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The DEEP3 Galaxy Redshift Survey: the impact of environment on the size evolution of massive early-type galaxies at intermediate redshift

Authors

  • Michael C. Cooper,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Galaxy Evolution, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine, 4129 Frederick Reines Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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  • Roger L. Griffith,

    1. Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
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  • Jeffrey A. Newman,

    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, 3941 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
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  • Alison L. Coil,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
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  • Marc Davis,

    1. Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, Hearst Field Annex B, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
    2. Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 366 LeConte Hall MC 7300, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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  • Aaron A. Dutton,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
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  • S. M. Faber,

    1. UCO/Lick Observatory and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
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  • Puragra Guhathakurta,

    1. UCO/Lick Observatory and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
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  • David C. Koo,

    1. UCO/Lick Observatory and Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
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  • Jennifer M. Lotz,

    1. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
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  • Benjamin J. Weiner,

    1. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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  • Christopher N. A. Willmer,

    1. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
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  • Renbin Yan

    1. Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, Department of Physics, New York University, 4 Washington Place, New York, NY 10003, USA
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  • Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  • Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

E-mail: m.cooper@uci.edu

Hubble fellow.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellow.

CITA National fellow.

ABSTRACT

Using data drawn from the DEEP2 and DEEP3 Galaxy Redshift Surveys, we investigate the relationship between the environment and the structure of galaxies residing on the red sequence at intermediate redshift. Within the massive (10 < log10(M/h−2 M) < 11) early-type population at 0.4 < z < 1.2, we find a significant correlation between local galaxy overdensity (or environment) and galaxy size, such that early-type systems in higher density regions tend to have larger effective radii (by ∼0.5 h−1 kpc or 25 per cent larger) than their counterparts of equal stellar mass and Sérsic index in lower density environments. This observed size–density relation is consistent with a model of galaxy formation in which the evolution of early-type systems at z < 2 is accelerated in high-density environments such as groups and clusters and in which dry, minor mergers (versus mechanisms such as quasar feedback) play a central role in the structural evolution of the massive, early-type galaxy population.

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