The differential size growth of field and cluster glaxies at z= 2.1 using the zfourge survey

Rebecca J. Allen, Glenn G. Kacprzak, Lee R. Spitler, Karl Glazebrook, Ivo Labbé, Kim Vy H Tran, Caroline M S Straatman, Themiya Nanayakkara, Gabriel B. Brammer, Ryan F. Quadri, Michael Cowley, Andy Monson, Casey Papovich, S. Eric Persson, Glen Rees, V. Tilvi, Adam R. Tomczak

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There is ongoing debate regarding the extent that environment affects galaxy size growth beyond z ≥ 1. To investigate the differences in star-forming and quiescent galaxy properties as a function of environment at z = 2.1, we create a mass-complete sample of 59 cluster galaxies and 478 field galaxies with log(M/) ≥ 9 using photometric redshifts from the ZFOURGE survey. We compare the mass-size relation of field and cluster galaxies using measured galaxy semi-major axis half-light radii () from CANDELS Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/F160W imaging. We find consistent mass-normalized (log(M/) = 10.7) sizes for quiescent field galaxies ( kpc) and quiescent cluster galaxies ( kpc). The mass-normalized size of star-forming cluster galaxies ( kpc) is 12% larger (Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test ) than star-forming field galaxies ( kpc). From the mass-color relation we find that quiescent field galaxies with 9.7 < log(M/) are slightly redder (KS test 3.6σ) than quiescent cluster galaxies, while cluster and field quiescent galaxies with log(M/) > 10.4 have consistent colors. We find that star-forming cluster galaxies are on average 20% redder than star-forming field galaxies at all masses. Furthermore, we stack galaxy images to measure average radial color profiles as a function of mass. Negative color gradients are only present for massive star-forming field and cluster galaxies with log(M/) ; the remaining galaxy masses and types have flat profiles. Our results suggest, given the observed differences in size and color of star-forming field and cluster galaxies, that the environment has begun to influence/accelerate their evolution. However, the lack of differences between field and cluster quiescent galaxies indicates that the environment has not begun to significantly influence their evolution at z ∼ 2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 The American Astronomical Society. First published in the Astrophysical journal, 806(1), 3, 2015, published by IOP Publishing. The original publication is available at Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: structure


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