EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 388, Number 2, June III 2002
Page(s) 732 - 740
Section Instruments, observational techniques and data processing
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20020538

A&A 388, 732-740 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20020538

Cluster detection from surface-brightness fluctuations in SDSS data

M. Bartelmann and S. D. M. White

Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, PO Box 1317, 85741 Garching, Germany

(Received 9 November 2001 / Accepted 4 April 2002 )

Galaxy clusters can be detected as surface brightness enhancements in smoothed optical surveys. This method does not require individual galaxies to be identifiable, and enables clusters to be detected out to surprisingly high redshifts, as recently demonstrated by the Las Campanas Distant Cluster Survey (LCDCS). Here, we investigate redshift limits for cluster detection in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Calibrating assumptions about the surface brightness profile, the mass-to-light ratio, and the spectral energy distribution of galaxy clusters using available observational data, we show that it should be possible to detect galaxy groups out to redshifts of ~0.5, and massive galaxy clusters out to redshifts of ~ 1.2 in summed r'+i'+z' SDSS data. Redshift estimates can be derived from the SDSS magnitudes of brightest cluster members out to redshifts near unity. Over the area of sky it covers, SDSS should find $\ga$ $98\%$ of the clusters detectable by the Planck satellite through the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect. The few Planck clusters not detected in SDSS will almost all be at $z\ga1.2$.

Key words: methods: data analysis -- techniques: image processing -- surveys -- galaxies: clusters: general -- cosmology: observations

Offprint request: M. Bartelmann, nsb@npa-garching.npg.de

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