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Title: Galaxy populations in the most distant SPT-SZ clusters: II. Galaxy structural properties in massive clusters at 1.4 ≲ z ≲ 1.7
We investigate structural properties of massive galaxy populations in the central regions (< 0.7  r 500 ) of five very massive ( M 200  > 4 × 10 14   M ⊙ ), high-redshift (1.4 ≲  z  ≲ 1.7) galaxy clusters from the 2500 deg 2 South Pole Telescope Sunyaev Zel’dovich effect (SPT-SZ) survey. We probe the connection between galaxy structure and broad stellar population properties at stellar masses of log( M / M ⊙ ) > 10.85. We find that quiescent and star-forming cluster galaxy populations are largely dominated by bulge- and disk-dominated sources, respectively, with relative contributions being fully consistent with those of field counterparts. At the same time, the enhanced quiescent galaxy fraction observed in these clusters with respect to the coeval field is reflected in a significant morphology-density relation, with bulge-dominated galaxies already clearly dominating the massive galaxy population in these clusters at z  ∼ 1.5. At face value, these observations show no significant environmental signatures in the correlation between broad structural and stellar population properties. In particular, the Sersic index and axis ratio distribution of massive, quiescent sources are consistent with field counterparts, in spite of the enhanced quiescent galaxy fraction in clusters. This consistency suggests a tight connection between quenching and structural evolution towards a bulge-dominated morphology, at least in the probed cluster regions and galaxy stellar mass range, irrespective of environment-related processes affecting star formation in cluster galaxies. We also probe the stellar mass–size relation of cluster galaxies, and find that star-forming and quiescent sources populate the mass–size plane in a manner largely similar to their field counterparts, with no evidence of a significant size difference for any probed sub-population. In particular, both quiescent and bulge-dominated cluster galaxies have average sizes at fixed stellar mass consistent with their counterparts in the field.  more » « less
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Astronomy & Astrophysics
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National Science Foundation
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