Brightest Group Galaxies: Stellar Mass and Star Formation Rate (paper I) [GA]

We study the distribution and evolution of the stellar mass and the star formation rate (SFR) of the brightest group galaxies (BGGs) over $ 0.04<z<1.3 $ using a large sample of $ 407 $ X-ray galaxy groups selected from the COSMOS, AEGIS, and XMM-LSS fields. We compare our results with predictions from the semi-analytic models based on the Millennium simulation. In contrast to model predictions, we find that, as the universe evolves, the stellar mass distribution evolves towards a normal distribution. This distribution tends to skew to low mass BGGs at all redshifts implying the presence of a star-forming population of the BGGs with $ M_S\sim10^{10.5} M_{\odot} $ which results in the shape of the stellar mass distribution deviating from a normal distribution. In agreement with models and previous studies, we find that the mean stellar mass of BGGs grows with time by a factor of $\sim2$ between $z=1.3$ to $z=0.1$, however, the significant growth occurs above $ z=0.4$. The BGGs are not entirely a dormant population of galaxies, as low mass BGGs in low mass halos are more active in forming stars than the BGGs in more massive halos, over the same redshift range. We find that the average SFR of the BGGs evolves steeply with redshift and fraction of the passive BGGs increases as a function of increasing stellar mass and halo mass. Finally, we show that the specific SFR of the BGGs within halos with $ M_{200} \leq 10^{13.4} M_{\odot} $ decreases with increasing halo mass at $ z<0.4 $.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Gozaliasl, A. Finoguenov, H. Khosroshahi, et. al.
Mon, 29 Feb 16

Comments: 15 pages, 11 figures