For most galaxies, the shutdown of star formation was a slow process that took 4 billion years. An analysis of some 27,000 galaxies suggests that 'strangulation' by their environment was the most likely cause. See Letter p.192
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Cattaneo, A. The slow death of red galaxies. Nature 521, 164–165 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/521164a