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Gozaliasl, Ghassem; Finoguenov, Alexis; Khosroshahi, Habib G.; Mirkazemi, Mohammad; Erfanianfar, Ghazaleh and Tanaka, Masayuki (2016): Brightest group galaxies: stellar mass and star formation rate (paper I). In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 458, No. 3: pp. 2762-2775

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We study the distribution and evolution of the stellar mass and the star formation rate (SFR) of the brightest group galaxies (BGGs) over 0.04 < z < 1.3 using a large sample of 407 X-ray galaxy groups selected from the COSMOS, AEGIS, and XMM-LSS fields. We compare our results with predictions from the semi-analytic models based on the Millennium simulation. In contrast to model predictions, we find that, as the Universe evolves, the stellarmass distribution evolves towards a normal distribution. This distribution tends to skew to low-mass BGGs at all redshifts implying the presence of a star-forming population of the BGGs with M-S similar to 10(10.5) M-circle dot which results in the shape of the stellar mass distribution deviating from a normal distribution. In agreement with the models and previous studies, we find that the mean stellar mass of BGGs grows with time by a factor of similar to 2 between z = 1.3 and z = 0.1, however, the significant growth occurs above z = 0.4. The BGGs are not entirely a dormant population of galaxies, as low-mass BGGs in low-mass haloes are more active in forming stars than the BGGs in more massive haloes, over the same redshift range. We find that the average SFR of the BGGs evolves steeply with redshift and fraction of the passive BGGs increases as a function of increasing stellar mass and halo mass. Finally, we show that the specific SFR of the BGGs within haloes with M-200 <= 10(13.4) M-circle dot decreases with increasing halo mass at z < 0.4.

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