The SAMI Galaxy Survey: Bulge and Disk Stellar Population Properties in Cluster Galaxies

We explore stellar population properties separately in the bulge and the disk of double-component cluster galaxies, to shed light on the formation of lenticular galaxies in dense environments. We study eight low-redshift clusters from the Sydney-AAO Multi-object Integral field Galaxy Survey, using two-dimensional photometric bulge-disk decomposition in the g, r, and i bands to characterize galaxies. For 192 double-component galaxies with M* > 1010 M☉, we estimate the color, age, and metallicity of the bulge and the disk. The analysis of the g - i colors reveals that bulges are redder than their surrounding disks, with a median offset of 0.12 ± 0.02 mag, consistent with previous results. To measure mass-weighted age and metallicity, we investigate three methods: (i) one based on galaxy stellar mass weights for the two components, (ii) one based on flux weights, and (iii) one based on radial separation. The three methods agree in finding 62% of galaxies having bulges that are 2-3 times more metal-rich than the disks. Of the remaining galaxies, 7% have bulges that are more metal-poor than the disks, while for 31%, the bulge and disk metallicities are not significantly different. We observe 23% of galaxies being characterized by bulges older and 34% by bulges younger with respect to the disks. The remaining 43% of galaxies have bulges and disks with statistically indistinguishable ages. Redder bulges tend to be more metal-rich than the disks, suggesting that the redder color in bulges is due to their enhanced metallicity relative to the disks instead of differences in stellar population age.

Publication Date: 
January 2021