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Combining new H I data from a synergetic survey of Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind surveY and Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope with the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA data, we study the effect of ram pressure and tidal interactions in the NGC 4636 group. We develop two parameters to quantify and disentangle these two effects on gas stripping in H I-bearing galaxies: the strength of external forces at the optical-disk edge, and the outside-in extents of H I-disk stripping. We find that gas stripping is widespread in this group, affecting 80% of H I-detected nonmerging galaxies, and that 41% are experiencing both types of stripping. Among the galaxies experiencing both effects, the two types of strengths are independent, while two H I-stripping extents moderately anticorrelate with each other. Both strengths are correlated with H I-disk shrinkage. The tidal strength is related to a rather uniform reddening of low-mass galaxies (M* < 109 M☉) when tidal stripping is the dominating effect. In contrast, ram pressure is not clearly linked to the color-changing patterns of galaxies in the group. Combining these two stripping extents, we estimate the total stripping extent, and put forward an empirical model that can describe the decrease of H I richness as galaxies fall toward the group center. The stripping timescale we derived decreases with distance to the center, from ∼1 Gyr beyond R200 to 10 Myr near the center. Gas depletion happens ∼3 Gyr since crossing 2R200 for H I-rich galaxies, but much quicker for H I-poor ones. Our results quantify in a physically motivated way the details and processes of environmental-effects-driven galaxy evolution, and might assist in analyzing hydrodynamic simulations in an observational way.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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The Astrophysical Journal





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