The mid-infrared and near-ultraviolet excess emissions of quiescent galaxies on the red sequence

Jongwan Ko, Ho Seong Hwang, Jong Chul Lee, Young Jong Sohn

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22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the mid-infrared (IR) and near-ultraviolet (UV) excess emissions of spectroscopically selected quiescent galaxies on the optical red sequence. We use the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR and Galaxy Evolution Explorer near-UV data for a spectroscopic sample of galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 7 to study the possible connection between quiescent red-sequence galaxies with and without mid-IR/near-UV excess. Among 648 12 μm detected quiescent red-sequence galaxies without Hα emission, 26% and 55% show near-UV and mid-IR excess emissions, respectively. When we consider only bright (Mr < -21.5) galaxies with an early-type morphology, the fraction of galaxies with recent star formation is still 39%. The quiescent red-sequence galaxies with mid-IR and near-UV excess emissions are optically fainter and have slightly smaller Dn 4000 than those without mid-IR and near-UV excess emissions. We also find that mid-IR weighted mean stellar ages of quiescent red-sequence galaxies with mid-IR excess are larger than those with near-UV excess, and smaller than those without mid-IR and near-UV excess. The environmental dependence of the fraction of quiescent red-sequence galaxies with mid-IR and near-UV excess seems strong even though the trends of quiescent red-sequence galaxies with near-UV excess differ from those with mid-IR excess. These results indicate that the recent star formation traced by near-UV (≲ 1 Gyr) and mid-IR (≲ 2 Gyr) excess is not negligible among nearby, quiescent, red, early-type galaxies. We suggest a possible evolutionary scenario of quiescent red-sequence galaxies from quiescent red-sequence galaxies with near-UV excess to those with mid-IR excess to those without near-UV and mid-IR excess.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume767
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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