Tidal stripping as a test of satellite quenching in redMaPPer clusters

Yuedong Fang, Joseph Clampitt, Neal Dalal, Bhuvnesh Jain, Eduardo Rozo, John Moustakas, Eli Rykoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When darkmatter haloes are accreted by massive host clusters, strong gravitational tidal forces begin stripping mass from the accreted subhaloes. This stripping eventually removes all mass beyond a subhalo's tidal radius, with unbound mass remaining in the vicinity of the satellite for at most a dynamical time tdyn. The N-body subhalo study of Chamberlain et al. verified this picture and pointed out a useful observational consequence: correlations between subhaloes beyond the tidal radius are sensitive to the infall time, tinfall, of the subhalo on to its host. We perform this correlation using ~160 000 red satellite galaxies in Sloan Digital Sky Survey redMaPPer clusters and find evidence that subhalo correlations do persist well beyond the tidal radius, suggesting that many of the observed satellites fell into their current host less than a dynamical time ago, tinfall < tdyn. Combined with estimated dynamical times tdyn ~ 3-5 Gyr and SED fitting results for the time at which satellites stopped forming stars, tquench ~ 6 Gyr, we infer that for a significant fraction of the satellites, star formation quenched before those satellites entered their current hosts. The result holds for red satellites over a large range of cluster-centric distances 0.1-0.6 Mpc h-1.We discuss the implications of this result formodels of galaxy formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1915
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • galaxies: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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