Galaxies in the local universe are most commonly found in groups and are thought to be “pre-processed” in this environment before being consumed by clusters. Yet we know very little about the gastrophysics of these systems, how they evolve and how this environment is connected to the quenching of star-forming galaxies. In particular, the role of intragroup gas has been challenging to uncover due to observational constraints and the limitations of radio telescopes to date. Sensitive, interferometric \HI\ observations of galaxy groups, combined with multiwavelength tracers of stellar mass, star formation and shocks, is necessary to examine the physical processes transforming galaxies from star-forming to quenched. These laboratories may be key to understanding the dominant mechanisms driving galaxy evolution. MeerKAT uniquely combines a large field of view, column density sensitivity, and excellent UV coverage on short baselines ensuring sensitivity to diffuse gas. This design makes it a compelling instrument for the study of intragroup and circumgroup gas, quenching in galaxy groups, and for tracing evolutionary pathways within the group environment.
M. Cluver, L. Verdes-Montenegro and K. Hess
Tue, 13 Feb 18
Comments: Accepted to Proceedings of Science, “MeerKAT Science: On the Pathway to the SKA”, Stellenbosch, 25-27 May 2016