Evolution in the H I Gas Content of Galaxy Groups: Pre-processing and Mass Assembly in the Current Epoch
The Astronomical Journal, Volume 146, Issue 5, article id. 124, 15 pp. (2013).
Published in Nov 2013
We present an analysis of the neutral hydrogen (H I) content and distribution of galaxies in groups as a function of their parent dark matter halo mass. The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey α.40 data release allows us, for the first time, to study the H I properties of over 740 galaxy groups in the volume of sky common to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and ALFALFA surveys. We assigned ALFALFA H I detections a group membership based on an existing magnitude/volume-limited SDSS Data Release 7 group/cluster catalog. Additionally, we assigned group "proximity" membership to H I detected objects whose optical counterpart falls below the limiting optical magnitude—thereby not contributing substantially to the estimate of the group stellar mass, but significantly to the total group H I mass. We find that only 25% of the H I detected galaxies reside in groups or clusters, in contrast to approximately half of all optically detected galaxies. Further, we plot the relative positions of optical and H I detections in groups as a function of parent dark matter halo mass to reveal strong evidence that H I is being processed in galaxies as a result of the group environment: as optical membership increases, groups become increasingly deficient of H I rich galaxies at their center and the H I distribution of galaxies in the most massive groups starts to resemble the distribution observed in comparatively more extreme cluster environments. We find that the lowest H I mass objects lose their gas first as they are processed in the group environment, and it is evident that the infall of gas rich objects is important to the continuing growth of large scale structure at the present epoch, replenishing the neutral gas supply of groups. Finally, we compare our results to those of cosmological simulations and find that current models cannot simultaneously predict the H I selected halo occupation distribution for both low and high mass halos.
galaxies: ISM; galaxies: clusters: general; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: groups: general; radio lines: galaxies
Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics