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Title: From starburst to quiescence: testing active galactic nucleus feedback in rapidly quenching post-starburst galaxies

Post-starbursts are galaxies in transition from the blue cloud to the red sequence. Although they are rare today, integrated over time they may be an important pathway to the red sequence. This work uses Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer observations to identify the evolutionary sequence from starbursts to fully quenched post-starbursts (QPSBs) in the narrow mass range log M(M {sub ☉}) = 10.3-10.7, and identifies 'transiting' post-starbursts (TPSBs) which are intermediate between these two populations. In this mass range, ∼0.3% of galaxies are starbursts, ∼0.1% are QPSBs, and ∼0.5% are the transiting types in between. The TPSBs have stellar properties that are predicted for fast-quenching starbursts and morphological characteristics that are already typical of early-type galaxies. The active galactic nucleus (AGN) fraction, as estimated from optical line ratios, of these post-starbursts is about three times higher (≳ 36% ± 8%) than that of normal star forming galaxies of the same mass, but there is a significant delay between the starburst phase and the peak of nuclear optical AGN activity (median age difference of ≳ 200 ± 100 Myr), in agreement with previous studies. The time delay is inferred by comparing the broadbandmore » near-NUV-to-optical photometry with stellar population synthesis models. We also find that starbursts and post-starbursts are significantly more dust obscured than normal star forming galaxies in the same mass range. About 20% of the starbursts and 15% of the TPSBs can be classified as 'dust-obscured galaxies' (DOGs), with a near-UV-to-mid-IR flux ratio of ≳ 900, while only 0.8% of normal galaxies are DOGs. The time delay between the starburst phase and AGN activity suggests that AGNs do not play a primary role in the original quenching of starbursts but may be responsible for quenching later low-level star formation by removing gas and dust during the post-starburst phase.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  2. School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)
  3. Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien, Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35, D-69118 Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365158
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 792; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DUSTS; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; INFRARED SURVEYS; MASS; QUENCHING; STARS; SYNTHESIS