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The Phase Space of Clusters at z ~ 1 as a Tool for Understanding the Satellite Quenching Process

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The position vs. velocity phase space of cluster galaxies encodes the accretion history of galaxies onto the cluster, and is therefore a powerful tool for differentiating between dynamically-young and dynamically-old populations. Using a sample of > 400 spectroscopic members in 10 rich clusters at z ~ 1 from the GCLASS survey, I will show that the populations of quiescent, star-forming, and post-starburst galaxies in the clusters reside in distinctive regions of position-velocity phase space. In particular, post-starburst galaxies are located in a “ring” at small clustercentric radii, but high clustercentric velocities. A comparison to numerical simulations shows that we can reproduce the phase space location of the post-starbursts if they are the descendants of a star-forming population that quench rapidly after their first crossing of approximately half the cluster virial radius. This location and timescale for quenching provide some constraints on the possible mechanisms for environmental quenching, and I will discuss these.

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