The Pan-STARRS1 Medium-deep Survey: Star Formation Quenching in Group and Cluster Environments

Hung Yu Jian, Lihwai Lin, Kai Yang Lin, Sebastien Foucaud, Chin Wei Chen, Tzihong Chiueh, R. G. Bower, Shaun Cole, Wen Ping Chen, W. S. Burgett, P. W. Draper, H. Flewelling, M. E. Huber, N. Kaiser, R. P. Kudritzki, E. A. Magnier, N. Metcalfe, R. J. Wainscoat, C. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We make use of a catalog of 1600 Pan-STARRS1 groups produced by the probability friends-of-friends algorithm to explore how the galaxy properties, i.e., the specific star formation rate (SSFR) and quiescent fraction, depend on stellar mass and group-centric radius. The work is the extension of Lin et al. In this work, powered by a stacking technique plus a background subtraction for contamination removal, a finer correction and more precise results are obtained than in our previous work. We find that while the quiescent fraction increases with decreasing group-centric radius, the median SSFRs of star-forming galaxies in groups at fixed stellar mass drop slightly from the field toward the group center. This suggests that the main quenching process in groups is likely a fast mechanism. On the other hand, a reduction in SSFRs by ∼0.2 dex is seen inside clusters as opposed to the field galaxies. If the reduction is attributed to the slow quenching effect, the slow quenching process acts dominantly in clusters. In addition, we also examine the density-color relation, where the density is defined by using a sixth-nearest-neighbor approach. Comparing the quiescent fractions contributed from the density and radial effect, we find that the density effect dominates the massive group or cluster galaxies, and the radial effect becomes more effective in less massive galaxies. The results support mergers and/or starvation as the main quenching mechanisms in the group environment, while harassment and/or starvation dominate in clusters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2017


  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: groups: general
  • large-scale structure of universe
  • methods: data analysis


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