This study investigated the properties of the molecular gas content and star formation activity of 17 Virgo spirals, 21 Ursa Major (UMa) spirals, 13 Pisces spiral galaxies, and a comparison sample of 11 field spiral galaxies with a spatially resolved gas and stellar distribution. The H i-deficient galaxies with a defH i > 0.4 have a similar range of CO luminosity normalized by the K-band luminosity (L CO/L K) like the field spirals, although their CO content can be smaller by up to a factor of 2. The CO, H i, and stellar disk diameters are closely related to each other for both cluster and field galaxies, and the relative diameters of the CO and H i disks grow monotonically and smoothly as the H i-to-stellar disk diameter ratio decreases. Cluster galaxies have a molecular gas consumption time up to 10 times shorter than that of the field comparison sample, suggesting a significant change in the molecular gas content and star formation activity among all the cluster galaxies, even when they do not show any sign of H i stripping. The strongly H i-stripped Virgo cluster galaxies show only a modestly reduced total gas consumption time, indicating that the star formation activity and gas consumption are a highly local (rather than global) phenomenon. Our finding is that the depletion of cold gas by ram-pressure stripping and/or starvation caused by preprocessing in each cluster environment makes galaxies evolve passively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science