skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Exploring a new definition of the green valley and its implications

Abstract

ABSTRACT The distribution of galaxies on a colour–magnitude diagram reveals a bimodality, featuring a passively evolving red sequence and a star-forming blue cloud. The region between these two, the green valley (GV), represents a fundamental transition where quenching processes operate. We exploit an alternative definition of the GV using the 4000 Å break strength, an indicator that is more resilient than colour to dust attenuation. We compare and contrast our GV definition with the traditional one, based on dust-corrected colour, making use of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our GV selection – that does not need a dust correction and thus does not carry the inherent systematics – reveals very similar trends regarding nebular activity (star formation, AGN, quiescence) to the standard dust-corrected 0.1(g − r). By use of high-SNR stacked spectra of the quiescent GV subsample, we derive the simple stellar population (SSP) age difference across the GV, a rough proxy of the quenching time-scale (Δt). We obtain an increasing trend with velocity dispersion (σ), from Δt ∼ 1.5 Gyr at σ = 100 km s−1, up to 3.5 Gyr at σ = 200 km s−1, followed by a rapid decrease in the most massive GV galaxies (Δt ∼ 1 Gyr at σ = 250 km s−1), suggesting two different modes of quenching, or the presence ofmore » an additional channel (rejuvenation).« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Calle Vía Láctea s/n, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), E-38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
  3. Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (UMR 7095: CNRS & UPMC), 98 bis Bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France, Sub-department of Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK, Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1543034
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters Journal Volume: 488 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-3925
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Angthopo, James, Ferreras, Ignacio, and Silk, Joseph. Exploring a new definition of the green valley and its implications. United Kingdom: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slz106.
Angthopo, James, Ferreras, Ignacio, & Silk, Joseph. Exploring a new definition of the green valley and its implications. United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slz106.
Angthopo, James, Ferreras, Ignacio, and Silk, Joseph. Thu . "Exploring a new definition of the green valley and its implications". United Kingdom. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slz106.
@article{osti_1543034,
title = {Exploring a new definition of the green valley and its implications},
author = {Angthopo, James and Ferreras, Ignacio and Silk, Joseph},
abstractNote = {ABSTRACT The distribution of galaxies on a colour–magnitude diagram reveals a bimodality, featuring a passively evolving red sequence and a star-forming blue cloud. The region between these two, the green valley (GV), represents a fundamental transition where quenching processes operate. We exploit an alternative definition of the GV using the 4000 Å break strength, an indicator that is more resilient than colour to dust attenuation. We compare and contrast our GV definition with the traditional one, based on dust-corrected colour, making use of data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our GV selection – that does not need a dust correction and thus does not carry the inherent systematics – reveals very similar trends regarding nebular activity (star formation, AGN, quiescence) to the standard dust-corrected 0.1(g − r). By use of high-SNR stacked spectra of the quiescent GV subsample, we derive the simple stellar population (SSP) age difference across the GV, a rough proxy of the quenching time-scale (Δt). We obtain an increasing trend with velocity dispersion (σ), from Δt ∼ 1.5 Gyr at σ = 100 km s−1, up to 3.5 Gyr at σ = 200 km s−1, followed by a rapid decrease in the most massive GV galaxies (Δt ∼ 1 Gyr at σ = 250 km s−1), suggesting two different modes of quenching, or the presence of an additional channel (rejuvenation).},
doi = {10.1093/mnrasl/slz106},
journal = {Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters},
number = 1,
volume = 488,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slz106

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 1 work
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

4MOST Consortium Survey 7: Wide-Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES)
text, January 2019

  • Driver, Simon P.; Liske, Jochen; Davies, Luke J. M.
  • European Southern Observatory (ESO)
  • DOI: 10.18727/0722-6691/5126

The dust Attenuation law in Distant Galaxies: Evidence for Variation with Spectral type
journal, September 2013


Bimodal Color Distribution in Hierarchical Galaxy Formation
journal, October 2005

  • Menci, N.; Fontana, A.; Giallongo, E.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 632, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/432788

shards: constraints on the dust attenuation law of star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 2
journal, January 2018

  • Tress, Mónica; Mármol-Queraltó, Esther; Ferreras, Ignacio
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3334

Color Separation of Galaxy Types in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Imaging Data
journal, October 2001

  • Strateva, Iskra; Ivezić, Željko; Knapp, Gillian R.
  • The Astronomical Journal, Vol. 122, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1086/323301

STELLAR POPULATIONS OF LATE-TYPE BULGES AT z ≃ 1 IN THE HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD
journal, December 2008


Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): Morphological transformation of galaxies across the green valley
journal, January 2018

  • Bremer, M. N.; Phillipps, S.; Kelvin, L. S.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 476, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty124

Classification parameters for the emission-line spectra of extragalactic objects
journal, February 1981

  • Baldwin, J. A.; Phillips, M. M.; Terlevich, R.
  • Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 93
  • DOI: 10.1086/130766

Quenching massive galaxies with on-the-fly feedback in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations: Quenching in cosmological simulations
journal, October 2011


The green valley is a red herring: Galaxy Zoo reveals two evolutionary pathways towards quenching of star formation in early- and late-type galaxies★
journal, March 2014

  • Schawinski, Kevin; Urry, C. Megan; Simmons, Brooke D.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 440, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu327

The physical properties of star-forming galaxies in the low-redshift Universe
journal, July 2004


Galaxy Luminosity Functions to z ∼1 from DEEP2 and COMBO‐17: Implications for Red Galaxy Formation
journal, August 2007

  • Faber, S. M.; Willmer, C. N. A.; Wolf, C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 665, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/519294

Systematic variation of the stellar initial mass function with velocity dispersion in early-type galaxies
journal, November 2012

  • Ferreras, Ignacio; Barbera, Francesco La; Rosa, Ignacio G. de la
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 429, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/sls014

SHARDS: stellar populations and star formation histories of a mass-selected sample of 0.65 < z < 1.1 galaxies
journal, July 2013

  • Hernán-Caballero, Antonio; Alonso-Herrero, Almudena; Pérez-González, Pablo G.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 434, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1165

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): deconstructing bimodality – I. Red ones and blue ones
journal, November 2014

  • Taylor, Edward N.; Hopkins, Andrew M.; Baldry, Ivan K.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 446, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu1900

Hγ and Hδ Absorption Features in Stars and Stellar Populations
journal, August 1997

  • Worthey, Guy; Ottaviani, D. L.
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 111, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/313021

A chemical reaction network solver for the astrophysics code NIRVANA
journal, January 2016


MIUSCAT: extended MILES spectral coverage - I. Stellar population synthesis models: Extended MILES stellar population models
journal, June 2012


Semi-empirical analysis of Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies - II. The bimodality of the galaxy population revisited
journal, August 2006


The EAGLE project: simulating the evolution and assembly of galaxies and their environments
journal, November 2014

  • Schaye, Joop; Crain, Robert A.; Bower, Richard G.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 446, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2058

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): The mechanisms for quiescent galaxy formation at z < 1
journal, October 2017

  • Rowlands, K.; Wild, V.; Bourne, N.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 473, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1903

The Horizon-AGN simulation: morphological diversity of galaxies promoted by AGN feedback
journal, September 2016

  • Dubois, Yohan; Peirani, Sébastien; Pichon, Christophe
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 463, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw2265

Galaxy Zoo: evidence for diverse star formation histories through the green valley
journal, April 2015

  • Smethurst, R. J.; Lintott, C. J.; Simmons, B. D.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 450, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv161

Triggered star formation in the inner filament of Centaurus A
journal, February 2012

  • Crockett, R. Mark; Shabala, Stanislav S.; Kaviraj, Sugata
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 421, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20418.x

First results from the IllustrisTNG simulations: matter and galaxy clustering
journal, December 2017

  • Springel, Volker; Pakmor, Rüdiger; Pillepich, Annalisa
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3304

THE M -σ AND M - L RELATIONS IN GALACTIC BULGES, AND DETERMINATIONS OF THEIR INTRINSIC SCATTER
journal, May 2009

  • Gültekin, Kayhan; Richstone, Douglas O.; Gebhardt, Karl
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 698, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/698/1/198

Stellar masses and star formation histories for 10 5 galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
journal, May 2003

  • Kauffmann, Guinevere; Heckman, Timothy M.; Simon White, D. M.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 341, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06291.x

Green valley galaxies
journal, January 2014


Early-Type Galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. IV. Colors and Chemical Evolution
journal, April 2003

  • Bernardi, Mariangela; Sheth, Ravi K.; Annis, James
  • The Astronomical Journal, Vol. 125, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1086/367795

A Theory for the Variation of Dust Attenuation Laws in Galaxies
journal, December 2018

  • Narayanan, Desika; Conroy, Charlie; Davé, Romeel
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 869, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaed25

SPIDER VIII – constraints on the stellar initial mass function of early-type galaxies from a variety of spectral features
journal, June 2013

  • La Barbera, F.; Ferreras, I.; Vazdekis, A.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 433, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt943

The ages and metallicities of galaxies in the local universe
journal, September 2005

  • Gallazzi, Anna; Charlot, Stéphane; Brinchmann, Jarle
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 362, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09321.x

The UV‐Optical Galaxy Color‐Magnitude Diagram. III. Constraints on Evolution from the Blue to the Red Sequence
journal, December 2007

  • Martin, D. Christopher; Wyder, Ted K.; Schiminovich, David
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 173, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/516639

The jet/wind outflow in Centaurus A: a local laboratory for AGN feedback
journal, November 2017

  • McKinley, B.; Tingay, S. J.; Carretti, E.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 474, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx2890

CLASH: Photometric redshifts with 16 HST bands in galaxy cluster fields
journal, February 2014


Stellar population models of Lick indices with variable element abundance ratios
journal, March 2003


The causes of the red sequence, the blue cloud, the green valley, and the green mountain
journal, August 2018

  • Eales, Stephen A.; Baes, Maarten; Bourne, Nathan
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 481, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty2220

Nearly 5000 Distant Early‐Type Galaxies in COMBO‐17: A Red Sequence and Its Evolution since z  ∼ 1
journal, June 2004

  • Bell, Eric F.; Wolf, Christian; Meisenheimer, Klaus
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 608, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/420778

The Dust Content and Opacity of Actively Star‐forming Galaxies
journal, April 2000

  • Calzetti, Daniela; Armus, Lee; Bohlin, Ralph C.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 533, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/308692

Old Stellar Populations. VI. Absorption‐Line Spectra of Galaxy Nuclei and Globular Clusters
journal, May 1998

  • Trager, S. C.; Worthey, Guy; Faber, S. M.
  • The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, Vol. 116, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1086/313099

THE NEWFIRM MEDIUM-BAND SURVEY: PHOTOMETRIC CATALOGS, REDSHIFTS, AND THE BIMODAL COLOR DISTRIBUTION OF GALAXIES OUT TO z ∼ 3
journal, June 2011

  • Whitaker, Katherine E.; Labbé, Ivo; van Dokkum, Pieter G.
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 735, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/735/2/86

The Epochs of Early‐Type Galaxy Formation as a Function of Environment
journal, March 2005

  • Thomas, Daniel; Maraston, Claudia; Bender, Ralf
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 621, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/426932

Observational evidence for AGN feedback in early-type galaxies
journal, December 2007


Quenching star Formation at Intermediate Redshifts: Downsizing of the mass flux Density in the Green Valley
journal, October 2012

  • Gonçalves, Thiago S.; Martin, D. Christopher; Menéndez-Delmestre, Karín
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 759, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/759/1/67

Optical Detection of Star Formation in a Cold Dust Cloud in the Counterjet Direction of Centaurus A
journal, January 2019

  • Keel, William C.; Banfield, Julie K.; Medling, Anne M.
  • The Astronomical Journal, Vol. 157, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aaf809

Quantifying the Bimodal Color‐Magnitude Distribution of Galaxies
journal, January 2004

  • Baldry, Ivan K.; Glazebrook, Karl; Brinkmann, Jon
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 600, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1086/380092