EDP Sciences
Free access
Issue
A&A
Volume 399, Number 3, March I 2003
Page(s) L35 - L38
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030081


A&A 399, L35-L38 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030081

Letter

The z $\le$ 0.1 surface brightness distribution

K. O'Neil, S. Andreon and J.-C. Cuillandre

NAIC/Arecibo Observatory, HC3 Box 53995, Arecibo, PR 00612, USA INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, PO Box 1597, Kamuela, HI 96743
(Received 22 May 2002 / Accepted 15 January 2003)

Abstract
The surface brightness distribution (SBD) function describes the number density of galaxies as measured against their central surface brightness. Because detecting galaxies with low central surface brightnesses is both time-consuming and complicated, determining the shape of this distribution function can be difficult. In a recent paper Cross et al. suggested a bell-shaped SBD disk-galaxy function which peaks near the canonical Freeman value of 21.7 and then falls off significantly by 23.5  B mag arcsec -2. This is in contradiction to previous studies which have typically found flat (slope = 0) SBD functions out to 24-25  B mag arcsec -2 (the survey limits). Here we take advantage of a recent surface-brightness limited survey by Andreon & Cuillandre which reaches considerably fainter magnitudes than the Cross et al. sample ( MB reaches fainter than -12 for Andreon & Cuillandre while the Cross et al. sample is limited to  MB<-16) to re-evaluate both the SBD function as found by their data and the SBD for a wide variety of galaxy surveys, including the Cross et al. data. The result is a SBD function with a flat slope out through the survey limits of 24.5  B mag arcsec -2, with high confidence limits.


Offprint request: K. O'Neil, koneil@naic.edu

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