Volume 367, Number 1, February III 2001
|Page(s)||59 - 71|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||15 February 2001|
Luminosity function of clusters of galaxies
Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
2 Department of Astronomy, Caltech, USA
3 Osservatorio Astronomico di Monte Porzio, via Frascati 33, 00044 Roma, Italy
4 Observatório Nacional, Rua General José Cristino 77, 20921 - 400 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Corresponding author: G. Longo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 5 December 2000
The composite galaxy luminosity function (hereafter LF) of 39 Abell clusters of galaxies is derived by computing the statistical excess of galaxy counts in the cluster direction with respect to control fields. Due to the wide field coverage of the digitised POSS-II plates, we can measure field counts around each cluster in a fully homogeneous way. Furthermore, the availability of virtually unlimited sky coverage allows us to directly compute the LF errors without having to rely on the estimated variance of the background. The wide field coverage also allows us to derive the LF of the whole cluster, including galaxies located in the cluster outskirts. The global composite LF has a slope with minor variations from blue to red filters, and mag ( km s-1 Mpc-1) in and i filters, respectively (errors are detailed in the text). These results are in quite good agreement with several previous determinations and in particular with the LF determined for the inner region of a largely overlapping set of clusters, but derived making use of a completely different method for background subtraction. The similarity of the two LFs suggests the existence of minor differences between the LF in the cluster outskirts and in the central region, or a negligible contribution of galaxies in the cluster outskirts to the global LF.
Key words: galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: luminosity function / galaxies: evolution
© ESO, 2001
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