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The environmental dependence of gas accretion onto galaxies: quenching satellites through starvation

Voort, FVD, Bahé, YM, Bower, RG, Correa, CA, Crain, RA, Schaye, J and Theuns, T (2016) The environmental dependence of gas accretion onto galaxies: quenching satellites through starvation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 466 (3). pp. 3460-3471. ISSN 0035-8711

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Galaxies that have fallen into massive haloes may no longer be able to accrete gas from their surroundings, a process referred to as 'starvation' or 'strangulation' of satellites. We study the environmental dependence of gas accretion onto galaxies using the cosmological, hydrodynamical EAGLE simulation. We quantify the dependence of gas accretion on stellar mass, redshift, and environment, using halo mass and galaxy overdensity as environmental indicators. We find a strong suppression, by many orders of magnitude, of the gas accretion rate in dense environments, primarily for satellite galaxies. This suppression becomes stronger at lower redshift. However, the scatter in accretion rates is very large for satellites. This is (at least in part) due to the variation in halocentric radius, since gas accretion is more suppressed at smaller radii. Central galaxies are influenced less strongly by their environment and exhibit less scatter in their gas accretion rates. The star formation rates of both centrals and satellites show similar behaviour to their gas accretion rates. The relatively small differences between gas accretion and star formation rates demonstrate that galaxies generally exhaust their gas reservoir somewhat faster at higher stellar mass, lower redshift, and in denser environments. We conclude that the environmental suppression of gas accretion could directly result in the quenching of star formation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 10:06
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 08:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/stw3356
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5370
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