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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science