progressively reduced as mergers increase the mass.
|Titolo:||The star formation history of early-type galaxies as a function of mass and environment|
|Autori:||Clemens, M. S.; Bressan, A.; Nikolic, B.; Alexander, P.; Annibali, F.; Rampazzo, R.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10530.x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Journal article|