Dynamical Evidence for Environmental Evolution of Intermediate‐Redshift Spiral Galaxies

SM Moran, N Miller, T Treu, RS Ellis, Graham Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Combining resolved optical spectroscopy with panoramic HST imaging, we study the dynamical properties of spiral galaxies as a function of position across two intermediate-redshift clusters, and we compare the cluster population to field galaxies in the same redshift range. By modeling the observed rotation curves, we derive maximal rotation velocities for 40 cluster spirals and 37 field spirals, yielding one of the largest matched samples of cluster and field spirals at intermediate redshift. We construct the Tully-Fisher (TF) relation in both V and K-s bands, and find that the cluster Tully-Fisher relation exhibits significantly higher scatter than the field relation, in both V and Ks bands. Under the assumption that this increased scatter is due to an interaction with the cluster environment, we examine several dynamical quantities ( dynamical mass, mass-to-light ratio, and central mass density) as a function of cluster environment. We find that the central mass densities of star-forming spirals exhibit a sharp break near the cluster virial radius, with spirals in the cluster outskirts exhibiting significantly lower densities. We argue that the lower density spirals in the cluster outskirts, combined with the high scatter in both K-s- and V-band TF relations, demonstrate that cluster spirals are kinematically disturbed by their environment, even as far as 2R(vir) from the cluster center. We propose that such disturbances may be due to a combination of galaxy merging and harassment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138
Number of pages1
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2007


  • galaxies : stellar content
  • galaxies : clusters : individual (Cl 0024+1654, MS 0451-03)
  • galaxies : kinematics and dynamics
  • galaxies : spiral
  • galaxies : evolution


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