Volume 604, August 2017
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||11 August 2017|
The faint end of the red sequence galaxy luminosity function: unveiling surface brightness selection effects with the CLASH clusters⋆
1 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 6 et CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, 98 bis bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
3 Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LAM, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, 13013 Marseille, France
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Kansas, Malott room 1082, 1251 Wescoe Hall Drive, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Received: 7 December 2016
Accepted: 25 April 2017
Characterizing the evolution of the faint end of the cluster red sequence (RS) galaxy luminosity function (GLF) with redshift is a milestone in understanding galaxy evolution. However, the community is still divided in that respect, hesitating between an enrichment of the RS due to efficient quenching of blue galaxies from z ~ 1 to present-day or a scenario in which the RS is built at a higher redshift and does not evolve afterwards. Recently, it has been proposed that surface brightness (SB) selection effects could possibly solve the literature disagreement, accounting for the diminishing RS faint population in ground-based observations. We investigate this hypothesis by comparing the RS GLFs of 16 CLASH clusters computed independently from ground-based Subaru/Suprime-Cam V and Ip or Ic images and space-based HST/ACS F606W and F814W images in the redshift range 0.187 ≤ z ≤ 0.686. We stack individual cluster GLFs in two redshift bins (0.187 ≤ z ≤ 0.399 and 0.400 ≤ z ≤ 0.686) and two mass (6 × 1014M⊙ ≤ M200< 1015M⊙ and 1015M⊙ ≤ M200) bins, and also measure the evolution with the enclosing radius from 0.5 Mpc up to the virial radius for the Subaru large field of view data. Finally, we simulate the low-redshift clusters at higher redshift to investigate SB dimming effects. We find similar RS GLFs for space- and ground-based data, with a difference of 0.2σ in the faint end parameter α when stacking all clusters together and a maximum difference of 0.9σ in the case of the high-redshift stack, demonstrating a weak dependence on the type of observation in the probed range of redshift and mass. When considering the full sample, we estimate α = − 0.76 ± 0.07 and α = − 0.78 ± 0.06 with HST and Subaru, respectively. We note a mild variation of the faint end between the high- and low-redshift subsamples at a 1.7σ and 2.6σ significance. We investigate the effect of SB dimming by simulating our low-redshift galaxies at high redshift. We measure an evolution in the faint end slope of less than 1σ in this case, implying that the observed signature is larger than one would expect from SB dimming alone, and indicating a true evolution in the faint end slope. Finally, we find no variation with mass or radius in the probed range of these two parameters. We therefore conclude that quenching is mildly affecting cluster galaxies at z ≲ 0.7 leading to a small enrichment of the RS until today, and that the different faint end slopes observed in the literature are probably due to specific cluster-to-cluster variation.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation
© ESO, 2017
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