Friends-of-friends galaxy group finder with membership refinement
Application to the local Universe⋆
1 Tartu Observatory, Observatooriumi 1, 61602 Tõravere, Estonia
2 Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Ravila 14c, 51010 Tartu, Estonia
Received: 16 November 2015
Accepted: 13 January 2016
Context. Groups form the most abundant class of galaxy systems. They act as the principal drivers of galaxy evolution and can be used as tracers of the large-scale structure and the underlying cosmology. However, the detection of galaxy groups from galaxy redshift survey data is hampered by several observational limitations.
Aims. We improve the widely used friends-of-friends (FoF) group finding algorithm with membership refinement procedures and apply the method to a combined dataset of galaxies in the local Universe. A major aim of the refinement is to detect subgroups within the FoF groups, enabling a more reliable suppression of the fingers-of-God effect.
Methods. The FoF algorithm is often suspected of leaving subsystems of groups and clusters undetected. We used a galaxy sample built of the 2MRS, CF2, and 2M++ survey data comprising nearly 80 000 galaxies within the local volume of 430 Mpc radius to detect FoF groups. We conducted a multimodality check on the detected groups in search for subgroups. We furthermore refined group membership using the group virial radius and escape velocity to expose unbound galaxies. We used the virial theorem to estimate group masses.
Results. The analysis results in a catalogue of 6282 galaxy groups in the 2MRS sample with two or more members, together with their mass estimates. About half of the initial FoF groups with ten or more members were split into smaller systems with the multimodality check. An interesting comparison to our detected groups is provided by another group catalogue that is based on similar data but a completely different methodology. Two thirds of the groups are identical or very similar. Differences mostly concern the smallest and largest of these other groups, the former sometimes missing and the latter being divided into subsystems in our catalogue.
Key words: catalogs / galaxies: groups: general / large-scale structure of Universe / methods: data analysis
The catalogues are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/588/A14
© ESO, 2016