Publication: Recent arrival of faint cluster galaxies on the red sequence

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Title Recent arrival of faint cluster galaxies on the red sequence
Authors/Editors* T. Lu, D. Gilbank, M. Balogh, A. Bognat
Where published* Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
How published* Journal
Year* 2009
Volume 399
Pages 1858-1876
Publisher Wiley
Keywords galaxy clusters
The global star formation rate has decreased significantly since z=1, for reasons that are not well understood. Red-sequence galaxies, dominating in galaxy clusters, represent the population that have had their star formation shut off, and may therefore be the key to this problem. In this work, we select 127 rich galaxy clusters at 0.17 ≤z≤ 0.36 , from 119 deg2 of the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) optical imaging data, and construct the r'-band red-sequence luminosity functions (LFs). We show that the faint end of the LF is very sensitive to how red-sequence galaxies are selected, and an optimal way to minimize the contamination from the blue cloud is to mirror galaxies on the redder side of the colour–magnitude relation. The LFs of our sample have a significant inflexion, suggesting a mixture of two populations. Combining our survey with low-redshift samples constructed from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we show that there is no strong evolution of the faint end of the LF (or the red-sequence dwarf-to-giant ratio) over the redshift range 0.2 ≲z≲ 0.4 , but from z=0.2 to z=0 the relative number of red-sequence dwarf galaxies has increased by a factor of 3, implying a significant build-up of the faint end of the cluster red sequence over the last 2.5 Gyr.
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