Making the observational parsimonious richness a working mass proxy
INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, via Brera 28,
Received: 12 March 2015
Accepted: 5 August 2015
Richness, i.e., the number of bright cluster galaxies, is known to correlate with the cluster mass, however, to exploit it as mass proxy we need a way to estimate the aperture in which galaxies should be counted that minimizes the scatter between mass and richness. In this work, using a sample of 39 clusters with accurate caustic masses at 0.1 <z< 0.22, we first show that the scatter between mass and richness derived from survey data is negligibly small, as small as best mass proxies. The scatter turns out to be smaller than in some previous works and has a 90% upper limit of 0.05 dex in mass. The current sample, adjoining 76 additional clusters analyzed in previous works, establishes an almost scatterless, minimally evolving (if at all), mass-richness scaling in the redshift range 0.03 <z< 0.55. We then exploit this negligible scatter to derive the reference aperture to be used to compute richness and to predict the mass of cluster samples. These predicted masses have a total 0.16 dex scatter with caustic mass, about half of which is not intrinsic to the proxy, but related to the noisiness of the caustic masses used for test proxy performances. These results make richness-based masses of best quality and available for large samples at a low observational cost.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / cosmological parameters
© ESO, 2015