Star formation rates and chemical abundances of emission-line galaxies in intermediate-redshift clusters

M. Mouhcine*, S. P. Bamford, A. Aragón-Salamanca, O. Nakamura, B. Milvang-Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the evolutionary status of luminous, star-forming galaxies in intermediate-redshift clusters by considering their star formation rates (SFRs) and the chemical and ionization properties of their interstellar emitting gas. Our sample consists of 17 massive, star-forming, mostly disc galaxies with , in clusters with redshifts in the range , with a median of . We compare these galaxies with the identically selected and analysed intermediate-redshift field sample of Mouhcine et al., and with local galaxies from the Nearby Field Galaxy Survey of Jansen et al. From our optical spectra, we measure the equivalent widths of and [O iii]λ5007 emission lines to determine diagnostic line ratios, oxygen abundances and extinction-corrected SFRs. The star-forming galaxies in intermediate-redshift clusters display emission-line equivalent widths which are, on average, significantly smaller than measured for field galaxies at comparable redshifts. However, a contrasting fraction of our cluster galaxies have equivalent widths similar to the highest observed in the field. This tentatively suggests a bimodality in the SFRs per unit luminosity for galaxies in distant clusters. We find no evidence for further bimodalities, or differences between our cluster and field samples, when examining additional diagnostics and the oxygen abundances of our galaxies. This maybe because no such differences exist, perhaps because the cluster galaxies which still display signs of star formation have recently arrived from the field. In order to examine this topic with more certainty, and to further investigate the way in which any disparity varies as a function of cluster properties, larger spectroscopic samples are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1871-1879
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: abundances
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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