3 years ago

Age, metallicity and star formation history of spheroidal galaxies in cluster at z~1.2.

P. Saracco, F. La Barbera, A. Gargiulo, F. Mannucci, D. Marchesini, M. Nonino, P. Ciliegi

We present the analysis, based on spectra collected at the Large Binocular Telescope, of the stellar populations in seven spheroidal galaxies in the cluster XLSSJ0223 at $z$\sim$1.22. The aim is to constrain the epoch of their formation and their star formation history. Using absorption line strenghts and full spectral fitting, we derive for the stellar populations of the seven spheroids a median age <Age>=2.4$\pm$0.6 Gyr, corresponding to a median formation redshift %CONTENT%lt;$z_f$>$\sim2.6_{-0.5}^{+0.7}$ (lookback time = 11$_{-1.0}^{+0.6}$ Gyr). We find a significant scatter in age, showing that massive spheroids, at least in our targeted cluster, are not coeval. The median metallicity is [Z/H]=0.09$\pm$0.16, as for early-types in clusters at 0%CONTENT%lt;$z%CONTENT%lt;0.9. This lack of evolution of [Z/H] over the range 0%CONTENT%lt;$z$<$1.3, corresponding to the last 9 billions years, suggests that no significant additional star formation and chemical enrichment are required for cluster spheroids to reach the present-day population. We do not detect significant correlation between age and velocity dispersion $\sigma_e$, or dynamical mass M$_{dyn}$, or effective stellar mass density $\Sigma_e$. On the contrary, the metallicity [Z/H] of the seven spheroids is correlated to their dynamical mass M$_{dyn}$, according to a relation similar to the one for local spheroids. [Z/H] is also anticorrelated to stellar mass density $\Sigma_e$ because of the anticorrelation between M$_{dyn}$ and $\Sigma_e$. Therefore, the basic trends observed in the local universe were already established at $z\sim1.3$, i.e. more massive spheroids are more metal rich, have lower stellar mass density and tend to be older than lower-mass galaxies.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1901.01595

DOI: arXiv:1901.01595v2

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