The effect of cosmic web filaments on the properties of groups and their central galaxies
1 Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
2 Tartu Observatory, Observatooriumi 1, 61602 Tõravere, Estonia
3 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
4 Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
Received: 2 September 2016
Accepted: 2 November 2016
Context. The nature versus nurture scenario in galaxy and group evolution is a long-standing problem not yet fully understood on cosmological scales.
Aims. We study the properties of groups and their central galaxies in different large-scale environments defined by the luminosity density field and the cosmic web filaments.
Methods. We use the luminosity density field constructed using 8 h-1 Mpc smoothing to characterize the large-scale environments. We use the Bisous model to extract the filamentary structures in different large-scale environments. We study the properties of galaxy groups as a function of their dynamical mass in different large-scale environments.
Results. We find differences in the properties of central galaxies and their groups in and outside of filaments at fixed halo and large-scale environments. In high-density environments, the group mass function has higher number densities in filaments compared to that outside of filaments towards the massive end. The relation is the opposite in low-density environments. At fixed group mass and large-scale luminosity density, mass-to-light ratios show that groups in filaments are slightly more luminous than those outside of filaments. At fixed group mass and large-scale luminosity density, central galaxies in filaments have redder colors, higher stellar masses, and lower specific star formation rates than those outside of filaments. However, the differences in central galaxy and group properties in and outside of filaments are not clear in some group mass bins. We show that the differences in central galaxy properties are due to the higher abundances of elliptical galaxies in filaments.
Conclusions. Filamentary structures in the cosmic web are not simply visual associations of galaxies, but rather play an important role in shaping the properties of groups and their central galaxies. The differences in central galaxy and group properties in and outside of cosmic web filaments are not simple effects related to large-scale environmental density. The results point towards an efficient mechanism in cosmic web filaments which quench star formation and transform central galaxy morphology from late to early types.
Key words: galaxies: groups: general / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: structure / cosmology: observations / large-scale structure of Universe
© ESO, 2017