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It's not easy being green: The evolution of galaxy colour in the EAGLE simulation

Trayford, JW and Theuns, T and Bower, RG and Crain, RA and Lagos, CDP and Schaller, M and Schaye, J (2016) It's not easy being green: The evolution of galaxy colour in the EAGLE simulation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ISSN 0035-8711

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Abstract

We examine the evolution of intrinsic u-r colours of galaxies in the EAGLE cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, which has been shown to reproduce the observed redshift z=0.1 colour-magnitude distribution well. The median u-r of star-forming ('blue cloud') galaxies reddens by 1 mag from z=2 to 0 at fixed stellar mass, as their specific star formation rates decrease with time. A red sequence starts to build-up around z=1, due to the quenching of low-mass satellite galaxies at the faint end, and due to the quenching of more massive central galaxies by their active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the bright end. This leaves a dearth of intermediate-mass red sequence galaxies at z=1, which is mostly filled in by z=0. We quantify the time-scales of colour transition due to satellite and AGN quenching, finding that most galaxies spend less than 2 Gyr in the 'green valley'. On examining the trajectories of galaxies in a colour-stellar mass diagram, we identify three characteristic tracks that galaxies follow (quiescently star-forming, quenching and rejuvenating galaxies) and quantify the fraction of galaxies that follow each track.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 R.A. Crain et al. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 10:49
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2016 10:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stw1230
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3809

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