EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 377, Number 1, October I 2001
Page(s) 1 - 16
Section Cosmology
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011063

A&A 377, 1-16 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011063

Non-Gaussian morphology on large scales: Minkowski functionals of the REFLEX cluster catalogue

M. Kerscher1, 2, K. Mecke3, 4, P. Schuecker5, H. Böhringer5, L. Guzzo6, C. A. Collins7, S. Schindler7, S. De Grandi6 and R. Cruddace8

1  Sektion Physik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Theresienstraße 37, 80333 München, Germany
2  Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
3  Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Heisenbergstr. 1, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
4  Institut für Theoretische und Angewandte Physik, Fakultät für Physik, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
5  Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik, PO Box 1603, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85740 Garching, Germany
6  Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Merate, Italy
7  Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
8  Navel Research Laboratory, Washington DC, USA

(Received 11 May 2001 / Accepted 20 July 2001)

In order to quantify higher-order correlations of the galaxy cluster distribution we use a complete family of additive measures which give scale-dependent morphological information. Minkowski functionals can be expressed analytically in terms of integrals of n-point correlation functions. They can be compared with measured Minkowski functionals of volume limited samples extracted from the REFLEX survey. We find significant non-Gaussian features in the large-scale spatial distribution of galaxy clusters. A Gauss-Poisson process can be excluded as a viable model for the distribution of galaxy clusters at the significance level of 95% .

Key words: large -- scale structure of Universe -- galaxies: clusters: general -- cosmology: observation -- cosmology: theory

Offprint request: M. Kerscher, Kerscher@theorie.physik.uni-muenchen.de

© ESO 2001