Phase-space Analysis in the Group and Cluster Environment: Time since Infall and Tidal Mass Loss

Jinsu Rhee, Rory Smith, Hoseung Choi, Sukyoung K. Yi, Yara Jaffé, Graeme Candlish, Ruben Sánchez-Jánssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Using the latest cosmological hydrodynamic N-body simulations of groups and clusters, we study how location in phase-space coordinates at z = 0 can provide information on environmental effects acting in clusters. We confirm the results of previous authors showing that galaxies tend to follow a typical path in phase-space as they settle into the cluster potential. As such, different regions of phase-space can be associated with different times since first infalling into the cluster. However, in addition, we see a clear trend between total mass loss due to cluster tides and time since infall. Thus, we find location in phase-space provides information on both infall time and tidal mass loss. We find the predictive power of phase-space diagrams remains even when projected quantities are used (i.e., line of sight velocities, and projected distances from the cluster). We provide figures that can be directly compared with observed samples of cluster galaxies and we also provide the data used to make them as supplementary data to encourage the use of phase-space diagrams as a tool to understand cluster environmental effects. We find that our results depend very weakly on galaxy mass or host mass, so the predictions in our phase-space diagrams can be applied to groups or clusters alike, or to galaxy populations from dwarfs up to giants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 10

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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